VIDEO: LDS YouTuber Devin Supertramp Graham | REJECTED from Film School, but HIRED by HOLLYWOOD | Skylight Spiritual Wellness

VIDEO: LDS YouTuber Devin Supertramp Graham | REJECTED from Film School, but HIRED by HOLLYWOOD | Skylight Spiritual Wellness

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Did the whole thing, first year, BYU, and then I applied to the film program and I got rejected. 10 subscribers, now 200 subscribers, and a million subscribers. I had built my whole life to prepare for that moment. Then when the opportunity came, I was ready because I had done everything to prepare for it. Then actually the money and everything just fell through. Universal pictures reached out to me and said, We want to hire you to promote the new drastic world. Got millions and millions of views. Then a n ntendo reached out to me. Twenty, thirty people said, Devon, share this video. Share this video. I’m like, I just can’t do that. Trial and tribulations are mandatory, but misery is an option. I was like, Atlas, that’s our son. I was like, Can you say a prayer that mommy will be okay? This is a three year old, and he said, The most perfect prayer. It was just like this. Then my wife was like, Atlas, that was the most perfect prayer. Then my wife went to sleep for the last three hours, and then she woke up perfect.

Devin, thank you for coming today. Absolutely. How long have you lived in Utah?

I came here in 2007.

Yes, but you haven’t been here recently.

Yes, I have been.

Oh, you have been? Okay, well, I’m putting words into your mouth. I just haven’t seen you around.

Yeah, no, you’re good.

Okay, so tell me, 2007 you’re here.

Yeah, because I’m from Oregon, Portland, Oregon, and then I came here to go to BYU. Okay. So 2007, my whole thing was I want to go to a film program and I’m going to be a filmmaker. That was a mindset since I can remember. And I did the whole thing first year, BYU, and then I applied to the film program and I got rejected. So it was the most heartbreaking thing because you can only apply twice in the film program. After two times, you can’t apply again.

Is there still a cap? It’s still a cap.

Because they just want people to apply. Because so many people are wanting to apply and they only want the best of the best. So I was volunteering on everyone’s shoot. So I was like, and the only reason I’m here at BYU right now is to do the film program. I am going to be a filmmaker. There’s nothing in between for me. And I got rejected. So I cried and I called my parents with a balling and did that whole thing. And then I was like, Hey, I’m going to do it again. And I just volunteered times a thousand on everyone’s shoot again. And then I applied and then I got in. So then it was like, Okay, I got this. But for me, it was like, always, I wanted to go to BYU and I wanted to be in the film program. That was a big deal.

For me. The film program… One of my best friends is a professor now. He wasn’t there in 2007. He’s a professor now. I knew the head, Lefler. Yes, Tom Lefler. He’s my best friend’s wife’s father. Okay. I know him pretty well.

Yeah, I love Tom Lefler. He was one of the people that’s very intimidating because he’s so good at what he does. He’s the one that determines if you get accepted, one of the people. Yes, he’s the gatekeeper. He was always terrifying me, but I learned to love him and understand him. I honestly feel like the reason I have success is because of all the rejection I’ve gotten throughout my whole life. But even in my senior year at BYU in the film program, I applied for my capstone. All my friends got their senior project approved, and mine was one of the only ones that got rejected for my senior project.

Why? Why are.

They doing this? It was too ambitious. One of the other reasons, though.

Which is not surprising knowing your.

Career now. Yeah, something like that. But the other reason was because I am naturally really shy. I’m an extreme introvert and I was relying on everyone else around me to lead the conversation and lead the discussion. I had my whole team of the producers, the writers, and I was looking at them to answer the questions for me. They’re like, If you’re going to direct this and you’re going to lead this team, you have to be the one fully in charge. For me, I got rejected for my senior project. I was totally heartbroken and like, What? Where do I fit in this world of filmmakers? Because I am a shy introvert. Then I had opportunity to go to Hawaii to do a documentary. Then I was like, Okay, I’m just going to drop out for now, hopefully come back. Then I ended up going to Hawaii. It all happened that way. But through going to Hawaii, that’s when I discovered my own voice and gained my own confidence through that.

Okay, I want to talk about that. Did you ever finish?

I haven’t finished.

I never did either. I went to the commercial music program and I started… They were having me do assignments that I was getting paid by clients to do professional. I’m like, I think I’ve capped out. I don’t know. It’s the same thing.

It’s like… No, it’s very similar. I have a year left, but it’s just a couple of classes. I actually taught at BYU for a year as an adjunct professor on social media. Oh, cool. Then then a couple of months ago, I spoke at this huge presentation thing for BYU for the whole theater media arts major. So for me, I’ve had so many opportunities. And then they sent me down like, Devon, you’re so close to graduating. We just got to figure this out so we can get you out of here. I want my kids to know that their dad graduated, but at the same time, to stop everything we’re doing for the next year is like, that’s also a scary thing to do.

Are they making it really easy for you, or are they going to make you do.

The requirements? We haven’t dived into it. I think it’d be a medium ground because I know they want me to still do something for it, not just get the deployment thing. But I feel like I’ve proven myself and done my time within the system and everything, but I know there’s still a couple of core things I’d have to get done.

