Hunt on for Feild­ing star

Feilding-Rangitikei Herald - - Rural - SAM KILMIS­TER

The hunt for the next big YouTube star from Feild­ing is on.

As­pir­ing sto­ry­tellers in the Manawatu town can ap­ply for a share of a new $300,000 Skip Ahead fund to help de­velop and launch an orig­i­nal web se­ries.

Google and NZ On Air have teamed up to pro­vide $300,000, with ap­pli­ca­tions open­ing this week.

In ad­di­tion to re­ceiv­ing a share of the fund­ing, suc­cess­ful ap­pli­cants would at­tend work­shops to help them cre­ate a nar­ra­tive driven web se­ries.

Rob­bie Ni­col, the cre­ator of the pop­u­lar seg­ment ‘White Man Be­hind Desk’ was among the suc­cess­ful ap­pli­cants last year. The ini­tia­tive al­lowed him and his team, The Can­dle Wasters, to take on chal­lenges they never con­sid­ered, he said.

‘‘We brought in lo­cal mu­si­cians, cre­ated an al­bum as well as a web se­ries and de­vel­oped a project, which is to­tally unique a mu­si­cal set in a chil­dren’s in­door playground.’’

Also on the list of last year’s win­ners was How to Dad’s Jor­dan Wat­son.

Wat­son was in the re­gion only a few months ago when he vis­ited Tai­hape’s Gum­boot Day to film a short se­ries for his 150,000 YouTube fol­low­ers.

The Skip Ahead care pack­age helped him along, hav­ing pre­vi­ously been re­stricted to record­ing videos on his phone.

‘‘You make do with what you have, you get friends to help out, fam­ily and see what you can slap to­gether,’’ he said.

‘‘Be­ing able to have a full crew film your ran­dom ideas is just a dream.

‘‘We had fund­ing to be able to work on our big­gest idea ever, bring in proper crew, cam­era­man, ed­i­tors, colour graders. [Skip Ahead] brought a whole new au­di­ence to our chan­nel and let our view­ers see a new side of what we can pro­duce.’’

PHOTO: CAITLIN WAL­LACE/STUFF

Jor­dan Wat­son in Te Kauwhata for a video.

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