Toronto TikTok creator uses viral video to show views alone won't make you money
Kevin Parry, a Toronto-based artist and social media guru, has been blowing up online for about a decade but he says that "going viral" doesn't always result in a paycheque — at least in Canada.
His latest compilation has grossed over 100 million views across platforms but the views didn't actually make him any money directly.
A collection of me turning into random objects. pic.twitter.com/ValPdPNJIj— Kevin Parry (@kevinbparry) July 13, 2021
Though he willingly shares the behind-the-scenes for creating well-viewed videos, this "Stop-Motion Animator + Video Wizard" (as his Twitter bio reads) credits his success to more decade worth of experience in the film animation/production industry.
"I put a lot of thought and research into this stuff. It looks like just someone in their house making videos but that's very deliberate," he said. "People like to throw around the term 'going viral' quite loosely in my opinion and I guess it's kind of relative to each person, but getting a lot of views doesn't cut it anymore."
For him, because the web is so saturated, "going viral" would mean having some meaningful cultural relevance, like being turned into a meme.
I think we need to define what 'going viral' means these days 🤔— Kevin Parry (@kevinbparry) July 26, 2021
My video last week got 100M views across platforms but I wouldn’t even say that's viral. I think it needs to become a meme or have some kind of cultural impact?
Lots of views don't cut it these days.
Scrolling through Parry's feed, you'd see his videos are all very similar. He looks like he's falling and suddenly turns into an inanimate object.
"The idea came out of just wanting to make the splashiest, shortest video possible that has the most potential to get shared. When you see someone about to face plant, it's pretty tough to scroll away from that," he explained.
"It's basically just me showing off my editing skills and kind of distilling everything I know about making a shareable video in just five seconds."
Parry grew up in Sault Ste. Marie and first moved to Toronto to study animation at Sheridan College. After graduating in 2010, he moved to the United States to work on animated films. It was there, while working on movies, that he started dabbling in social media. Then, in 2018, he moved back to Toronto and pursued social media full-time.
Now, he's using his platform to warn young people that social media is a tough profession to break into.
"By the time I started doing social media full-time, I already had a platform and an agent and was already getting brand deals so I wasn't going in blind," he said.
"For the transitions I make, I'd say it's 25 per cent visual effects knowledge and then 75 per cent being an animator so I'd just warn kids that it's not as easy as it seems."
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