Yeah. Okay, so present day, when I hear Devin super tramp, I think of just epic, ambitious YouTube videos. Yeah. Okay. Tell me about your first one and your thoughts. How did you get into… Because also I read on Wikipedia that you wanted to be a filmmaker, do features. Yeah. Is this true? This is true. This is true. Have you made a feature yet? I haven’t. No. This is so fascinating. So why haven’t you? And then what did you do instead? Yeah.

So the goal is to do Hollywood films. I’d say Jurassic Park is the most iconic film in my life. I want to make Jurassic Park. I want to make Star Wars, Indiana Jones, those type of films. That was the goal. That was a dream while I was going to film school. And then 2009, 2010, my roommate at the time, his name is Jeff Harmon. He started a company called Vid Angel and the Harmon Brothers and stuff like that. That’s so crazy. Yeah. So him and another guy named Austin Craig, who was in the marketing at BYU and a lot of that type of stuff, they were like, Devin, you need to start doing YouTube videos. That’s going to be the future of filmmaking. I was like, I don’t want to do a little teeny video and put it on YouTube. He was like, Devin, you got to jump on YouTube. Then my friend Dave Peterson, we all at the same time cross passed. Dave Peterson was like, We each ould do a song featuring one of our songs and go up to Alpine and do a bike jump. They showed us a clip, Jeff Harmon, my roommate at the time, and it was a guy or a girl hitting the bike jump there.

It had like two million views. If you did it with Dave’s song and your style of cinematography, I think that’ll be huge on YouTube. I’d be like, Okay, I’ll give it a shot. I did that video and then put it on YouTube and then all of a sudden, the first day got 1,000 views. Then a couple of days later, it was 400,000 views. Then all of a sudden, different companies from all around the world started reaching out to me. It was like instant success, which I know is normally not the case. But it was like the first one we really did blew up. With that said, though, is I had a couple of other YouTube channels throughout three, four years before that. Nothing ever happened with that. But it was like, started my own YouTube channel again, third time, third channel. And then that’s when it blew up from doing that video.

What do you call the channel? What was it.

Originally called? I started my mission in Jamaica and I love snowboarding, so my first channel was called Snow Jamaica. And then the second one I started my own little production company. It’s called Greenlight Films. The channel was called that. And then the third one was called Devon Supertramp. And the whole idea for that was I had just finished reading a book called Into the Wild. Yeah, I know. Well, yeah. It’s about a guy named Alexander or Christopher candles. And his whole thing was, I want to go to Alaska to live my dreams.

And alone.

Yes.

Yeah, like explore.

Exactly that. And then he ends up dying. So it’s like a tragedy story. But the whole thing that was like going for your dreams and fighting for it. My whole thing was like, I wanted to live my dreams of making films. So when he went for his dreams, he called himself Alexander super tramp. So I’m like, Hey, I’m going to do this. I’m just going to create a YouTube channel. It was just like two o’clock in the morning thing. I need a channel because we’re going to have it go live tomorrow. He’s like, Devin, super tramp. We did that. Then the whole debate was like, do we put this on the music channel? Can’t stop on chat? Stop who was the YouTube channel? Or do we put it on ours? We’re like, Well, I’m going to keep on doing videos, and they might do a couple. We ended up putting it on my channel, which changed the game for me. But yeah, put that up, not really expecting a whole lot coming from it. It was just really like, I didn’t own a camera.

Dude, but it was a pretty high production… I mean, in my opinion, when I saw it for the first time, because I grew up in Alpine and I was telling you before we started recording, my childhood bike is in the bottom of that pond. But it seemed like it was done really, really well by a pro. I mean, that was my perception when I first saw it. How do you feel now looking back?

I’m still super proud of it. We filmed it on a DSLR camera, a Canon 5D Mark II. And at the time, Jeff Harmon, my roommate, they had just started a company called Aura brush. It was a tongue cleaner. And we were already doing all these YouTube videos for that channel. They were already blowing up. I was already in the ecosystem of YouTube and understanding that power. I just borrowed their camera for that shoot. It was like everything was done on a zero dollar budget. We posted on Facebook just to get random people there that showed up, Hey, bring your own bikes, bring some buories so they don’t sink. We ended up making the video. But it was literally just me and a couple of friends making a video for fun, putting it on YouTube, and then it ended up blowing up. It was a calculated thing as far as we’ve seen someone else do it and be successful, but the quality wasn’t very good. It was like, What can we do to spice it up and take it to the next level?

Do you think YouTube’s peaked as far as usage and the appeal of YouTube? Do you think it’s peaked or is it still going.

To peak? I feel it’s the gold rush when I got in, the California Gold Rush where you get to California first. So I got the gold or whatever it is. And then some people came and still find gold, but it’s a lot harder. There’s a lot more noise. Before, there’s very few videos that were high quality. It was just the blogging and people talking to the camera. Ours was full scale productions on a zero dollar budget. So it definitely made us stand out drastically more. People reached out to me and said, Hey, from that video, big camera company at the time, Flipped Cameras, they’re like, Devin, we want to hire you to shoot a nationwide TV commercial. So I’m like, Okay. And this is me as a BYU student. I uploaded that video and then I moved to Hawaii. So it all happened really fast.

