As the corporate side of my business continues to grow alongside the development of my YouTube/Instagram presence, I often think back to the online collaborations that served as building blocks for what I have now managed to turn into a fairly significant social media following (377K+ subscribers!). Without a doubt, the opportunities provided to me by my early online partners gave me the ability to make my name known across a number of internet platforms.
One of my earliest significant collaborative efforts was with YouTube giant Slo-Mo Guys in September of 2017. After a successful cut with Dude Perfect, Dan and Gav of Slo-Mo Guys invited me out to Los Angeles to perform some of my card-throwing stunts; the special aspect of this filming, of course, would be the state-of-the-art technology implemented by the camera team. Through cutting edge devices known as Phantom Cameras, the Slo Mo Guys are able to capture all recorded action in extreme slow motion (not unlike the techniques used for my performance on “Time Warp” almost 8 years ago). Given the unique chance to see my card throws in this fashion, I quickly accepted the opportunity and jumped on a plane out to LA.
Upon arriving in LA I found Dan and Gav to be very warm, likable, and welcoming hosts – they expressed their excitement in filming with me during our lunch in the trailer before filming. Between shots I managed to fit in a couple of magic tricks that they both seemed to enjoy!
Through my own work on the platform, I knew that filming on a YouTube channel is actually a very different process from shooting a TV segment; fortunately, however, The Slo Mo Guys had actually been picked up by YouTube Originals and therefore had access to a larger production budget and crew than your average internet film team. Thanks to the Slo Mo Guys’ extensive preparation and attention to detail, we collected footage of me throwing playing cards through a carrot, a piece of celery, and then two pieces of celery (couldn’t quite make it to three!). Although the filming process definitely calls for patience – a 4 minute video took about 1 hour to film – the results were definitely worth it. Given that all of these clips were shot in extreme 4K slow motion, this filming session provided me with some of the coolest footage of my own throws that I have collected to date.
Although we were there for the sole purpose of filming with the Slo-Mo Guys, my friend Billy and I took the opportunity to create some previously unreleased footage which we recently posted to our YouTube channel. We also used our downtime to meet Eli Bishop, the “fastest hand-clapper in the world,” who can fit 18 claps into one second (an even more niche skill than throwing cards!). Eli was kind enough to introduce us to his friend who composes music for League of Legends, which led to a pretty interesting detour – on the way back to the hotel, we took a look around the Riot Games studio where we ran into the creator of “Twisted Fate,” a card-throwing character in the game. Needless to say, we grabbed some footage at the Riot studio as well (which may be posted to YouTube in the near future).
All in all, working with Slo-Mo Guys was a great way to continue our expedition into the world of YouTube virality, and I am incredibly grateful to the whole Slo-Mo Guys team for taking interest in what I do and taking time to film some unique footage with me. Collaborating with them and linking back to my own YouTube page allowed me to continue increasing my subscriber count, and I wouldn’t be where I was today without the enthusiasm of other content creators.
With lots of exciting things to come in the winter months, my team and I look forward to working with other YouTubers to create one-of-a-kind content for the Rick Smith Jr. channel. Be sure to check out my recent video postings here and the Slo-Mo Guys here for tons of cool footage!