Recently, I had the pleasure of doing an interview with one of my followers, Olivia. She asked some really interesting questions, and I thought you guys would enjoy reading it! Check it out!
Five Questions with Olivia
This Week’s Special Feature! An Interview with Stop-motion Pro,
Discovering a mystical fairy world, becoming a pampered medieval princess, or inventing a shrink ray - these are some interesting adventures! But do you want to know what’s even neater? It’s a group of dolls participating in these incredible feats!
Anna, also known by her YouTube username, “Basilmentos” is a popular user of the video-sharing website. With nearly 300 videos on her channel and over 18,000,000 views that she has accumulated over the past four years, this high schooler creates stop-motions with her American Girl dolls. What is a stop motion, you ask? A stop motion is a type of filming technique where a camera is used to take a large amount of photographs while moving an inanimate object. When the photos are moved in fast succession, it appears that the object is moving. In Anna’s videos, she uses this movie style to bring her fun collection of American Girl dolls to life in amazing ways. I was lucky enough to be able to do an email-interview with Anna and I was able to ask her a few questions.
1. From looking back at your older stop motions from years before, it is quite evident how much your techniques have evolved and have become better. How have you picked up your various stop-motioning techniques over time?
Practice, practice, practice! It is truly a secret to everything! People sometimes forget that I am too, a normal human being. I started with no knowledge of stop motion what so ever, but with four years of practice I have been able to improve my skills dramatically. If you work hard, you will succeed!
2. There are a lot of opportunities to share your face online and become "recognized." However, when you are young, there can be unexpected and potentially dangerous consequences from doing this. What are some of your tips and tricks to staying safe online, while still being recognized as a popular creator on YouTube?
From the very start, my parents told me to be cautious with the Internet. When I created my YouTube account, we made an agreement to keep me safe: no showing my face, and no saying my full name. At times, it has been hard to hide this information. It can be difficult to connect with viewers on a personal level if they don't know what you look like in real life. However, I feel good knowing that my identity is safe.
3. Almost all popular people, whether they are authors or television stars or YouTube celebrities, occasionally get unkind comments, mean emails, or even people posing to be them. This has been called, "cyberbullying" and it's not only a problem for celebrities, but a problem for every day people, as well. How do you handle these types of problems, and what is your advice to your viewers on how to handle these problems if it ever happens to them?
Great question! I used to get really offended by hate mail, but after a while I began to realize that hate comments are almost entirely an expression of jealousy. People will leave mean comments, hoping to get a reaction. Unfortunately, they often do. If someone leaves a mean comment on one of my videos, many others will respond in my defense. However, these responses are often just as mean as the original comment itself! I don't believe in fighting fire with fire. If someone says something mean, I think it is best to just ignore them. However, this does not apply in all cases. If you feel seriously threatened or hurt by what someone is saying to you, tell a trusted adult or call the National Bullying hotline. Cyberbullying should be taken seriously, so if you need help don't be afraid to ask for it.
4. What do you think you would be doing if you weren't doing stop-motions?
Wow, what an interesting thought! Stop motions are such a huge part of my life, I am Not sure what I would do without them! Without AGTube [American Girl YouTube], I would probably be a completely different person. I would most likely participate in more of my school's plays, and try out for the track team. I might even take some classes in drawing-- I loved to draw before I started making stop-motions.
5. When I browse through the videos on your YouTube channel, I've noticed how much your videos have grown in the past few years, from your techniques to your doll collection to the amount of subscribers you have. How do you hope to expand in the years to come, and do you see yourself doing movies or television productions with your talents?
Well, I do have a lot of plans for the future! After college, I would love to continue making videos. I plan to buy a house with an extra room where I can store my dolls. I am even considering taking classes in film, and I am applying to a few colleges with art departments! I guess we'll just have to see. There are many possible paths for my life, but they all include Basilmentos.
If you haven’t seen Anna’s videos, what are you waiting for? Go check them out now! Go to http://www.youtube.com/user/basilmentos/videos to visit her YouTube channel or visit http://basilmentos.blogspot.ca/ to see her blog.
Thanks again to Anna for doing this interview with us.
BONUS! Here are some tips from Basilmentos on how to stay safe online!
If you are considering creating an online account, here are some tips to protect your identity:
1. Choose a nickname. It doesn't even have to relate to your real name, it could be something like “cherry." This way, you can have conversations with friends online without having to give them your full name.
2. Don’t show your face! This one is pretty simple, but it is a huge aspect of protecting your identity.
3. Don't tell people where you live. You can tell them what province or state, but I don't recommend getting any more specific than that.