Were you able to move to Hawaii because of the money you made from the video?

No, because I wasn’t monetizing that channel. At that time, it took a lot to be able to actually monetize that thing. Now it’s a different story, but I hadn’t set that up and I didn’t have enough subscribers at the time. But I remember getting one subscriber, then like, oh, 10 subscribers, now 200 subscribers, and oh, a million subscribers. It all happened.

Fairly fast. How many subscribers do you have right now?

6.2 million ish on YouTube.

It’s ridiculous. That’s amazing.

Yeah, slowly building.

It up. Okay, so you had success, like, really your first thing that you tried.

Yeah. And with that said is, on that channel, I had uploaded two other videos. One of them was a family vacation with my parents and my brothers and sister in Canada. I did that video and the comments were really nice, but it didn’t blow up. I had other little teeny video of a little boy running through a field and looked like Africa, so I call it like Fields of Africa. But that was technically my third, fourth video that I’d uploaded, and then that’s the one that blew up.

Okay. Do you feel like it’s a blessing or curse that you had success that early? Or is it a little both? How do you react to such… Because it’s such an unknown, right? It was the gold rush of YouTube.

When I look at it now and I don’t think I looked at it at the time this way, but it’s like, I don’t feel like I got lucky and had success. I look at my entire life of filming on every shoot I had volunteered on. My whole life had built up for that, where it wasn’t like I just got lucky and won the lottery. It was like I was filming every day before that for free. I wasn’t getting paid. I was on every student film at BYU, Oh, they don’t have a job for me? Hey, can I cook the food for everybody? I was doing whatever I could. So it wasn’t like I had built my whole life to prepare for that moment. Then when the opportunity came, I was ready because I had done everything to prepare for it.

Dude, that is so rad. Okay, so you moved to Hawaii and you’re single, right? I’m single. How old are you at this time?

27.

Okay, so you’re having fun, you’re single, you moved to Hawaii.

What did you do there? I got offered to do a documentary in Hawaii on a surf photographer named John Mozo. Six months before that, we had shot a video for BYU Independent study there. I was like, I’d love to come to Hawaii and film more stuff here, but I have to have a reason. I can’t just go to hang out because that’s not my personality. Then during that time, I got a call and they’re like, Hey, Devon, there’s this really cool documentary that they think you’d be awesome for, someone I had connected pass with through talking. They was like, They have a budget. They’ll have cameras, all the equipment you’ll need. I’m like, Amazing. This is perfect time to come. I just got rejected for my senior project at BYU. They got me a flight out there and I got there. Then they’re like, Actually, the money and everything just fell through. We don’t have a budget for anything. I was like, Shoot, what are we going to do? I was living at their house for free and it was like a college house. There was seven other BYU Hawaii students. Then I was there, no money, and they didn’t have any funding.

I just uploaded that video and it started getting views. Then I was able to monetize and start making some money from it. But my roommate, he had a camera, I think it’s Canon 7D, so it wasn’t this big, expensive camera. While I was on stand by, figuring things out, I would just start filming the BYU Hawaii students because they do all these crazy fun, exciting things. I just started shooting them and uploading it onto my YouTube channel. Then those videos started getting millions and millions of views as well.

Dude, you just took the initiative and you said, I’m sitting here, there’s no budget for this project. I’m just going to go out and start students having fun.

Oh, my gosh. Okay. None of this would have happened because I wasn’t waiting for someone to call and reach out to me to create opportunity. I was like, I love filming. And if I’m not filming, I’m going to be filming something else, even if there’s no purpose to it, just to learn and grow.

From it. What a freaking lesson to people who have a passion for something instead of waiting for the budget for the client. That’s all the coolest projects that I’ve ever done in the most success I’ve had. And the future jobs that I get is from the ones that I do on my own, my.

Passion project. Oh, yeah, 100.

Percent of 100 %. No doubt that is what got me the big jobs that I have. You know what I’m saying? It’s so true. So it’s cool to see the.

Pattern in your life as well. The biggest opportunities I’ve got in my career have been from doing things for free. Example that I was talking about earlier, I don’t know how we’re going to get here, but for me, I wanted to make a drastic park film. So I was living in Hawaii, this was six years ago now because I moved back to Utah after that. Then I moved back to Hawaii again for a year once I got married, read. But I was like, I’m just going to make a drastic park fan film, and I don’t have a budget, so I’m going to use a big inflatable dinosaur costume. I use my wife and just a couple of local friends in Hawaii. I did that video, I put it on YouTube. Then a month later, Universal pictures reached out to me and said, Devin, we saw this video. We want to hire you to promote the new Jurassic World, Fallen Kingdom film. We just want to give you the budget you need, the resources you need. I was like, This is a dream come true. I did that video, ended up getting 40 million views for them.

Then it got over 100 million views on Facebook for them.

Why so many more there?

Two different platforms, two different algorithms. The algorithms always change. I never know anymore. I just create what I’m passionate about and hopefully.

Something happens. What a good lesson instead of worrying about algorithms.

I’ve decided to not chase it anymore because I’m not excited about it anymore. I just feel depressed about it, I think.

