YTOTW: Seanlje, The YouTuber Who's Inspiring Malaysians One Video At A Time
In this week's YouTuber Of The Week, we talked exclusively to Sean Lee, a Malaysian YouTuber who's trying something different compared to the other YouTubers. Find out how he plans to do it here.
How did your YouTube channel come about?
Sean: “Seanlje” isn’t my first youtube channel, only some people who have followed me since the very beginning knows that I post up silly videos of my friends and I lip syncing to songs recorded through an iMac’s in-built webcam and my brother shuffling to "Raise the base". Only until July 2013 was where I decided to startup a legitimate channel as a platform where I could showcase some filmmaking skills that I’ve learned in my diploma through videos that tells personal and collective stories/experiences to inspire others.
Tell us what kind of videos do you do
Sean: I don’t really have a specific genre of videos I make. I’m still experimenting and finding a niche in our local Malaysian youtube scene. I try to keep my videos as personal as possible and possibly make more videos involving public interaction, just like "How Well Do You Know Malaysia".
How do you find inspiration for your videos? Is there a ritual or is it mostly through 'eureka' moments?
Sean: Yeah, I believe you do need some sort of ritual in things we do. For making videos, I usually go to this dark corner in my house, spread out some photos of famous YouTubers, put on some meditation music and get inspired. I am just joking. Actually most of my videos are inspired by true life experiences; whether it being an incident, a conversation with friends, my feelings and observing the world around me. For example, a breast cancer awareness video I made in dedication to my mom.
Which was your favourite video to make and why?
Sean: I don't really have a favourite but I'm really proud of the "An Elephant's Tale" series of lessons that I've made about losing someone. I was reluctant to share those videos at first but I thought hey, some people could really use the advice or lessons that I've learned throughout this journey. Videos like this won't reach the same amount of audience compared to "10 ways to eat roti canai" but it reaches people who are going through tough times or the same experience that I went through and needing some encouragement. To me, these videos aren't really much about the amount of audience but it’s about knowing that you’ve helped that small group of people in need and giving them a smile of hope, a smile of encouragement in their life. This makes me very happy and motivates me to do more videos.
Note: Go through the playlist to watch Sean's series!
How did you find inspiration for 'How Well Do You Know Malaysia'?
Sean: It was originally a promo video for a National Day event in church. After making it, I realised that it was actually good content to be shared with the public; so I uploaded it! The idea of this video was just to spread the awareness upon the lack of knowledge for Malaysia's National Day. Because the facts are simple and we often take it for granted by not really remembering the details of it. I was really surprised with the response it generated.
What's the one thing you guys want to achieve for 2015?
Sean: Producing more videos of course if time permits! Possibly some collaborations. I’m also starting up a new series of comedy sketches entitled “BoSean” (you might have seen me wearing this shirt) with a fellow friend of mine Bo Amir Iqram! that would be pretty interesting! and also engaging more viewers! Besides that, I'm also looking to build a team for this channel! So whoever is interested, you know what to do. Speaking bout team, I would just like to take this opportunity to thank one of my good friends, Beh, that has been helping me produce my videos since the beginning of my channel.
How do you plan to grow as a YouTuber, are you planning to venture into new areas? Collaborations? Movies? Series?
Sean: I plan to do more collaborations but not so much only with YouTubers but also people from different fields of work as well; new stories from different backgrounds and perspectives would be great! Besides that, I'm also interested in experimenting more of filmmaking type videos that involves more camera technicalities.
What would you say to someone who is aspiring to be a YouTuber?
Sean: Well it depends on what kind of YouTuber you would wanna be, if you’re a into producing short films then its different from a YouTuber that produces makeup tutorials. but generally speaking, think about the long run. It’s easy to start a channel but it’s definitely hard to maintain your channel and be consistent with creative original content each week. Make sure you love what you do, always take in positive feedbacks as a form of motivation and keep that passion burning and do not be demotivated with negative feedbacks, those critics will only make us better and strive forward in what we do.
Have you ever felt tired of making videos?
Sean: Yeah of course, it gets tiring at times because you put a lot of time and effort into it but the return isn’t as great but it’s okay. It’s a learning process as an individual and as content creator. I love shooting videos but I hate sitting down and editing them, I’m a very anal editor. I take my time editing it making sure it’s the right timing as how I wanted it to be. Because it takes up a lot of my time editing; it gets tiring. I’m blessed to have viewers that send me words of encouragements through Twitter, it’s cute and it works!
What's the biggest challenge you currently face as a YouTuber?
Sean: Generating and engaging viewers that appreciates alternative content from the mainstream channels that produces comedies. There’s nothing wrong with comedy and I adore their channel but there’s only a niche market of audiences in Malaysia that enjoys vlogging style videos.
How has the YouTube journey been for you since you uploaded that first video? What was your
Sean: The journey has been pretty interesting. It has brought me to many different paths and has opened up doors of opportunities for me to pursue my dream/goals. It was truly God's grace and blessings. One of the craziest experiences I had was people recognising me in public, stopping me to take a selfie and giving me positive encouragement about how they liked my videos. I truly enjoy viewers sending me personal messages sharing their problems they're facing and asking for advices; which makes me realise that the time and effort put into making these videos are worthwhile, it touches lives and changes perspectives, which is great.
Any future projects or videos that's coming up soon?
Sean: Besides usual YouTube uploads, I'm planning to dive into more acting. I just recently participated in a 4 part web series called "Road To Ramlee" with Rewan Ishak which was sponsored by Samsung. So I hope to be able be a part of a feature film and possibly some local TV dramas in the near future as well.
One reason Malaysians should subscribe to your channel?
Sean: Because you want to and will be entertained and possibly be inspired!
So if you want to see more of Sean, why not check out his channel here?