Commentary and Reactions


How Reacting and Reviewing Movies on YouTube Helped Make My Dreams Come To Life.

Commentary and Reactions
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September 9, 2020

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

Hello! My name is Imon, and my YouTube channel name is Imon_Snow. I am from Portland, Oregon, and we do commentary/reactions to movies, Anime, and TV shows!  I am a full-time content creator, and that just recently happened over a year and a half ago. So, it took a good two and a half years to start doing this full time.

My channel started four years ago now. I can’t even believe where the time went. It was just me by myself, and I would bring in friends from time to time to react with me. But my good friend Abi stuck around, and now the channel consists of the both of us! My real name is Imon Frost. I enjoyed Game of Thrones and loved Jon Snow; I decided to lose the Frost and take on Snow. Haha.

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

I have always enjoyed movies and TV shows as a kid growing up. I think for a lot of us, they were our babysitter. Watching these shows gave me an escape from reality, which I needed much. As I got older, I was always at the movies, and my best friend’s mother told me that I should find a job being a movie critic. (I laughed at the time because the only movie critics I knew were Siskel and Ebert.)

I got into manga, which is my massive passion when I was about 14 years old. That became another form of escape for me. I read so many different mangas, from Berserk to Peach Girl and Ranma ½ to hundreds more. At the time, being into anime and manga was looked down upon and not a “cool” thing. So I was given a pretty hard time by certain friends and family, but it never stopped me from enjoying it. Fast forward to several years later; I was coming out of an awful relationship, probably at my lowest point. I end up deciding I am finally going to start uploading videos to YouTube. I was a big fan of Chris Stuckman and Jeremy Jahns, and wanted to do movie reviews. But I stumbled upon reactions and enjoyed seeing people watch my favorite shows. And I decided just to try it out.  So with the money I saved, I bought a laptop, a camera, and a light. And the channel became a reality. 

Humble Beginnings

Got a better light and Camera angle!

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

At first, it was tough, and I felt like a fish out of water. You can tell by just watching my old videos. Haha. But I kept going, and people started subscribing, slowly but surely.  Then, skip seven months later into starting the channel, and my video goes viral! I would have never thought I would have a video of me crying for about 17 minutes straight, and 2.2 million people would have watched that!

TWD 7x1

After this reaction, this is when the channel started to pick up the pace! More subscribers and viewers were coming in each week, and people relating to my responses and not feeling alone kept me going! Since a lot of my passions growing up were “nerdy,” I had to enjoy the things I liked on my own. So starting this channel was also for the people who aren't able to share their passions with others or watch certain shows with others for being looked at as weird etc. This channel is a community where we can all come together as nerds and geek out together!

Skip ahead a year, and my excellent friend Abi joined the team! And we were able to geek out together and have fun with everyone watching shows with us!

Having Abi joining the channel is God sent. We have both been getting more in tune with one another, and are on the same wavelength. Just being able to watch shows with your best friend is such a blast. And a blessing.‍

The fact that we do reaction videos, our workflow depends on supply and demand. So we make sure we are reacting to things that our subscribers want us to watch. We do polls on our Patreon, and we respond to those shows that win the poll. It may seem easy just to sit there and react, but it isn't. We put our all into our reactions. Abi and I are both very emotional people, so we feel what we watch and have massive reactions and discussions after the episode. We have talked about how we are physically exhausted a lot of times after watching 3-4 shows a night because we are so emotionally invested. And sometimes, we physically move around a bunch because we get nervous or scared or frustrated. 

As the channel continues to grow and get more professional, we have also added in an editor (NerdChronic AKA Eric). He has been a considerable part of the channel’s growth and is an excellent asset to the channel. 

For us, mental blocks could mean the show we are watching we don't like as much. So when we watch it, we may not be as enthusiastic as the rest of our reactions. Mental blocks happen rarely, but it has happened. And what we do is stop the show we are watching and explain we weren’t vibing with it. It would seem a waste of time for us and the subscribers to watch us watch something we don't enjoy. So being upfront and real is the best way to go.

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

When I first started the channel, I used iMovie which was very tedious to edit. I used that for about a year and a half or more until I could afford to buy Final Cut Pro. It is what I use now and I love it! Abi and our editor useAdobe Premiere Pro. And that works perfectly for them.

It took me about a week to figure out how to do the Picture in Picture format as well as syncing things up and learning how to make thumbnails etc.

We are on YouTube at Imon_Snow and Instagram as well as Twitter. Abi is on Instagram at Abi_Corrine and our editor Eric is on Youtube, Instagram, and Twitter at Nerd Chronic.

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

People were judging my fears starting. I think we all have that fear, so putting my thoughts and ideas online for others to scrutinize was frightening.  I was also timid growing up and had very extreme anxiety in high school, which is why this didn't become a reality for me until I was 26. I had to get to know myself and work on my anxiety (which I still have), I can just handle it a lot better.

I just had to finally really push myself to face my fears.

Movies and TV were always something I was passionate about, and talking about and reviewing movies was something I have done since I was a child, and I just knew this was a path I wanted to take and finally went for it. 

We get negativity in the comments, but after about four years, we got used to it. Specific comments sting here and there still. But having a small team working with me now helps with that, and seeing those who love and support us trumps the hate. But when I first started, getting hateful comments scared me. People were generally constructive when I first started. When The Walking Dead reaction video went viral, I was getting comments every few seconds every time I refreshed, and new comments were coming in. And I was still very new to YouTube at the time. 

People were distraught with my reaction because of how much I cried. I remember one commenter saying he wanted to take my life in an extremely gruesome way, and I was so afraid.  I reached out to an excellent YouTube friend (Sam from Team JVS) and was just on the verge of deleting my reaction or disabling comments. And he gave me sound advice, and validated me that I had a very heartfelt visceral response and that people would always be hateful but to leave it up for those who related and loved it. And I did. 

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

Building our brand was interesting because it was still a hobby I did for fun in the beginning. I was barely making anything at all through AdSense, and most of the work I put in for almost two years was unpaid.

I had no funds for a while, and I just kept going and putting my videos out weekly. At the time, I was only watching one show at a time, but as the channel grew, more requests for reactions increased, and we started with more shows. 

Both Abi and I grew up watching anime and reading manga, so when she started to become a part of the team, she brought up One Punch Man and gave reactions. I had heard of it, but I had taken a long break from reading manga/watching anime but always loved it. I was excited about getting back into it! After that, we started reacting to MHA and Attack on Titan and finding that love for anime again! And that is when the channel began to grow more and more.

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

I got pretty lucky in the beginning. It took two weeks for me to get traction on my YouTube channel because Skybound added me to one of TWD compilations, and people started coming to my channel from seeing me there, so I will always be thankful to them for that.  

Today, we post five days a week on YouTube, and we have a schedule for us on what nights and days we film and for how many hours. Abi and I are both mothers, so we not only juggle working but being moms. So time management is essential to us. 

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

At the time, I was working as a personal support worker. I took care of my brother with disabilities and was able to edit and post videos as a hobby. I had gotten my Associate Degree as a paralegal years before, but that was not my dream.

When I started making money, I finally started to see my dream come to life and was able to go full-time while my brother also had a new caretaker. So it all worked out nicely for all of us!

Tell us your best milestones in being a content creator.

A few milestones while having this channel have been the fact that I can work from home and be there for my kids. Being a mom of two boys is a full-time job! So I will always be thankful for that.

A huge milestone was being able to finally move out on my own and support myself and my kids financially. This moment is so essential and wouldn’t be possible without putting in those hours and years. And bringing in people like Abi and Eric who help make the channel flourish as well.

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