Extremely-Smart Film Critic Turned Star Through YouTube

Back to Contents

Ellis, a 34-year-old essayist on YouTube, is making several final touch-ups. She is just about to begin shooting a video in her personal studio, the tiny room on the second floor of her home in Los Angeles. She then headed to a shelf where she stocked Transformers of different colors, sizes, and allegiances.

Eventually, she has selected a handful of action figures from her collection. Her selection included miniature versions of Starscream and Windblade, two characters that were on her wedding cake.

A Brief Life Background

Lindsay Ellis grew up in Johnson City, Tennessee, a small town where she started to develop her dreams. Growing up, her first entertainment options are a Blockbuster as well as a chain theater. She was also exposed to pop culture through the internet. This exposure helped her solidify her earliest yet most crucial sessions– Phantom of the Opera, a schmaltz-lacquered stage hit by Andrew Llyod Webber.

In 2003, Ellis chose to study ar New York University, so she moved to Manhattan. She took film history and film theory and earned a degree in cinema studies. Her degree helped her get a few part-time video editing jobs. However, not long after she graduated, there was a bottom out in the economy, so she decided to enroll at the University of Southern California under an MFA program in film and television production.

Ellis also applied on an online contest to be the host and titular star of a web video series called The Nostalgia Chick. The series was based on The Nostalgia Critic, a famous digital show that focuses on what was described as nostalgic girl shows and movies.

A YouTube Star Is Born

During that time, YouTube was not as popular as how it is now. Still, the videos of Nostalgia Critics have already gained a loyal audience, Ellis submitted a video where she was talking about Pocahontas. She won the contest and made her debut as Nostalgia chick and got a de3cent amount of presence in the platform. However, Ellis struggled to fit into her new Nostalgia Chick persona. As a part of her job, she had to dissect shows like Rainbow Brite as well as other similar movies that she had never watched before.

Ellis’s YouTube channel now has more than 500,000 subscribers. And if you have already seen the videos she published, you surely know how much she loves all things that are related to robots-in-disguise. In some of her videos, a Transformer will appear in the background while she is narrating one of her deeply researched and thoughtful essays where she critics a film. Some of the entries are The Death of the Hollywood Movie Musical and The Ideology of the First Order.

Lindsay Ellis and the Reason for Her YouTube Stardom

For the two years that have passed, Ellis has been slowly rolling out The Whole Plate. The videos are a series where she is deconstructing the mayhem of the Transformers franchise through three different academic lenses, namely Feminism, Marxism, and Auteur Theory. All in all, her Whole Plate videos were able to garner almost 4 million YouTube views. This is an excellent tally, considering that Dudes Still Yelling ‘Bout Porgs and I Just Noticed Wes Anderson’s Fonts, and I Have Some Thoughts were some of the most popular film criticism genres on YouTube. 

Ellis’s intensely edited essays seem to be in a genre of their own. Besides, she does not focus on newly released and popular films. She also does not care about what she coined as “bad thing videos” that others include in the list of their beloved films. Instead, her approach towards movies is a combination of reliable wryness, film history acumen, and scholarly rigor. She applies the same path even in the film that she does not especially love.

Watching the videos created by Ellis feels like taking a class about screen aesthetics with a cool instructor, and then hanging out the coffee shop near the campus. At the same time, she discusses the importance of giant robots peeing on John Turturro or how complicatedly bland Disney’s Pocahontas is. According to Ellis, the things that she thinks the most about are the things that are deeply flawed yet hold exciting potential. 

Ellis’s Dedication Towards Producing Videos

Ellis has been creating videos for more than 10 years already. Yet, it was not until recently that she had producing deeply explained essays such as her Independence Day vs. War of the Worlds as her full-time job. Ellis spent most of her internet person-years as someone who is half-assing and not caring. However, she began to reevaluate that attitude after she turned 30. Ellis was able to produce over a dozen videos on YouTube in 2018. Recently, she became one of the platform’s breakout stars. She also now earns over $10,000 every month on Patreon, a crowdfunding site that is her primary source of revenue. Her earnings help her in paying a small staff of mostly part-time employees.

It also allowed her to produce video series like her three-part deep-dive about the Hobbit trilogy– a video series that cost her nearly $20,000. As a part of the production, Ellis and some of her staff went to New Zealand. At first, she thought that her viewers would find the move excessive. However, a completely different thing happened. The series was primarily accepted by her viewers, allowing her to have the most significant Patreon boost ever since she started producing videos.

Hank Green, a longtime internet creator, and author, said that they need Ellis’s voice as a culture. She even added that Ellis makes people see content and storytelling in a new way. Also, she cited videos of Ellis that are 45 minutes long yet got millions of views. According to Green, the reason for this many views is because Ellis’s insight is excellent.

Date: May 11, 2020 / Categories: Statistics, / Author: E O


Table of Contents

    Contact PagePrivacy Policy
    ViewsReviews © 2024 - All Rights Reserved.
    This website is in no way affiliated with any other Social Media website.

    Jump to top