You mean numbers?

Yeah, because the numbers aren’t there like they used to be. I could try and chase the numbers and not create something I’m passionate about, not proud of. And if nothing happens with it, I’m still sad about it. But if I create something I’m passionate about it, at least I’m still happy and proud of something, even if it doesn’t take off. Amen. So I was lucky in this case, though, with that video. And then they hired me to do one for drastic world fallen kingdom. Then they hired me to do one for just like World Fallen Kingdom. Then they hired me to do one for Dressy World Dominion. And then I got to work with the main actors in cast.

Did you meet Chris Pratt?

I didn’t meet Chris Pratt. We saw Chris Pratt, but Sam Neil, who was in the original drastic park, huge fan, we got to meet him.

Dude, Doctor What’s his doctor?

No, Eam Malcolm’s the other guy who we met as well. Jeff Goldblum? Yeah, we met the whole cast. And then we got to film with Bryce Dallas Howard. She’s awesome. Then one of the main girl is in it, the new one in the new movie, Djanda, we also got to film her. And so it was like we had this amazing opportunity on this back lot at Universal Studios. And then after that, then they hired us to do one for Fast and the furious nine. So I got to work with Tyrese, Jordana Brewster, who’s the main girl from Fast and the furious. And then SONG, he’s the Asian guy that’s always eating chips. You know Han? Han? Yeah, that’s his name.

Just saw.

Fast 10. Okay, yeah, I haven’t seen Fast 10 yet. Song is his real name, though. So I got to have them in my video as well. And we got to do this really cool street race scene with the RC car. And we actually made a jet engine car. We filmed that with the show’s actors for our promo video. And then we got to do one for First Man. These are all universal picture movies. So then I got to train to be an astronaut. I got to work with Ryan Gosling, Damon Shigel, the director for that film who also did La La Land. So from doing a fan film, they saw universal pictures. Then I just did put my whole heart into it. Then they kept on hiring me for all their different franchises that they think would be a good fit.

Dude, this is unreal. Do you want more? Are you like, The next tier is this. How do you feel about your career, the trajectory at this point?

You asked earlier about the goal was Hollywood feature films, but it’s shifted because I get to work with these Hollywood films, but I’m in control of the film and the story I’m making. So instead of directing a Hollywood film, which would be amazing, but at the same time, that also means I’m gone from my family for five or six months. So now that I have a family, I look at that different because when I leave for two weeks now and I come back, it’s like we have a three year old and he’s dressed up sically a different person. It’s different for different people. But I feel for me right now with what I’m seeing with my own family is I don’t want to miss those opportunities because it’s already hard being gone for two weeks for me. So for me, I still get to work with brands that I love and do things I love and be in control of the things I love. But across the board, I found out is, n intendo for me was the ultimate brand to work with because I grew up with a nintendo and zelda and Mario, and I did a big Mario cart video that I funded, put it on YouTube and it got millions and millions of views.

Then n intendo reached out to me to do two commercials for them and do a full sponsored video for Smash Brothers, which was my favorite video game. I do films on things I’m passionate about. A lot of the times, those companies see it and then they hire me to do more things.

How do you day to day not let things get to your head, stay grounded? How do you do that? Because we see when people get success, there’s usually two paths. You can go the one way or the other. You’ve obviously stayed pretty grounded. You got married, you’re having a child, you have a kid, you’re on the way.

Yeah, in two weeks.

Yeah. Congrats. It’s amazing. You have this beautiful family. How do you stay grounded? I don’t know if you consider yourself grounded. I would say you are, but I want to know.

How you do this. I still look at myself. I hate to say this, like, almost that sounds too negative, but almost like a failure because I feel like every week I’m having to reinvent myself and constantly fail and constantly get rejected because I’m constantly putting myself out there. And anything I release, I’m putting my heart into it. But I was picked on so hardcore growing up from kids at school and stuff like that. So I feel like going into it, I was so already down trodden and I’m not capable of this and constantly getting rejected. I think all those things have made it so I can do what I do now because I faced all that rejection and I have a harder shell because of it. But it’s like I released a video this week and it bombarded om. Now I’m on an all time low. Then I released another video and it does okay. But I put my heart into it and I put everything I have into it. I’m feeling down and then I do one video and it pops but then the next week, the next video drops. I feel every week I’m just getting hammered.

There’s no way I don’t think I could just be like, I’m on top of the world. What I found, too, when I have these goals and these dreams is you hit that dream, you hit that goal but then you have higher dreams and higher goals. You never really get to where you want to get because your horizon just expands and gets bigger and bigger.

Do you know Jeremy Warner? Yes. Okay, he’s a good buddy. Yeah, he’s awesome. College roommates, we live in the same house.

He actually in our Smash Brothers video, actually. Oh, yeah. He was one of the people playing in it.

Yeah. That’s right. Okay, so he was on a couple of weeks ago, a month ago. And he was saying that he was like, I don’t know how old he was, 28 or something. He found his old journal and he had accomplished every goal that he set. And he’s like, Well… Well. And then he had the realization of it’s not about the goals, it’s about how you do every day life. It’s how you… Do you want to speak on that? Because it sounds like you’re very affected by the wins and losses.

