Gaming

RamenStyle

How I Left Freelance Videography Into Streaming Full-Time.

Full-Time creator
May 27, 2020

Who are you and what kind of content do you create?

What’s up friends! My name is Vince, also known as Ramenstyle on Twitch. I’m a full-time Twitch streamer based in the Philippines. Prior to streaming full-time, I was a professional videographer between 2012-2018. My career as a videographer was a lot of fun, working with notable brands such as Red Bull Philippines and The SM Store (one of the Philippines’ top department stores), but my big break was working with one of the Philippines’ top turntablists, DJ Carlo Atendido.

I’ve been gaming all my life since I was about 3 years old. I grew up as the youngest of 6 siblings in a household of 5 boys and 1 girl. As the youngest, I’d always be competing against my older brothers from the first time I held a Super Nintendo controller back in the 90s. I remember mashing buttons in classic SNES games such as Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo, Mario Kart, Metal Warriors, and Flashback to name a few. This was pretty much the theme of my life. A household of competitive siblings trying to top each other in any video game we had available from any console we owned (depending on the era). And being the youngest, I would rarely win in any video game! My childhood as a gamer was memories of getting owned by my own siblings from any competitive video game we had. This kind of built a competitive gamer in me. Eventually, in the late 90s and early 2000s, we were introduced to the video game that pretty much changed my life - Counter-Strike. A bunch of my teenage years was spent playing a ton of Counter-Strike, from beta to 1.6. This era further pushed me into the gaming world and around this time was the first time I ever dreamt of being a gamer forever. I was so hooked on Counter-Strike that I’d have thoughts saying, “I wish I could play video games forever” -- and this thought never left my mind since.

The name “Ramenstyle” is the evolution of an older online moniker “lil_ramen”. lil_ramen was a name I used from the first time I played Counter-Strike back in 2000 and stuck to it until about 2005. The name ramen comes from my older brother whose name is Raymond. When I was in the 2nd grade, his friends would call me Little Raymond, which evolved into Little Ramen, thus giving birth to my first online moniker, lil_ramen. Over time, I wanted to get rid of “lil” and the underscore, so somehow I came up with Ramenstyle. Sorry to break it to you guys, but as much as I have ramen noodles as my logo, the birth of Ramenstyle was from something else!

Let's go down memory lane, tell us your backstory!

As I mentioned earlier, before the full-time streaming life, I was a professional videographer. It was a great career and something I’ve always wanted to do since I was in grade school. I fell in love with filmmaking as a kid, but most of all, I was inspired by the new age of filmmakers -- these were filmmakers who paved their own path in the video making world without going the traditional route.

These were people like: Jason Magbanua, who is the pioneer of wedding videography’s cinematic same-day-edit, and Freddie Wong and Corridor Digital, legends of YouTube’s short film genre. From the get-go, based on my inspirations, I’ve always wanted to do original content. I’ve always wanted to create things that were born out of my own mind. This led me to jumping headfirst into the freelance videographer life straight out of college. I knew I had to start somewhere, so I began with doing videos for free or for dirt cheap just to get my portfolio going. One thing led to another, years pass, and somehow I’ve built a videography career from nothing. Building this videography career gave me the confidence in chasing anything I wanted in life. I always told myself, “If I built this videography career from nothing, I could do this again with something else!”

The turning point for me was a video project I was hired to shoot for Red Bull Philippines. It was in June of 2016, the Philippines was hosting a DOTA major, the Manila Major. I was hired to be OG’s (now Red Bull OG) official videographer. I had the opportunity to follow them around for the full week they were in the Philippines. Coming into this project, I didn’t know much about DOTA.

I wasn’t a huge fan of MOBAs (or maybe I just never got good at them). I was told that OG was one of the world’s best teams, so this was going to be a huge opportunity for me. At the time of the Manila Major, OG’s roster consisted of Cr1t-, Miracle-, MoonMeander, N0tail, and Fly. To make this long story short, the full week I was around OG truly inspired me. Being surrounded by world class gamers was the most inspiring thing that rekindled the gamer in me. From witnessing world class gamers firsthand, this was the moment I knew I wanted to play video games for a living -- non-negotiable!

Months after this huge project, I started taking little steps into starting my Twitch journey. Most of my income from videography started going into initial investments for a future Twitch channel. I bought a microphone, a webcam, and a gaming mouse and keyboard to start things off. In January of 2017, I started streaming Rocket League on my Twitch channel. I was streaming for nobody. Wait, I was streaming for 1 viewer and that was my mobile phone. I knew things started to get serious when I bought a 2nd monitor, but I was convinced this 2nd monitor was an upgrade for my video editing.

