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MacDannyGun loves Nerf weapons.
No, like, he actually loves Nerf weapons.
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And, in case you didn’t know, so do numerous different individuals. Nerf for some people could be a spur-of-the-moment toy aisle seize, a plastic pistol and handful of froth darts that retains the children entertained for a few summer season evenings–however for fans, it’s the middle of a thriving group. And for Danny, it’s the important thing inventive part that lets him take his love of sophistication movies like Predator and Rambo and create his personal high-octane action movies, proper in his lounge.
Danny, who’s from Vancouver, Canada, says he’s all the time felt “drawn to” weapons and knives. When he was a child, that draw pulled him towards Nerf weapons–or, he says, most likely towards cheaper knock-offs, since his household was on a tight funds. As he received older, his Nerf fascination solely grew extra fervent. He (like many members of the Nerf Nation) started not simply buying Nerf weapons, but in addition studying methods to modify them.
At the identical time, Danny additionally felt drawn to YouTube.
He began his YouTube channel in 2012 and virtually instantly started posting movies about his Nerf adventures. They didn’t get a lot traction early on, however Danny wasn’t deterred. Back then, he didn’t consider YouTube a potential profession and even a common factor.
Then two issues occurred to alter his perspective. One in 2013, and one in 2020. In 2013, he posted a comedic brother-versus-brother video known as GunVsGun, which he says generated a lot consideration it turned the true genesis of his channel. (Even now, practically a decade later, he nonetheless calls himself “Danny from GunVsGun” within the titles of his movies.) That clip, and the myriad different GunVsGun installments that adopted, helped develop his channel to a tidy 130,000 subscribers by the center of 2021.
That’s when the second factor occurred.
In 2020, the primary COVID lockdowns had kicked in, and Danny was bored. But he nonetheless had his two longtime pursuits: Nerf and YouTube.
Plus, he’d been listening to about YouTube’s plan to tackle TikTok, and had a feeling that Shorts was going to be the platform’s subsequent huge factor. So, he reloaded his content-making efforts (and his Nerf arsenal, in fact) and, for the primary time since beginning his channel, started commonly posting movies.
In July 2021, he had his first hit: Nerf Heavy Weapons Guy, a 14-second clip the place a naive younger whippersnapper–aka Danny’s son–unwisely challenges a grasp marksman to a Nerf conflict. That video has spun up 70 million views thus far, and Danny thinks it was instrumental in pushing his channel’s total visitors.
Since Nerf Heavy Weapons Guy, Danny’s channel has gone from round 4 million views per 30 days (July 2021) to almost 90 million (January 2022), and his subscriber rely has jumped from 130,000 to 450,000. Thanks to all this, YouTube is now Danny’s full-time job–and, he hopes, a approach for him to construct his creator’s skillset in order that sooner or later, he can take his action-movie ambitions out of the home and onto the large display screen.
Check out our chat with him under.
Tubefilter: First, inform us a little about you! Where did you develop up? What did you rise up to earlier than you began your YouTube channel?
MacDannyGun: Grew up in Vancouver, Canada. I used to be additionally huge into basketball taking part in it in highschool, and recreationally with mates. I used to be additionally thinking about computer systems after highschool.
Tubefilter: What kindled your enthusiasm for Nerf weapons? Was it one thing you bought into if you had been a child, or did you discover them if you had been older? What made Nerf so fascinating for you?
MDG: I all the time had that enthusiasm in direction of Nerf weapons, however we may by no means afford lots of them after I was youthful. I might need had one or two again within the day–after I assume again, they had been most likely not even Nerf, however different, inexpensive manufacturers.
Action movies are one thing that I like. I watch Predator and Rambo month-to-month, if not weekly. Guns and knives are one thing I’m drawn to, and it’s type of what made Nerf weapons so fascinating. Nerf wars with mates was one of the best and closest factor to an action film.
Tubefilter: You began your channel 9 years in the past! What made you resolve to get on YouTube?
MDG: YouTube was all the time round. At the time, I used to be posting different movies on YouTube with minimal to no views. Everything modified once we uploaded the very first GunVsGun Nerf video on YouTube. GunVsGun spawned my channel.
Tubefilter: When and why did you go from sometimes importing movies to having your channel be an on a regular basis inventive outlet for you? Was there a particular video that caught a lot of consideration and boosted your channel, did you simply resolve you had been going to make your mark on YouTube…?
MDG: Uploading to my channel was by no means a scheduled factor till the COVID lockdown. I had an excessive amount of time on my arms at house, and so I needed to attempt each day importing to see if it might make a distinction on my channel. Subscribers nowadays want each day, if not hourly content material. I seen that YouTube had simply come out with the YouTube Shorts format round that point, too.
Tubefilter: So about YouTube Shorts…A variety of your views come from Shorts. What made you wish to add to that vertical? What benefits does importing to Shorts have over importing to YouTube predominant?
MDG: I had a feeling that Shorts can be the following huge factor YouTube would promote, so I made a decision to dedicate all my vitality to creating each day Nerf shorts. I set a aim to be the most important Nerf Shorts channel on YouTube. COVID lockdowns additionally helped, since I had nothing else to do on the time.
Tubefilter: Your YouTube channel has lately seen a huge increase in variety of views and subscribers. Do if there was one particular video that took off, or did numbers go up throughout a bunch of movies concurrently?
MDG: I knew I had a viral hit with my Shorts video known as Nerf Heavy Weapons Guy, and that’s the video that kick-started every thing.
Tubefilter: Is YouTube your full-time job? What else do you rise up to? What does the typical day appear to be?
MDG: YouTube is my full-time job. On prime of doing YouTube Shorts, I additionally run a livestream on the identical channel three to 4 occasions a week.
My common day consists of early morning brainstorming concepts and preparing for my livestream, if I’ve it scheduled on that day. After arising with concepts, I got down to run the livestream noon for 3 to 4 hours. After the livestream, I got down to movie one to 2 Shorts. Later within the night, I edit the Shorts and have them scheduled for the following day. If my Shorts contain results, that takes longer to edit, so enhancing runs effectively into the evening, in that case. I watch some Netflix earlier than mattress, and the following day repeat the entire course of once more.
Tubefilter: Has your latest engagement spike modified something for you? Do you will have any new plans or objectives to your channel?
MDG: Recent spike simply gave me extra inventive vitality to maintain going. When you don’t get views, you get discouraged, so this latest spike is simply a breath of recent air. I nonetheless have the identical aim–to be the most important Nerf Shorts channel on YouTube–and if that takes doing two Shorts a day, day-after-day, I’ll do it.
Tubefilter: What’s your favourite factor about making movies?
MDG: Watching the completed product.
Tubefilter: What do you hope individuals take away out of your content material?
MDG: I hope they get a snort each time, and that they get entertained by my Nerf insanity.
Tubefilter: What’s subsequent within the rapid future for you? Where do you see your self in 5 years?
MDG: Immediate future is constant doing Shorts, taking the video high quality up a degree, and increasing my livestreams into reside Nerf evaluations–simply offering the followers what they wish to see.
In 5 years, I’d like to make use of all my expertise on YouTube to jot down a film script and promote it to Netflix. Why not.
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