Some time ago, I wanted to write a record on YouTube. Studying its trends, its challenges, its rules. In order to do things seriously, I decided to interview a few videographers French that I greatly appreciate. To date, two have responded to the call. Sylvain, aka Captain Popcorn (this is the name of his channel) and a certain Matthew Summit, a videographer not known, which has just a success of esteem for a program obscure called Hi Geeks !
Captain Popcorn has opened its chain of seven months ago. Since then, he has published 86 videos, in which, with his voice calm and clear, it gives a complete notice, intelligent, organized on the movies and series that he has seen. Black Panther, Avengers : Infinity War, Star Wars : The Last Jedi, Solo : a Star Wars story, Deadpool 2, Game of Thrones, Westworld, Stranger Things, so many past works in the X-ray through the eyes of an expert. Captain Popcorn is very efficient in its domain. It is enough to be convinced, take a look at the countless comments of appreciation, every time he posts a video on Westworld, responding almost always to all of our questions.
Certainly, Captain Popcorn was the perfect candidate for this interview. Thanks to him, I was able to realize the difficulty (but also of wealth) to be a young filmmaker. Notice that will be compared to that of Mathieu Summit in the folder to come. But I was definitely not going to confine myself to discussing YouTube with the Captain. I also asked about his working methods. And also on the state of the culture geek today. Transhumanism, super-hero, Netflix, trends film. Thank the Captain Popcorn for having given us this interview to be very rich. And subscribe to emergency at its chain. He deserves it. And you too, you deserve it !
1) Hello Sylvain ! There are a little over a year ago, you served again for The Great Test. Today, we’ll see you, more than ever, on your own channel : Captain Popcorn. Why have you left The Big Test ?
I was a salaried employee of the company that owns The Big Test, Uptown Prod, which is a small audiovisual production company. I was a community manager, and I found myself, gradually, to write and make videos. I left this company, and I wanted to give a sequel to what I was doing. I told myself that I was going to try my luck and continue on YouTube by launching my own channel.
2) As everyone knows, so you’re an expert, if I dare say, in review of movies and series, but also in theories. As many fans of your community, I look at each one of your videos with a lot of attention, and I am always amazed by the quality of your work. How do you work ? What are your working methods ? To Westworld, for example, look at you episodes several times ?
Thank you very much for the compliment. I don’t know if I am a specialist, but I do my best. For the analysis (I usually publishes on Monday, since the large series the US are released on Sunday night), I don’t watch the episodes two times, because I don’t have the time. I look at the episode carefully, taking screen shots. And then, this is as of the writing that I reconsulte the screenshots, which allows me to notice details that I had not seen at first viewing. And of course, I’m doing a lot of research in parallel to see what people tell on the internet. I then compare what I find with what I thought, I keep the good and let go of what I deem bad.
3) What is your first love movie ? The first film that you have loved with a mad love ?
For shocks of childhood, I’ve pretty much been hit by the Dark Crystal by Jim Henson and Frank Oz and The Return of the Jedi.
4) would you Say that it is easy to be a filmmaker in France ?
I wouldn’t say it is easy, because it takes a lot of work, to work in a passionate manner, but sometimes that’s not enough. In addition, there is really a “jungle” of content that is available on YouTube, so get a place is not obvious. After that, there are things that are agreeable… Then the only thing that, I believe, may be specific to France, is that it is necessary to have a regulatory status, be a self-contractor or be an employee of a company. In sum, yes, I would say that it is difficult.
5) today, it seems to me that there is a real divorce between the public and the film critics at the paper format (First, Studio Cine Live, The Cahiers du Cinema, but also in daily newspapers, such as Libération or Le Parisien). Divorce does not seem to exist on YouTube, with video makers like you, or The Bazaar of the Attic and Inthepanda. How do you explain this phenomenon ?
I don’t know if we can really speak of divorce between the spectators and the clipboard ; it is more the clipboard into a whole which collapses for years. That being said, I also see a little bit what you mean. May be because people are going to find in some each other, unlike some newspapers or in some programs, more than a familiar language : a vision without a language of wood, where we take the time to develop what one has to say about a film. I’m not saying that the clipboard does not take the time, as there are written records on the films, as The Cahiers du cinema (which is very sharp, very thorough in its analysis). But to have a good compromise between depth of analysis and live side, it is true that many choose YouTube.