As.

We all are. But you obviously are a stable human being because you’re getting back up you’re not stopping. Congrats on that. Once again, how do you do that? How are you able to overcome the bummer of a video bombing? It’s actually the same. It’s actually the same emotion, the spectrum of being bummed out and then being excited. You know what I’m saying? How do you want to keep going? Are you inspired by ideas? Is it because you have a family now? What’s driving you now?

After my mission, I got home, I was like, I’m going to make movies. I made a movie with a lot of the people from my singles ward. I was like, I’m so proud of it. This is amazing. I premiered it at the church. I got 200 people there. I had DVDs to sell to everybody, and I made a ton of them, 40 or 50 of them. And after that premiere, it was silent and no one liked the movie. And it was very clear no one liked the movie. No one even bought a DVD. I remember leaving that day and thinking, I’m not made to make movies. I just remember feeling so discouraged. I went home crying. I was ashamed because I had all my friends and people from the singles ward in it. I was like, They all think this is awful. I don’t even remember if anyone even patted me on the back and said, Well, that was good. It just wasn’t there. I think everyone left like, This wasn’t good. I don’t know. But I remember a week later, after I’d gone through the grief or whatever you want to call it, I was like, Oh, but I love it and I’m going to create and I’m going to figure it out.

And then I ended up spending another year creating it. It was a dance mockumentary about dancing, becoming illegal. It’s like footloose vibes, but mockumentary documentary style. And then a year later, I premiered it. But this time I premiered it in a movie theater. I could run it out of old fashioned movie theater. And I got 400 people there. And then I made a bunch of money where I used that money to fund me going to BYU a month later. So for me, I had this awful experience. And then I was like, Hey, well, I’m going to figure it out because I love it. Regardless of if I have the views or not, I’m still going to be creating. And I even see that now, whereas, okay, the views aren’t there like they used to be. But I’m still going to create what I love to do because it’s instilled in me. And it’s like, I’m always going to be… I’m not the one to retire. To me, retiring is not a real thing. It’s just like I’m just going to create it as long as I can. Anything I make goes right back into production.

I don’t know if that fully answers the question, but for me, it’s just like…

It does. I’m going to make an observation. You can tell me if I’m wrong. I think one of your strengths is that you fill your feelings and you let the feelings go. It sounds like you’ve cried a bunch in your life. I think that’s actually a real big strength because you’re not saying, Oh, that’s okay. And you’re bottling it up and then letting that wound fester. Men tend to let that fester, and they have a bad experience. And then that’s like this pain point in their life that they’re not going to revisit again because it was so painful. I think one of your strengths is you let that go. You felt it and you cried it out and you moved on because your core value was you love making art. Instead of trying to avoid pain and humiliation, you love that more. What would you say to someone who’s not necessarily doing YouTube, but someone who’s doing something in the creative industry and they’re not having a ton of success yet, but they know they have that deep rooted knowing that they have a gift and there’s ups and downs and they’re trying to figure it out.

Or maybe this, how about if you were to put your arm around yourself before when you were having a hard time in college, what would you tell yourself?

Trying to think of something profound to say.

No, I don’t want profound. I’m just like, What would you…

No, I think for me, it’s been like being surrounded by good people has been a huge part of it. I was lucky because I had incredible parents. My mom and dad, they never questioned, Can you make a living off of that? They’re like, Do what you love to do. And they always knew I loved making movies, so they’ve never questioned it. I just remember we didn’t have a ton of money, but my dad took what we had and he bought me a Mac computer so I could be editing our videos while going at film school because everyone else had Mac computers. And it was like, That was a big deal for me. But for me, it’s just been every amount of success I’ve seen in my life is because I surround myself with other people that believe in me. Even if they don’t see the things I’m doing, they’re like, hey, he’s really passionate about it. I still want to help this kid out. And even to this day, it’s like people believe in me and I believe in other people. But the more I can help build other people, like the first video that we did is with…

Can’t stop, won’t stop. They’re like the music people.

Yeah, Dave’s on the podcast. Okay. Those listening, you know David. He was on a month ago.

But him, he ended up doing 30, 40 songs for me. Maybe not 40, but a lot of songs for our YouTube videos. We were both benefiting from it. He was able to make a living through iTunes sales at the time and everything like that. I was able to get cool videos with awesome songs. It’s like as we both build up each other, both put in our talent. For me, I think what I say is don’t be afraid of other people. Don’t look at anyone as competition. It’s like, how can I help build them?

That’s really hard to do, though.

It is hard.

To do. It’s really hard. Can you tell me, tell someone how to not look at people as competition when they’re in the same field. I can talk to that, but I want to hear what you said.

It’s easier said than done. I think a big part of it is having a conversation with them because then you start realizing, oh, they’re not as evil and bad as I thought they were. Because for me, it was like I was doing a lot of extreme sport videos and they started getting millions of views. So some of my other BYU peers started doing it as well. And I’m like.

That’s my ground. They were taking your model?

