Interview: Simon Cade

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Simon Cade, better known under his creative alias DSLRguide, has nearly 1 million subscribers on YouTube. Simon produces educational content surrounding filmmaking, including tutorials, opinion-related content and short films. We interviewed Simon to learn more about his process and equipment.

Hi, how are you and how did you get into creating videos on YouTube?

I’m doing well, thank you! I started making YouTube videos regularly when I launched the DSLRguide channel. I had spent a lot of time researching filmmaking equipment, so I figured I could share what I had learnt in case other beginner filmmakers found my ideas helpful.

How would you describe your channel in three words?

“Learning about filmmaking”

Do you have a favourite piece of content you have produced?

My current favourite is a video essay called “The Problem with Modern Superhero Movies.”

How often do you create content, and is there a way you schedule it?

I made a video once a week for about three years, and although the schedule was pretty gruelling, I found the structure kept me motivated and on track. Nowadays my content schedule is more fluid because I’m working on other projects at the same time. Ideally though, I’d like to post more frequently than I am at the moment.

What equipment do you use for vlogging? Do you have a favourite piece of equipment?

These days I’m not as interested in equipment as I once was. You can get some really fun toys but I truly believe that it doesn’t matter which gear you use. My favourite piece of equipment has to be my seven-year-old Canon T3i. For many years it was the only camera I used, so it serves as a reminder that you don’t need expensive gear to find an audience on YouTube.

If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring vlogger/video creator, what would it be?

I think the most common mistake any aspiring YouTuber makes is giving up too early. So my advice would be to make an upload schedule, and stick to it.

Are there any new vloggers or video creators on your radar that you think might make it big with their content?

Adrian Bliss has fewer than 100k subscribers on YouTube at the moment and I’m pretty confident he’ll be able to grow hugely.

Which part of the video creating process do you find the most challenging, and do you have a way to deal with it?

I produced my first DSLRguide video eight and a half years ago, so I think my current challenge is finding fresh, new ideas to talk about. The way I’ve dealt with it before was by being open to changing the kind of content I make. So, as my interests changed, so did the content. I went from making product reviews to technical tutorials, and then from tutorials to videos about the creative process. As long as I keep on learning, I should have something to make videos about!

How do you think the landscape of YouTube has evolved over the years?

The biggest difference I’ve noticed is the shift away from the Subscription Feed towards the YouTube homepage. In the early days, I think popular YouTubers could make a couple of videos that weren’t very good and then bounce back the following week, but nowadays it seems the algorithm amplifies successes and failures, so building or losing an audience happens much faster.

If you weren’t making videos, what would you do?

Without YouTube, I’d most likely have kept up my freelance filmmaking business, and I’d be producing promotional videos or commercials for businesses. I’d hope my business would have expanded to the point where I could take on more creative projects, but I imagine it would be difficult to find the same level of creative freedom that being an independent creator on YouTube provides.

You can subscribe to Simon (DSLRGuide) here.

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