Devin Graham a.k.a. DevinSuperTramp is a YouTube phenom. He’s a director/DP who has built a business and a following out of making videos that are larger than life. His YouTube channel began when he uploaded videos he’d made on his own, of stunts and stories he was excited about.
He explains, “at first the ideas came from the crazy things my friends were doing…” Then he began to be contacted by people around the world wanting him to film them doing crazy stunts too.
“So now the ideas come from a mix of places, from others, from what I see my friends do, and from seeing everyday things and trying to figure out how we can make it larger than life.”
He adds, “as I have remained consistent with that, and created content that people naturally wanted to share, it created unlimited opportunities for me. I've been able to work all around the world, with brands that I love through using social media. It's given me a voice and it's been a wild crazy adventure for sure.“
Devin has parlayed his following on YouTube into a film production company, and works with big brands who give him creative freedom to reach out to his audience. “We've been lucky enough for them to trust us to come up with ideas that we feel our audience will like,” he says. The concept for the video that TeamSuperTramp created using the Nikon Z 6 came from an idea he’d had wanting to film at a mall after hours.
Devin is a professional filmmaker, but he did have to prove himself early on. “The biggest thing with working with professionals is, it does take a little bit of time to prove yourself and gain others’ respect. Having the respect of other professionals makes it much easier to get people onboard. When I started my filmmaking career, it was much harder to get people on board. Now that I've been able to build a reputation, it's been easier. And a lot of networking is involved as well.” He explains how volunteering to be a part of other filmmaker’s projects is a good way to network, “starting out… it helps just to volunteer on as many local projects as possible and you'll start to find other amazing talent, that's one of the best ways to connect with other filmmakers.”
This was especially important for the end of the film he produced using the Z 6 where there were explosions going off during the filming. “The people we had do that were experts in their field. We had worked together many times, and we have a great working relationship.”
Devin is one of a growing number of storytellers breaking into filmmaking via YouTube instead of the more traditional route of trying to break into the field via Hollywood or New York. Devin has almost 6 million subscribers to his YouTube channel and his videos have over a billion views. He advises others who want to enter the field to create content you’re passionate about. “Find your own voice and way of telling stories. There are millions of people that are all creating content and trying to be heard, ‘what makes you different?’ Always ask that question. It's so important that you’re passionate about it.”
He explains that if something you’re doing takes off, your audience will expect you to continue doing that same kind of content. “Be very aware of what you’re creating, and the stories you’re telling. Look for opportunities to collaborate with others. The more you can help build up the community around you, the more opportunities you'll create for others, including yourself,” he concludes.