They’re taking similar model, it’s still putting their own flair on it. One of them was Scott Wayne. He was another filmmaker. I love Scott Wayne, but we went to film school and his thing was his own thing still. He was doing music for our videos, but I still felt like, oh, that’s in my ground. There’s another guy and another…

Did you get a little jealous?

It was like, this is my territory. And another guy, Jamison. I say their names, Jamison Dayton, because I love these people. But I also like when he started doing something very similar to what we were doing, they only did a few videos in this style, but I was like, This is my territory. And then they reached out to me, Devon, can you promote it? Because you have this awesome audience. I’m like, I don’t want to promote it. And then it created a hard feelings. People don’t realize when you have success, everyone jumps to you. And then all of a sudden you start making everyone mad. And all you’re trying to do is do the best you can do because I’m having 20, 30 people say, Devon, share this video, share this video. I’m like, I just can’t do it. But those two people I mentioned, Scott and Jamison, it created weird feelings. But then once we actually sat down and had a real conversation, I was like, Okay, we’re on the same team. And then those feelings just went away. But it’s hard to have those face to face conversations because I’m not a confrontational person.

But once I had those conversations and I’m like, Okay, these are people that I love. And I talked to Scott Wynne a couple of weeks ago and it’s like, I was helping him out with this, or he’ll help me out with this. I’ve learned that 99.9 % of anyone that you deal with in the creative space, they’re not there to try and destroy you. And it doesn’t matter at the end of the day, when they have success, I have success as well. So it’s been really cool. But it hasn’t been an overnight thing that I’ve learned that or realized that. But having a face to face conversation has definitely changed the game as far as, oh, they’re just people too trying to figure it out.

Okay. Awesome lesson. Anything else you would say to your younger self, which is essentially you’re just teaching us on the podcast. You’re just telling us. And it doesn’t have to relate to creative things. Just what has Devin Superchamp learned in his life about a career with high highs and low lows?

Yeah. A big part of I feel the success I have seen is because I’ve stayed true to the standards of the gospel. It was like everything that we create still has that taste of the standards, even if it’s not in your face. But I feel I’ve had so many amazing opportunities because of that. I earlier on in my career, Budweiser reached out to me and said, Hey, Devon, we have this huge budget. It was the biggest budget I’ve ever seen. We want to hire you to do a full Budweiser thing. But it’s like, That’s not who I am. I was like, That’s a.

Lot of money. How did you feel turning that down?

It was actually not as hard as you’d think. Maybe you think it’d be easy. I don’t know. But for me, it was like, we’re doing pretty okay at that time anyway. So it wasn’t a do or die thing. But it felt good because I was I chose what my standards were. I already committed to my standards before I even was on YouTube. So it was like, oh, because I’ve seen so many people change that. But I already said in a stone like, this is my rule book, this is the way I’m going to play it. And so when I’ve had those opportunities, I’ve already chosen it. So it’s fairly easy to say no. And then a couple of years later, Disney came to us and it was for Pete’s Dragon. On their rule book on Disney, one of the rules to work with Disney for this project was I couldn’t have worked with an alcohol beverage. So now I have this really awesome opportunity for Disney. So it’s just been really cool like that. I had a gnarly one. We were filming a video with the NFL, and this is in Florida with the NFL I’m in the middle of the NFL Stadium.

Which stadium? The Miami Dolphins. Buccaneers?

No, Miami Dolphins. Yeah. There’s two of them. Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Jacksonville Jaguars.

Maybe it was Jaguars. I think it was Jaguars. So in the middle of the stadium, and we’re filming with all the cheerleaders there. This is for Panasonic Project, but it was also for our YouTube channel. And they all come out. And for me, too, it’s been keeping things family friendly and modest. And the outfits that all the girls came out with were just like, h. So I walked up to the coach and I was like, I can’t feature this on my channel. This isn’t who I am. She’s like, Well, sex sells and this is what sells for us.

Did she literally say sex sells?

It was something to that effect. I’m not saying a direct quote. Which is so cliche. It’s just funny if she did say that. This is me talking like the woman head cheerleader or the captain or whatever it is and organizing all the women. S he’s like, Well, you’re out here and we’re all out here so this is what we’re capturing. I went to a couple of other people on my team like, I’m not sure what we’re going to do about this. I go back out there and this is me and I don’t know, 30, 40, 50 women all there dressed not very for my audience.

Dude, that feel so awkward because it was just you and all these women? Or did you have a team?

I had a team there, but it was still me in picture, like an empty stadium and me with all these women in a big line. And I’m like, everyone here is very beautiful. And I did this and I feel like the most now literally, I said a prayer beforehand in my head and I thought, I need help. I don’t know what I’m going to do about this. This isn’t going to work for my… I’m not going to feel comfortable doing this. I said, so, women, you’re all very beautiful. But the goal for this video is we want every one across the world to see it despite their beliefs, despite it being Christian or Muslim. P art of that will be to make it family friendly. It was done in, I think, the most hateful way it could have been done. I said, In order for that to do it, we’ll just need to cover up some. I really believe that this is going to make a huge difference. A ll the women started nodding. They’re all cool with it? They’re all cool with it. They all went in, they came out, and then they had their jackets on.

