Welcome to TopBuzz Creator Spotlight, where we’ll be profiling a handful of notable creators who are expanding their distribution prospects onto TopBuzz — a two-year-old content aggregation app owned by Chinese mobile giant Bytedance. Even in a crowded platform landscape, TopBuzz offers discovery and revenue prospects that these creators describe as irrefutably additive.
Digital creator Georgie Hasrouni developed a passion for animation at an early age. He founded his now-sizable AnimationRewind YouTube channel in middle school, after his parents bought him some basic software. Fast-forward seven years, and the concept of Hasrouni’s ensuing venture — which showcases fictional battles between characters from disparate cartoon universes — may sound somewhat niche to the uninitiated, but represents a popular vertical among YouTube’s animation community and beyond.
Hasrouni has amassed a team of fellow digital creators to help him carefully research and craft these battle scenes, which are distributed across two channels — each of which boasts a slightly different tone. AnimationRewind (605,000 subscribers) is more comedic, while Rewind Rmuble (53,000 subscribers) tends to be slightly more serious and action-packed.
We spoke with Hasrouni about his favorite videos to date, how working with a team of fellow creators has enabled him to supercharge his output, and his experience thus far in venturing onto new platforms like TopBuzz. Check it out below:
Tubefilter: How would you describe AnimationRewind to someone unfamiliar with the animation YouTube community?
GH: AnimationRewind mainly features crossover fight animations between two or more fictional characters. For example, you can see battles between Superman vs. Hulk, Mario vs. Sonic, Batman vs Iron Man, and more.
I’m Georgie Hasrouni and I created the channel in 2011 while I was still in grade school. Today, AnimationRewind consists of a team of debaters, animators, co-hosts, and researchers — many of whom are fellow YouTubers. This includes BTL Video Productions, Jamix007, TheSSUltimateGoku, JustZino, Miss X, Omega7321, SonicLuke, and more.
TF: What is the difference conceptually between AnimationRewind and your Rewind Rumble channel? Where does your ‘Cartoon Fight Club’ series fit into the mix?
GH: The biggest difference between the AnimationRewind channel and the Rewind Rumble channel would be tone. AnimationRewind is far more comedic. Rewind Rumble has a ‘serious action’-first type of tone. Cartoon Fight Club, a series that lives on AnimationRewind, is somewhere in the middle. It has a lot of comic relief moments, but there are larger serious points within the full episodes.
TF: From a technical standpoint, how are you actually making your videos, in terms of re-purposing existing characters into original productions?
GH: When it comes to animating characters that are created by other properties, such as Marvel or DC Comics, it is always important to make sure our animations fall under ‘fair use’. Cartoon Fight Club is a research-based series that critically reviews a character’s powers and abilities before showcasing an animated fight. The animation, in and of itself, serves to help visualize the research that was reviewed in pre-analysis.
Thankfully, running into copyright issues is relatively rare — though I did once receive a strike on my Minions vs. Rabbids video. The video was temporarily taken down for alleged copyright infringement, but I appealed the strike and explained how and why the video represented fair use. Soon after, the video was fully restored and the strike was removed — as the video is transformative in nature.
TF: When did you develop a passion for animation?
GH: I developed a passion for art at a very young age, but have been into animation specifically since middle school. I was assigned a school project that involved a program called GoAnimate. After getting a sense of how it worked, I wanted to take my skills to the next level, and my parents bought me Anime Studio Pro. I was 13 when I learned how to animate by creating rigged vector puppets.
I’m not sure if there was one specific event in my career that made me want to pursue digital content creation full-time, but you can’t make a career out of one viral video and call it a day. I was fairly certain I wanted to be an animator growing up — whether I would be animating for my own YouTube channel or for a studio.
TF: What has been your favorite video to make, as well as your most popular to date?
GH: My favorite series to make was a 4 part saga known as the MLG vs YTP Meme War — which is basically just a battle between dozens of internet memes. It is technically four uploads, but one story. My most popular video, however, is Freddy Fazbear vs. Slender Man, which currently has 4,967,796 views.
TF: How frequently are you putting out new content?
GH: Thanks to the talent and hard work of every team member, we have at least one new upload every week. I remember when I was a one-man show, there would be gaps as long as months between episodes. Today, we can do between one and three videos per week.
As far as platforms, the channel is currently active on YouTube, TopBuzz, Amino, Twitter, and Facebook — though YouTube was the platform where I first started and remains the most successful.
TF: How did your relationship with TopBuzz kick off? What is the biggest difference between distributing on TopBuzz vs. other platforms?
GH: My experience with TopBuzz started at Vidcon 2018. I was personally introduced to the platform and had my account set up while at the TopBuzz Lounge during the convention. The experience has been great. The most encouraging figure so far would be my click-through rate, which is about 2% higher than my AnimationRewind YouTube channel.
The biggest difference between distributing on TopBuzz vs. other platforms would be variety of content mediums. When it comes to YouTube, while there is a Community tab, that is mainly for quick updates or small posts. TopBuzz allows for entire articles to be published onto the site, as well as videos.
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