417 Magazine: When did all of this start?
Sydney McGee: It all started back in middle school. I loved the idea of making videos and putting funny stuff out there for people to laugh at and bring light into people’s lives. I was really big into Snapchat originally, and I would just Snapchat everything I did. One day my brother was like, “You should try this thing called vlogging.” It was brand new on YouTube at the time. September of 2015—I was 14 at the time. We sat down; we looked up cameras; I bought my first camera and just went for it.
417: What were those first videos like?
S.M.: Really bad. The videos were really short, they didn’t make any sense, there was no story. It was really just me messing around with the camera and getting to know the equipment and how to edit.
417: Did you have any experience with making videos before?
S.M.: My brothers had both been making videos, so I would just watch them when they would make videos for school. I started a YouTube channel with my friends in middle school, and it didn’t work out, so I knew the basics of editing.
417: When you get home from school and it’s time to make the video, are you brainstorming things?
S.M.: I’m pretty much recording throughout the whole day and brainstorming then. But whenever I go home, I like to edit what I have and just make sure I’m not trying to stay up too late. Editing the video itself can take one to two and a half hours.
417: When did it start to click?
S.M.: Summer 2016, my videos were getting better. I was more intriguing. I just randomly got 1,000 subscribers. It was kind of like a lot all at once. That was my first big milestone. And then from there I just kept going and going until I had my first viral video.