[Editor’s note: In full disclosure, Vimeo is a sponsor of Tubefilter. Individuals at Vimeo helped facilitate our interview with Sawyer Hartman, but otherwise didn’t contribute to the content of the article.]
During VidCon, Vimeo will invite prominent online video creators and executive to participate in sessions at a space called Vimeo Studio. One of the guests at Vimeo Studio will be Sawyer Hartman, a filmmaker who came to prominence thanks to his popular YouTube channel. Hartman, along with PJ Ligouri, is one of two filmmakers who is working with New Form Digital to create a web series that will be distributed via the Vimeo On Demand selling platform.
In Hartman’s case, he is adapting his short film Parallax into a full-length feature called Parallax Theory, which will be released across multiple episodes. As Hartman prepares for Parallax Theory‘s upcoming release, he spoke to us about his process.
Tubefilter: How has your YouTube career helped your development as a filmmaker? Are their any ways you think your YouTube fame has hindered you?
Sawyer Hartman: Well besides the obvious “opportunities” developing an audience of my own has brought me, YouTube gave me a “safe place” to try out different techniques and narrative styles, while also gaining feedback and support for my craft. I never attended film school or anything so YouTube kind of acted as the “safe place” and training grounds for what I wanted to do next.
I wouldn’t say it hindered me, however I have had to tell a lot of places “I don’t want to make an influencer film, I want to make a film of influence.”
TF: What has been your biggest challenge as you transition from the shorter content on your YouTube channel to the longer, serial format of Parallax Theory on Vimeo On Demand?
SH: Actually not much, it’s just a lot easier to make a film when you can spend more than 28 dollars and you have a team of people who you can trust to do the things you want to get done.
TF: How, if at all, has working with New Form influenced your creative process?
SH: New Form has been a great media partner and has given a lot of awesome feedback, but most importantly they have allowed me to create the stories in my head without trying to “manipulate or change” in any big way!
TF: Out of all the VOD options, why choose to go with Vimeo?
SH: I believe my audience will be happy with the level of content we are striving to produce for them, and the fit of Vimeo as a VOD platform really excites us! Vimeo as a company, as well as a community, have always had an extremely high level of standards and expectations in terms of content expectations. We look forward to trying to surpass these expectations, and bring people a truly organic story! Parallax Theory has been structured to be viewed as a feature film broken into chapters, rather than into single serving episodes. I just can’t wait for everyone to see it!”
TF: Viewers have left a number of critical comments on the Parallax Theory short film. Did you heed any of this viewer input when producing the Parallax series?
SH: I always listen to viewers and take feedback into consideration. However, The Parallax Theory is a much different story than the one originally portrayed in the short film, so I look forward to really seeing how the people respond!
TF: What do you want your fans to keep in mind when they watch Parallax Theory?
SH: Nothing, just sit back and enjoy the story! We’ll besides, I LOVE THEM AND THANK THEM FOR HELPING ME GET TO THIS STAGE IN MY CAREER! THEY’RE MY HEROES!
TF: What about people who are unfamiliar with your work and your YouTube channel? If someone in that group sits down to watch Parallax Theory, what do you want them to know?
SH: All I care about is the story, and hope they enjoy it!
TF: What do you hope to do next?
SH: I want to keep creating compelling projects and stories about people that deserve to have their story told. We just want to stay true to the work and to the characters. If we can accomplish that, than everything else will fall into place!
Have some more questions for Hartman? Want some more answers? You can see and here the prolific filmmaker in person at VidCon. He’ll be at the Vimeo Studios on Friday, July 24 at 11AM.