6) It is interesting what you say. Personally, I have the impression that YouTube was interesting in that it tends to break the elites. In other words, YouTube shows that the cinema is still an art that is very popular, don’t need elite, and the vision of a journalist has as much importance as that of ” Jo the Tramp “, in the words of Alexandre Astier. YouTube, with video makers like you, would it be the swan song of film critics to the paper format ?
It is difficult to say. It is true that the video format is very preferred, especially by the new generation, compared to the written format. After, effectively, we discovered that we did not need to be a critical set for a very long time to say potentially interesting things. I also think that it goes hand in hand with the rise in power (which is pleasing to some and displeasing to another, popular cinema, genre cinema, privileged on YouTube. It is also my case. I’ll a lot more easily talk about the type of films that works judged to be much more ” intellectual “, even if I have absolutely nothing against the movies, ” the intellectuals “.
7) Look at-you movies of authors, and could you do the review on your channel ?
I look at little, to tell the truth. Of course, I’ve already watched it, and I can even greatly appreciate it. I frankly have no favorite genre. It’s going to be a matter of time. As YouTube is my main activity, I try to make the channel viable. And for that, I have to reach as many people as possible. To speak frankly, if I had to spend too much time on films, I would have less views… I usually know what kind of films will attract the most views… But fortunately, this is not my only criterion. By the way, I’ve recently released a new format of videos, in which I speak of my favourites, and this format is much more conducive to talking about films.
8) You seem to very much enjoy Westworld. I also know that you are fascinated by the question of post-humanism. Why this question interests you, does it ?
First of all, I love Westworld, because the very structure of the series allows you to play with riddles, puzzles. And for someone like me, it is of the blessed bread. For the question of post-humanism, I found it to be very interesting, because at one time or another, we will certainly be confronted with the artificial intelligences and how to manage them. And then I love the Science-Fiction and anticipation.
9) The issue of transhumanism and post-humanism with a passion since many centuries. It was the famous myth of the Golem, Frankenstein Mary Shelley, Blade Runner, Philip K. Dick, and, more recently, Westworld , and Altered Carbon. Why do you think this question haunts more and more the culture ?
Over the last twenty or thirty years, I would say, the question of transhumanism and post-humanism is becoming more prevalent because of technological advances, which make the thing more visible in the eyes of the greatest number, and that we are closer every day a little more of that question.
10) On your string, you have worked a lot on Black Panther and Avengers : Infinity War. You have also made a video on Batman Ninja. You read a lot of comics ? What are your favorites ?
I’ve read a lot of comics, especially Marvel, when I was much younger. This is where my passion for this type of character. Fairly recently, I started to reread some of them, including Batman and Daredevil. My favorite characters are Batman, the Hulk, Wolverine, Daredevil. Even if I’m not a fan of everything that was done by Frank Miller (Sin City for example, it is great visually, but the message behind is not terrible), I really enjoyed his Batman : Year One. If there was an author that I would mention, it would be Alan Moore. V for Vendetta and Watchmen were big shocks.
11) How did you find the first films in the DCEU ?
So… I’m one of those who enjoyed Man of Steel. I have seen very recently is the long version of Batman v. Superman, which made me much more appreciate the movie. I still was quite disappointed in his output… It is necessary to say that it was very much expected… Suicide Squad, we don’t even… Wonder Woman, this is not a masterpiece, but I found the film to be very successful. It is well broken figure with the Justice League. All in all, this is not so bad, but they have had heaps of problems. They wanted to catch up too quickly with the backlog compared to Marvel, creating a shared universe. But it is well that there is a proposal that is different, both in terms of color, visual tone compared to Marvel. A pity that with the Justice League they have tried to marveliser their universe.
12) Steven Spielberg had said in 2011 that the films of super-heroes would follow the same path as westerns, that is to say, disappeared little by little from our screens. Do you think that this will be the case ?
I think it would have done better to shut up, because it is very difficult to run in this style of bet. If I had to bet, inevitably, it will dry up, like all film genres. But after that, there will be a resurgence as there has been a resurgence for the westerns. Already, the next Avengers, the sequel to Infinity War will hit to death, so much so, that it will continue to make money, it will continue. There are those who say that Marvel is very marked, that the house does not rely on formulas, I’m not so agree it. So I think it is still for five years, ten years…
13) Other license that you am a lot, this is the license for Star Wars. Overall, what do you think of the productions proposed by Disney for the universe invented by George Lucas ?