I was a little bit in denial that I wanted to transition into becoming a full-time streamer. I wasn’t sure if it was a good idea since I’ve built a decent videography career. But months passed in 2017, and I started to become more unhappy as time went on. By the end of 2017, I knew I was done with videography. I quit videography and went full-time into streaming at the start of 2018. I went into streaming with reckless abandon and I do not recommend it to others. I had enough savings to last me at least a year if things didn’t work out as a streamer. I wasn’t afraid of failure. I knew that if streaming did fail, I can always come back into videography and build another career from scratch as I did in the first place. The leap of faith I took was built on sheer confidence. I had to do it.

How do you brainstorm ideas for your content and your advice in getting the creative juice flowing.

The ideas that built my brand comes from many influences from different genres or industries. I have a ton of inspirations that come from different walks of life, whether they’re content creators comedians, actors, film directors, gamers, or athletes. To name a few, I’m a huge fan of Conan O’Brien, Summit1G, Node, Christopher Nolan, LeBron James, and as I mentioned my earlier influences in life, Jason Magbanua, Freddie Wong, and Corridor Digital. I pull inspiration from a variety of sources in different avenues. I may take huge inspiration from Conan’s humor, Nolan’s story telling, LeBron’s work ethic, and Corridor Digital’s creativity.

As a Twitch streamer, I’m always trying to find ways to keep the stream fresh. Aside from the video game I’m playing, I’m always looking for ways to make people laugh with some comedic moments, transitions, or effects on my stream. Most of these are inspired by the ideas of my community. I share the same humor with a bunch of my community members so we just keep building on little things that we find funny together. It’s either they’re laughing at me or with me -- mostly at me though. As a streamer, it’s important to value what your viewers love. I take a ton of inspiration from what my viewers love and even laugh at and build on that.

What are the tools and platform you use to help with your brand?

For streaming, I use the good old reliable OBS Studio with a bunch of plugins such as Motion to add some flavor to the stream. I was first introduced to OBS plugins by a fellow content creator and good friend, Defrag (twitter.com/itsdefrag). Once I discovered how powerful OBS can be especially with plugins, I started looking for creative ways I can manipulate OBS to add flavor to my streams!

For video editing, I use DaVinci Resolve. It has a free version that has everything you need as a content creator. It’s an extremely powerful video editing tool! I use it to edit condensed clips for YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and Facebook. I try to post as much as I can on most social media platforms, especially short clips on Instagram and TikTok. I love getting creative with videos that are 1 minute or less that tell a full story or feature a really funny moment. I believe it’s the filmmaker in me that gets challenged with these 1 minute or less videos for social media.

What were your fears starting out? How did you handle it?

The biggest obstacle was deciding to start. The jump into doing it for the first time was probably the hardest part. That’s when I was most worried about what people might think about it. I was afraid of judgement and people’s opinions, especially those who were close to me. I had, and still have, many supportive friends who encouraged me to chase this, but, naturally, there were also a handful of people close to me as well who were trying to talk me out of it.

One of the lines that were said to me that hit me the most was, “What makes you think people want to watch you?”. It was from a friend who was trying to talk me out of doing it and stick to videography. Ever since that moment, I’ve taken that line with a grain of salt and a chip on my shoulder as one of the things I’d like to prove to myself -- to give people a reason to watch my content.

But once I’ve gotten over the initial jump into getting started, things just started flowing and I became more comfortable in my own skin as I continued my streaming journey. I realized that I should trust myself and not value other people’s opinions too much, whether they’re positive or negative opinions. I began to learn the value of my self worth. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned as a streamer is self love. You’ve got to love yourself the most, and when you do, you fear nothing.

Coming from the videography background, I’ve always kind of known how I’d want to execute my content using the experience I’ve earned through my 6 years of professional videography. But the scariest thing for me and biggest adjustment was that I’m officially accountable for all my failures as a solo content creator. Whether my content fails or not, it’s 100% all on me.

Committing to this full-time streaming life has been a journey of getting to know myself way more than I ever did. I’ve never done anything that has challenged me and pulled out the 110% effort in me. Negativity was always something I was prepared for coming into this industry especially knowing the fact that I’m putting myself out there. I knew it was part of the job, so it was mandatory for me to get over the fear of judgement.

How did you build your brand to where it is now, take us through your process.

When I first started streaming in 2017, I was still a full-time videographer. So streaming was a part time thing. I’d stream as much as I could, but only as much as my working schedule allowed. At that time, I was streaming 3-4 hours per stream for about 3-4 times a week. Gradually, I started taking fewer videography projects to give more time to streaming.

I started saving as much money as I could knowing that I wanted to take the jump into full-time streaming. Eventually, by 2018, I took the leap and went full-time into streaming. I started streaming Monday to Friday, 8 hours a day. I would barely miss a stream day unless I had to due to a family gathering or an emergency, other than that, I’d always show up. I saved enough money coming into full-time streaming in 2018 to last me at least a year. I made a promise with myself that by the time the year ends or my savings run out and I’m still not where I’d like to be in streaming, I would quit and go back into videography. Long story short, by the time that year passed, I went beyond my initial goals.

Consistency and persistence built my stream. I didn’t overthink streaming. I showed up every day and learned from my victories and mistakes daily. If I made a huge mistake, I’d improve on it the next day.

