A screencap of Zack List

YouTube has changed the game in the world of movie reviews. Whether it’s someone’s opinion of a movie or a commentary for a film. One channel that’s apart of this trend is “Sean Chandler Talks About,” ran by 37-year-old Sean Chandler from Austin, Texas. His channel currently sits at 135,000 subscribers and 23,807,338 total views accumulated since its start in summer of 2016. He does movie reviews and trailer reactions like other YouTubers. However, videos of his movie rankings are where he stands out from other content creators.

Chandler’s movie rankings are the most popular videos on his channel. Marvel and Pixar contain some of the most popular franchises in movies today, and he’s been able to capitalize on this to grow his channel. With no more Marvel or Pixar movies to look forward to for the rest of 2019, Chandler spoke with The Daily Nebraskan about his plans for his channel the rest of the year, as well as discussing what goes on behind-the-scenes as a content creator for YouTube.

Daily Nebraskan: I saw you posted a “Rambo: Last Blood” review earlier today, do you plan out what video content you do each week? Or is every day a surprise?

Sean Chandler: I post what I want my schedule to be in advance as a way to give people an idea of where I'm headed, but I don't ever want to be locked in on that. It can be dangerous because you can burn yourself out or you reach a mindset of not wanting to put a video out just because I said I was going to, even if I don't think it's going to be very good.

DN: Has there ever been a time where you posted content that you deleted or archived due to it either being rushed or not your vision?

SC: No, I don't think so. I mean, it's probably been five times that I've done that. But I usually just decide to move forward with it. Even if it's something that I'm not crazy about, I’d much rather fail forward. Being a perfectionist with my videos would cause me to not be able to post as much, and feel unsatisfied when I post videos on a day-to-day basis. When you're sharing opinions, there's no such thing as perfection, talking about art and things like that. So you can't pursue that.

DN: Since you post subjective content, how do you handle the criticism from those who disagree with you in the comment section, or even on Twitter?

SC: I have the fault of thinking that if I talk long enough, I can change someone’s mind. It hasn't proven to work thus far in life. I mean, before I started my YouTube channel, I was the guy down in the comments section trying to convince people on the internet, and would try to make reasonable arguments, and hope they’d understand the other side. I’ve just had to come to the understanding that some people aren’t wired that way and are dead set on their cognitive biases.

DN: Which fan base gives you the worst time?

SC: Star Wars, for sure.

DN: Do you try to avoid platforms like Rotten Tomatoes, and online reviews in general, before seeing a movie to avoid any bias or expectations?

SC: It's tough, I would prefer to go into a movie not knowing anything, which can also be terrifying to do a review for when you don't know where things are falling. But a good percentage of the time I see the movie before there's a Rotten Tomatoes score, but it’s still a weird feeling sometimes when I don’t know if I've got the popular opinion on a film, or if I have the hot take.

DN: Since your channel is known mainly for Marvel content, how do you plan on pivoting and changing the videos you put out these next few months until Disney+ and phase four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe begin?

SC: What I’ve been trying to do is to make a collection of the top 10s that I'm getting the most requests for. So if you look back over the last six weeks on my channel, you'll see some series of top 10s that I didn't do before. One thing I'm adding to my repertoire is actor and director rankings. 

I'm also trying to work a mix of different types of content. I've been doing fan casts recently and even proposed a pitch for a sequel to Spider-Man. I’m currently just trying to add different types of editorials that are interesting and different.

DN: You mentioned you recently went full-time on Youtube just a few months ago, making Youtube your main source of income. With all of the controversy of ads on YouTube and stricter copyright policies, is YouTube your long-term career goal? Or is there something more that you want to pursue?

SC: My goal was to work for myself, and to be a content creator for Sean Chandler. That predated before even thinking about YouTube. Around five or six years ago, I really wanted to be an independent content creator. I was thinking of writing, or maybe video work, and then I started YouTube. So I love to come up with stories and write things. The idea of being a screenwriter for Hollywood made me feel like no one would ever see it, but with YouTube, I create things that do exist, and they stick out there. 

So that was the goal for me. YouTube turned out to be the easiest way to make that happen. But I'm constantly trying to figure out how to expand the brand. I’m constantly trying to figure out ways to expand my revenue streams so that I don’t make money just because of YouTube and AdSense, because it's so unpredictable. But I’m confident that if YouTube stops working, I’d be able to transfer my revenue stream elsewhere, as long as I can move the audience with it. I want Sean Chandler to be more than just a YouTube channel at the end of the day.

DN: Where did you learn how to film and edit exactly? Did you have experience from a college degree?

SC: I went to Columbia International University in Columbia, South Carolina. Sounds prestigious because there's a prestigious Columbia University in New York City, but not that one. I went to a Bible college. I was a pastor for eight years before I went to it. So all my degrees are in teaching things that have nothing to do with content creation. I've never taken a class on video editing or Photoshop. I’ve had to pretty much teach myself everything that I'm known for on YouTube.

You can subscribe to Sean Chandler’s YouTube channel to keep up with new videos he posts. 

culture@dailynebraskan.com