I have no opinion on this production as a whole, I did notice separate for each film. I never judge the films in the context of their production. The fact that it is made by Disney, it is no longer made by Lucas I’m not interested. I judge film by film. Finally, the spin-off Was Star Wars story, Rogue One and Solo, are out, I think. The Awakening of the Force, when I saw it, I still smile. The one that I was most disappointed, it is the Last of The Jedi. I’ve done a lot of research, so I had knowledge of Star Wars Rebels, even though I haven’t seen the series. It would be necessary that I look at it, as it has a good reputation.
14) I am very interested in the issue of cultural trends. And these cultural patterns have an appearance somewhat paradoxical in film and television. We can’t prevent this from happening, and yet everyone seems to be in a hurry to see them go. People fear a uniformity of the film. Is it that it scares you ?
Difficult to answer. It’s been a while that we are witnessing a standardization of the cinema, in any case in western countries, and, more generally, in the hollywood productions. A lot of things are hyper-calibrated in terms of the technical story. But for me, this kind of cultural uniformity is not bound at all to a film genre or another. These are trends are transient. To the extent that there will always be different genres that will exist side by side. After, in terms of uptake of the masses, it is sure that the genre of super-heroic captures a lot of attention. But I don’t fear a drying up of creativity. It would be interesting, however, is that each genre has champions in different countries, any does not come only from the States !
15) With the success of Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, OCS, the new VOD service Disney (planned for 2019), do you think that people will continue to go to the cinema in ten, fifteen years ?
It depends on where. The trends vary from country to country. After that, I don’t think it will disappear to the cinema. The experience is always very different to the cinema, even if increasingly people have a home cinema and/or a big tv. It is never the same thing as being one or two in front of a tv screen or be five hundred in front of a very large screen. Add to that the new technical innovations that it continues to have at the cinema. After that, it may be that the appearance of films in virtual reality would be more efficient at home than at the cinema…
16) I couldn’t help but notice that you had video to analyze the trailer of the Fantastic Animals 2 or Jurassic World 2, is this because these two sagas do not interest you, no ? What I just noticed that one of your latest videos deals with Jurassic World 2…
Yes. I have not done an analysis of the trailer of Jurassic World 2, because I didn’t liked the first, and the second did not interest me specially. And I have no opinion on Fantastic Animals, because I know excessively evil in the world of Harry Potter. I have not read the books. I have tried to persevere in the movies, but I’m not too hung up. I stayed fairly airtight. I miss a little in front of these films, I find them too childish. So, I haven’t seen the first Fantastic beasts…
17) What are your five favorite movies ?
It is ugly, as a question… After I’ll want them to death… I would like to clarify to the readers of Hitek, who will be reading this interview that I was caught on the spot, and so I have not given much thought ! Without doubt there would be… Raiders of the Lost Ark directed by Steven Spielberg. There may be also The Empire counter-attack… there would be anything else ? Hmm… maybe Conan the Barbarian, the movie of the 80’s… there would be Blade Runner, Ridley Scott… And despite all the controversy, I loved Braveheart… So it’s been five, but I’m sure more will come later once the interview is completed.
18) I feel that you will chastise me even more, since I’m going to ask you about your five favorite books ?
It may be a little easier… I’m still going to put the saga of the iron Throne of George R. R. Martin, because it would be abused not to ! I’m very fantasy ! Then, I would say the Lord of The Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien… The following should make you the feet, the title is super long : The Malazen Book of the Fallenby Steven Erikson. Then I’d say The Mosaic of Sarance Guy Gavriel Kay. A kind of fantasy history… Finally, I would say Lyonesse by Jack Vance…
19) Will we have the extremely fortunate position of having a review of the season 5 of Peaky Blinders when it will be released in 2019 ?
Without a doubt, but I don’t know yet in what format. I don’t know if this will be episode by episode. But I will do at least one video for the entire season.
20) What are your future projects ?
I’m going to make a video of contemporary dance in a hanging garden in taiwan. No, I’m just kidding. I don’t have a crazy project. I do not necessarily exclude a book, but I have not yet project much more real. I’d need to find a thing that motivates me really. However, I’ll be at the Annecy Festival, to do a kind of report on the international animation film Festival of Annecy. So this will be a format a bit new for the chain.
Thank you very much Sylvain for this interview.
ATTENTION : The interview with Mathieu Summit will be published shortly.
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