The third annual Buffer Festival returned to Toronto this past October to celebrate some of YouTube’s most acclaimed creators. Held from Friday, October 23rd to Sunday, October 25th, this three day festival kicked off with an amazing red carpet and Premiere Gala event. Noteworthy guests included Sawyer Hartman, Estée Lalonde, Louis Cole, The Sorry Girls, Ben Brown, Andrea Russet, and many more. Over the years, the Buffer Festival has become a platform for creators to promote their current projects and announce new ones. This year’s screenings were separated across 12 different categories, including: Lifestyle and Beauty, Comedy Vloggers, LGBT+, Travel and Adventure, Women of YouTube, Science and Education, and more. With over 200 videos screened this year by attending creators, the Buffer Festival has quickly become one of the most important annual events in the YouTube community. Not only has this event become a place where content is premiered, but where relationships and collaborations are created. From the positive response of attendees and fans, this just goes to show how quickly the YouTube community has evolved. Thank you to those who expressed their excitement for Local Wolves being there and to the entire Buffer Festival team for hosting such an incredible event!
We also had the chance to speak to Kelsey Marillis and Becky Lynne from The Sorry Girls, Kassie Isabelle from Cloudy Apples, and Raya Encheva from RayaWasHere, so make sure to check out our interviews with them below.
Favorite local spots in your hometown:
BL: I think one of my favorite places is the Distillery District. It’s beautiful and it doesn’t feel like you’re in Toronto at all. You don’t see any city buildings and it just feels very old. The Distillery during Christmas is just so gorgeous and adorable, I absolutely love going there!
KM: For a night out, one of my favourites is hitting up King Street. I like being able to just walk down a street I’m familiar with. We went to Spin, a Ping Pong Bar, for my birthday last year and it was a lot of fun! I also really love mid-town. I’s just a nice area that seems suburban but you’re still downtown which is something that is so great about Toronto. Everything is so close but so diverse all at the same time.
Describe your creative process:
KM: Our editing style is all about staying true to ourselves. We like to be creative at times but also like it to be very clean. It’s also important that we stay true to ourselves. I know there are a lot of trends on YouTube with videos are styled, but then and they all start to look the same cause they take influence from each other. That’s a great thing, but we definitely try to put our blinders up and tell ourselves, “this is what we want to do and this is how our videos will look.”
BL: Yes, I think we have a very fresh aesthetic that’s very minimal but also very good looking. We did go to a film school so I think that we compared to other YouTubers might think a bit more about how things look than how it’s shot which is something we pride ourselves in.
Best YouTube memory so far:
KM: In the last year, we went full time YouTube. We’re just focusing our energy on building our channel and seeing where it can go. We constantly have been posting since we started but we’re really putting our heads into it and seeing where it can take us. We’ve been taking full advantage of all the opportunities have been coming our way as well. Just recently, we were able to be live on TV here in Canada. Doing that and just being here at Buffer Festival is definitely an exciting and new experience for us. Last year we just attended Buffer Festival and didn’t screen anything but this year, we’re at two screenings!
BL: Another exciting thing for me, was that were able to go to YouTube Fan Fest earlier this year. We did a red carpet and there were people who were genuinely so happy to see us. That was just so crazy for me. These events really allows us to put faces to the number we see online.
Influence on viewers:
BL: Well people come to our channel because I think they want to be taught something or want to learn something. So I think we’ve influenced people in the sense that we’re very helpful to people who want to learn things. I think we explain things very well and we tell people the best way to do something. I also like to think of our channel as something very empowering. We’re two young women and we tell people that it’s okay to use bigger tools like a drill. We just like to build women up and tell them that you can be these creators and do your own things out in the world. That’s what I like about our channel.
KM: Our videos are very searchable and we try to keep our videos very on trend. We help them in the DIY space, teaching them basic skills like who to sew, how to knit, etc. Everybody just enjoys watching those videos too.
Handling the pressure of creating content:
KM: I would kind of say so. Just because of the lifestyle space that we’re in, which is sometimes described mainly as a beauty and fashion demographic, there are a lot of those morning routine, get ready with me, or reality vs expectations videos. Those are so popular but it kind of comes back to the editing thing, where this is the content that we want to make and want our viewers to see. I know it might be better for our channel but we stick to what we want to do. That’s how we’ve gotten to this point because we’ve never given into those trendy videos and we’ve tried our best to keep our style.
BL: I know a lot of the people who watch our videos are of a much younger demographic. I think that’s awesome but we really try to create content that’s relatable to our lives. We even said this year, that we wouldn’t be doing a lot of Back to School videos because we aren’t going back to school. So we just want to be authentic and put out what’s prevalent in our lives.
Describe how you started your channel:
KI: Well actually it was my sister’s idea because she was super into watching other YouTubers. She actually came up with the handle but we both agreed on it because it meant something to the both of us. Within a week, she got sick of it but I just had the felt completely opposite to that. There was never a plan for it to become a thing. It was just something I really enjoyed at the start and it kind of just grew into something more than that.