That’s what we ended up shooting. The video has, I don’t know, 14, 15 million views. It just blew up across the world. But it was done in a way where it wasn’t like, because of my standards of what I believe in. Nothing felt weird about it. It just felt like a naturally organic way. But it was just like this weird thought of this shy introvert talking and commanding, essentially. This is the way it’s going to be. But in a way that was respectful to them as well.

Did you feel like you had the words given to you, or did you know what to say?

I never know the words to say. 100 % it was help from a higher power. I just feel I’ve seen it so many times, though. But I established that. When I’ve had, we did a huge ad campaign for Arupa Tourism, it was the same type of thing. I’ve learned, actually, I have a rule book now where anytime I think their brand might be a little bit questionable of what they want to do, I say, these are the rules that we follow, and this is how it’s going to be if you want to work with us. T hey’ve never said no because of it. T hen it just makes it easier and avoids any awkward conversation. But I’ve established, okay, this is why I’m going to do this. I think one of the big things I’ve had that mindset is on my mission, we’re trying to help the guy live a word of wisdom.

Not everyone who listens.

Yeah. Word of wisdom in our church is abstaining from alcohol, marijuana, harmful substances. One of the guys was I can’t remember, I think he was smoking a pack of cigarettes a day. We’re like, How do we help this guy? My mission president, he’s like, Well, why don’t you smoke? I was like, Well, because I know it’s not healthy. He’s like, That’s not why you don’t smoke. What he pointed out to me is there’s a time in my life where I was like, This is how I’m going to live my life. By making that decision, then you decide every day to keep on living that. I feel like with what I’ve done with YouTube and social media is by having success, I’ve also determined that I’m going to live this standard, and this standard is important to me. Like the conversation I had with my mission president about I made that decision that this is how I’m going to be and this is the way I’m going to live no matter what. So I made it so I don’t have to make that decision and have that stress because I’ve already determined that decision before I’m put in those awkward situations.

This might be a weird question, but how would you feel if you got into a situation you went against your standards? How do you think you’d feel after?

Not good.

Yeah.

Yeah, I don’t have anything else with that. I had a really cool opportunity where I… One of the richest people in New Zealand is a guy named Kim. Com. He changed his name legally to Kim. Com.

Like DOT?

Like a website. That’s so funny. He’s like, Hey, Devon, I’m a huge fan of your work. I want to fly you out to New Zealand first class. I’ve never flown first class before. I want to just give you the ultimate experience. He said, You can fly any friend. I flew the girl I was dating at the time. We got there. It was really important to me that we didn’t stay in the same room. We had this massive mansion. It put us in two different rooms and we spent the full two weeks with them. He had a private helicopter so we could just take the helicopter wherever we wanted in New Zealand. While we were there, Black IPs were there because they were recording an album with them. Natashah Bedingfield was there. They were there as well staying in there. He’s just a fan of art or creators. So we spent two weeks with them and we were at the pool with, like, Natasha Beddington film, this super rich guy, the biggest mansion in New Zealand. And he stops and he looks at us and he’s a big family guy. He’s like five or six kids.

And he’s like, I’ve noticed something about you guys. I’m like, Oh, no. What’s going to happen? Is he going to not happy with us? And he’s like, You guys don’t swear. You guys don’t drink. And you guys are staying in two separate rooms. He’s like, You guys are living in a different rule book that I’ve ever seen. He’s like, And that’s what I want for my kids. So it’s just this really cool where we weren’t pushing our religion or anything. But then we had full conversation about God and our view of God. And it was done in this really amazing, awesome way. And it was just from living what we knew, what we had decided how we were going to live. And it rubbed off. It was like this conversation with Black Eye Pees and Natasha Bedingfield and I was all in the swimming pool. And I.

Was like… Wait, the Black Eye Pees were part of the.

Conversation, too? Part of the conversation as well. Prince from the Black Eye Pees. I don’t know if you know who he is, but it was like the whole Black Eye Pees, but it was one of the main guys for it. So it was like this stressful thing, but it was this really cool opportunity to talk about it openly. And it was like he respected it because he saw that it was important to us and that we were staying true to it.

Dude, incredible.

But I’ve had a lot of those larger than life experiences.

Yeah, you’ve been really influential for a lot of people, whether you want that or not. That’s on your shoulders. And so you’re doing a really good job.

But I went to Nepal and it was the same conversation as they were like, You guys are always happy. And they said, There’s been one film crew that’s come through here, and it was for a show called Meet the Mormons. And I was like, They were so happy, too. And just good people. And I was like, Yes. They were planting seeds. And it was like, People before us were already doing it. So it’s just cool scene. And then by us doing it, too, they realized we’re not weird people. We’re just trying to figure it out, too. But it is important to us to live those standards. But for me, it’s like… And I’m never preachy or very little… I never want to be people’s face, but I’m like, I live the standards of the church. I’m not going to preach in your face, which maybe sometimes I need to do it a little bit more. But I want people to know that we’re normal people. We struggle. We’re trying to figure it out. But we’re also like, we’re cool too. So it’s been a really cool opportunity, I feel, to see that. And I feel so much right now is there so many people falling this way or that way with so many different voices.