I have this whole life philosophy of thanking myself next year.  When New Year’s Day hits, we always talk about how fast time flew, right? I always remind myself of that feeling, that time flies faster than I think it does -- so start on what I love now, and when that quick year passes, I’m gonna thank myself then. And this has always worked for me in different avenues in my life, especially something I always believed in with videography. This little life principle I live by allows me to be patient. It makes me work as hard as I can day by day without wanting a short cut into success. I put the work in every day, let time pass, then reap its benefits. This is exactly how I built my stream. No shortcuts.

For someone who wants to get into content creation, what is your advice?

Don’t take things personally. This is something I’ve grown to learn as I keep moving in this streaming journey. It’s something I still struggle with today at times. Putting yourself out there is one of the most courageous things you could do. You allow yourself to be vulnerable to the public. Most of your community members know so much about you, but most of the time, all you know about them is their online username. This gap can get to you at times. People from all over the world, from different walks of life, will have their own opinions about you and your work. Whether it’s positive or negative opinions, take these with a grain of salt.

"Always know that at the end of the day, we don’t know the whole story about someone"

so your judgement on another person will be skewed depending on your own unique point of view. Knowing this, I always take into account where someone is coming from when they have an opinion about me or my work. And remember, there’s always something you can learn from everyone and anyone.

Also, don’t attach your self-worth to your work. Your content does not define who you exactly are as a person. You’ll have good days and bad days. Some days you’ll win, others, you’ll lose. But on the worst days, sometimes you’ll feel like your self-worth as a person is on a down low as well. Don’t let that feeling get the best of you. You are not defined by your work. It’s just a bad day. Let it pass. Get some rest. Come back stronger the next day.

Content creation can be rough mentally and physically. Take care of yourself at all times. Your well-being is your ultimate priority. If your mind and body are polluted from your daily life, it may trickle into your work. Eat healthy, exercise, and keep a healthy mind. Meditation is great, too. When you’re healthy physically and mentally in your daily life, you’ll have a lot more to offer with your content. Also, don’t forget: be kind.

How did you finally commit to X platform rather than your regular day job?

Videography as a career was paying well, but the more I did it, the more unhappy I got. The unhappiness was a product of a constant grind of video work that was slowly bogging down my body and mind. The schedules I had started getting toxic as the demand for video work went up. The more unhappy I got, the more I thought to myself, “I wish I could just play video games for a living!”. It was the ultimate dream. I started saving as much money as I could when the video project with OG happened in the Manila Major. The inspiration I got from being around them for a week was truly the turning point for me. I knew gaming was for me.

The turning point of everything was when the freelance agency I was working with, called Substance, closed down. Substance was the company that handled all my legal papers as a freelancer. It was an awesome company and I still cherish my time with them until today. Due to unforeseen circumstances, Substance had to close. And when they closed, that was the sign for me that it was time to commit to streaming full-time. At this time, I had been saving the majority of my videography income knowing that one day I was gonna attempt full-time streaming. So financially, I was ready. It was all about executing from there.

Tell us your best milestones in being a content creator.

Getting Partnered as a Twitch streamer is definitely one of the most memorable moments. I was partnered on January 2, 2018 here in the Philippines. My stream at that time was continuously growing as a Filipino PUBG stream and eventually we were partnered by Sir Julius, the Philippines’ Twitch Partnerships Manager back then. The trust Sir Julius had in me as a Twitch creator was such a blessing. To this day, I sincerely thank Sir Julius for giving me the opportunity to represent the Philippines as a Twitch Partner.

Other than partnership, a big moment for me was also breaking even in terms of revenue to pay off bills. When I committed to the full-time streaming life, my goal was to break even in a year. Within about 6 months, I broke even and had enough to pay all my bills. It was a surreal moment. Until this day, I’m still overwhelmed that I’m doing this for a living. These are the little moments that allow me to take a step back and remind myself that the dream has become a reality, thanks to you guys.

What are your marketing strategies to grow your brand?

One of the biggest things that helped my stream grow is posting content outside of Twitch. In recent months, I’ve been pumping daily content on Instagram and TikTok. I’ve been having so much fun on these platforms since they only allow 1 minute videos. It forces me to get creative with storytelling and choosing a really good moment to share in under a minute. It somewhat challenges me as a videographer as I try to put together a quick 1 minute edit with a punchline. YouTube also helps a bunch. I have some informational Escape from Tarkov videos that have helped my channel grow, especially my Beginner’s Guide video. Content on major social media platforms is a great way to spread awareness of your brand.

Also, a good way to reach out to a wider audience is to make friends. I like to say make friends instead of networking ‘cause I want people to make the effort to be friends with fellow creators. Connect with others and give them value. The more value you give to others, the more value will eventually return to you. People can easily see through you if you’re just trying to connect with others with intent to just gain something from them. Be kind to others. We need more kindness in this world!

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