Favorite local spots in your hometown:
KI: I love all of the ramen, it’s so good. I’ll literally take the bus alone for an hour just to get some ramen. I also really like good Italian so ask for Luigi, it’s amazing.
How has YouTube affected your life:
KI: It has in so many ways. It feels like I’m doing something new every week. I was actually just in Barcelona with Shakira to launch her new app which was just amazing. There are so many new things that have been happening which is really cool for me because YouTube ultimately is a passion project where I can really put out videos that mean something to me. I’ve kind of stopped doing makeup looks a long time ago because I just lost passion but I brought the fire back by getting more personal with my videos.
Where do you see your channel going in the years to come and specific goals for the upcoming year?
KI: CloudyApples is a passion project so I do want to keep it that way. I say no a lot to many different opportunities and sponsorships but I am starting a gaming channel next month. I feel like improvising everyday through gaming commentaries will only help my content on CloudyApples even more so. With this, my camera presence and delivery can be better as well as my articulation and ability to be witty on the spot.
Terry: Plus, it just gives you a chance just to play some video games!
Thoughts on celebrity fandoms:
KI: The definition of celebrity is changing and being the picturesque projection of what a human being should be is not really what YouTube is all about. A lot of my videos highlight how imperfect I am and the mistakes I’ve made and I think people really connect with that. So I feel like it’s a lot more accessible and more meaningful in that way. It’s kind of funny how traditional media always jabs at YouTubers about what we do and how it’s kind of just useless. It’s just so easy to hate on something you don’t understand. For me, I see that kids are watching more YouTube than TV these days and personally, I’m a lot more interested in what real people are doing, than what celebrities are saying, they’re just too curated for me.
Terry: There’s a lot more access to YouTubers too because they’re just there to see your comments and answer them. If you say you want to see a video, and want to see an aspect of their life, you can get a chance to see that. There’s just a lot more content to digest and you can really get to know somebody.
Describe how you started your channel:
RE: I went on a trip with several friends and when I travelled with these guys, I saw that they were doing something they loved and something that would inspire people. It just seemed like such a good fit and everyone seemed so happy that I finally felt like I had found something that works for me. So yeah, I uploaded my first video November of 2014!
Favorite local spot in your hometown:
RE: Hometown is an interesting term. Well since I’ve lived in New York for the past year, I’ll take that as my hometown. My favorite spot is the Great Lawn in Central Park. You’re surrounded by trees and there’s just a big open space where you can see the skyscrapers over the trees. It’s still very open and you feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere but then you’re still in the middle of New York. There’s just a beautiful balance.
Describe your creative process and who inspires you:
RE: So since I mainly do travel vlogs, the filming just happens throughout my trips whenever something happens that I want to document. I don’t do it daily so I can take a break if I want to. Editing on the other hand still is probably my least favorite part because I am so critical of myself. Once I see what I’ve shot, I’m just like “I hate this, I hate everything, this is going to be the worst video ever,” and then at the end when I put music with it, it kind of just works. I think the best way to get inspiration is through watching YouTube. I watch about an hour of YouTube a day, and I love watching people who are creative with what they do. Even though I know nothing about makeup and can’t do any makeup, I love watching some of the makeup girls that are just very into it. They get so creative with the editing and just play with it. Even just little editing things, I’ll just be like “Yes, girl! You broke the boundaries!”
Thoughts on celebrity fandoms:
RE: Well for creators, I think there’s an incredible community. Everyone is so loving and accepting and supporting of each other and there’s almost no competition. I just went to Bulgaria and met with Bulgaria’s biggest YouTuber and there’s just an automatic base that makes you friends. You just have something in common and that’s something you can pretty much do with anyone YouTuber around the world. In terms of the viewers, what makes YouTube really different is just that they can actually feel like they connect with us. The way I started watching YouTube was when I first moved to London for University. I found it really hard, and couldn’t find any girlfriends for ages. Then I randomly found one the British beauty girls. I just watched her videos once or twice a week just to get that girl talk I needed. There’s just a little touch of human connection that happens with creators on YouTube and their viewers. We are ourselves and we’re opening up ourselves to the audience and to the camera. Through other forms of social media, it just enhances this relationship even more.
Handling with culture shock:
RE: I love culture shock because it’s just a very exciting state to be in. When I went to Morocco, it just showed me how much more of the world there is to explore and it just got me really excited to experience more cultures. As for homesickness, home for me has never been a place; it’s always been with people. So if I’m with people that I love and care about me, I could be in like a shack in Brazil and still feel at home.
Message and advice to your viewers:
RE: The message I want my viewers to take from my videos is to make the most out of your life. It’s what changed my life when I started on YouTube and just realizing that I don’t have to follow what society thinks I should be following my own path to create my own definition of success. Ultimately, that’s just what I want to spread through my videos and hopefully, that is what comes across as the core of who I am. In terms of my number one tip, just do what you love. If you’re passionate about something, then it will completely come across. You have to look to the camera as your friend and think, “What would I want to talk to my friends about?” so if that’s what makes you excited, that’s what you should be doing.