I was like, No, there’s still believers out there and they know and they’re fully convicted. Because you’ve had this one experience or this or that, that doesn’t mean it’s not true. It’s just been really cool. We do have a voice and the people that believe too also need to be speaking.

About it. Dude, I totally agree. That’s why this podcast exists. I felt like I had to. I didn’t really want to, but I’m going to do it. Just a couple more questions. I want to know, what video are you most proud of? W hat one, if you had to say, this is my favorite so far, which one is it?

I have another kid on the way, so I can’t fully say, but I imagine, to me, videos are like my kids where each one of them is so different and unique. You love them all. Totally, I get it. And each one of them is a drastically different experience. Every one of them is hard to create. And every one of them, a lot of them, I put my heart and all my money into it, and then it bombs. And then I hate the video, even though I loved it right before I released it. But I think if I were to say, I had a couple of… They’re usually in my more personal ones. I’ve done a lot with my dad, where we’ll go out and travel. We did the Great Bear Rainforest, all these amazing places. I took my wife to the Bahamasas, and we did a summering thing for another video. The ones that are the most meaningful are the ones where I have meaningful experiences, especially with family, whether it’s my dad, whether it’s the first YouTube video I did or one of the first videos I did was this camping trip in Canada with my siblings and my parents.

That one’s a super important one. It wasn’t because I’m way more professional than I was a 11, 12, 13 years ago. But it was just like, no pressure doing what I love with the people that I love. So I think that all plays into it.

Big time. Dude, how cool is that? It’s your family videos, which tells me where your core values are. So that’s awesome. Okay, so two more questions. Any last things you want to say before we wrap? And then I have one last question. Remember, the goal of the podcast is to help our fellow brothers feel less alone in their struggles and then to showcase guys living lives with the divine.

Yeah. I think for me, it’s like, you have success this week or you get your paycheck this week and then next week you don’t. So for me, it’s really just I think one of the things that’s helped me through all that is I heard this in, I want to say high school, but the difference between a rich man and a poor man, and this goes for physical wealth, this goes for spiritual wealth, any type of thing you’re going for in your life, is a rich man plans four years in advance and a poor man plans for the weekend. I’ve just seen that so true is the things that matter most and are going to make the biggest difference are the things you’re not doing on the weekends. I’m going to party with my friends on the weekend. When I was going to BYU on the weekends, I was filming on film shoots. I was studying filmmaking. The things that matter spiritually, too, are the things it’s all the bigger picture. It’s knowing today is going to suck or tomorrow is going to suck and I’m going to be crying. We just moved. We’ve gone through all these hard things.

This new baby we have dropping soon, baby girl in two weeks. We had two miscarriages to get to that point. The last one we lost was a three-month old baby. Then we had a miscarriage. It was like we held our little baby boy and he didn’t make it. I’m okay with it now. But it was just like, all these hard things lead up to this moment. Then it’s like now it makes perfect sense. It has so much more meaning because of it. It’s like high school was off fool. I didn’t have any friends. I had very few friends. But now looking back at it, I understand and I’m so much better because of it. Just knowing the bigger picture, planning four years in advance has really changed my mindset that trials and tribulations are mandatory, but misery is an option. I really think that’s a true principle as far as it’s just like finding it’s not easy. The reality is people are like, Oh, he knows what he’s doing. He’s had success. But it’s like, I’m making it up as I go every week, every day. But for me, it’s just staying close to Christ.

That’s always been huge for us. Luckily, I have this incredible wife that also is so in tune with that. Thinking about it now, it makes me emotional, but that’s been so important to her and so important to me. And it’s like now we want our son to have that. My wife was actually really sick. I almost called you and I’m like, I think I’m going to have to cancel on him. She was throwing up all night. And then my wife was in tears this morning and I was like, Atlas, that’s our son. I was like, Can you say a prayer that mommy will be okay? And this is a three year old. And he said, The most perfect prayer. It was just like this. And then my wife was like, Atlas, that was the most perfect prayer. Then my wife went to sleep for the last three hours and she woke up perfect. So it’s cool to see my son’s like, he could see. And not necessarily that any prayer instantly works, just add water there. But my son got to see that firsthand. It’s been really cool. Yesterday when my son fell down from his bike, he was in tears.

Okay, Alex, is it okay that I say a prayer? And then we said a prayer and we’ve instilled that in him, that whenever something’s hard, we say prayer as a family. So then this opportunity came today, this morning, that he could pray for my wife and he got to see that miracle take place. And we also got to see, for me, it’s like, I want to have a better family. I want to be known as a better dad than a better filmmaker. So for me, just balancing that, balance is really hard, especially in the world of social media where it takes everything from you. But the family is most important to me. I want to be known as this incredible dad instead of this person on social media. So even as I had a family, I feel like my social media following has dropped, but that’s okay because my family has risen in 20 years, 30 years from now. I won’t have regrets with my family. I won’t have regrets with my film because I had this incredible family through that.

I hope you enjoyed this episode. More importantly, I hope you feel closer to your creator. If you find yourself wanting to strengthen your relationship with God, I’m a huge fan of the Skylight app. It’s full of beautiful, high quality daily spiritual practices. Finally, never forget, in all things, God works for the good of those who love him.

 

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