True geeks often aspire to be a professional fangirl or fanboy, but Emerson junior Holland Farkas actually is. When Farkas first heard that Geek and Sundry, a popular YouTube video blog that explores geek culture, had posted a contest looking for 10 new video bloggers, she said she was initially hesitant to enter. Farkas, a film production major, said she had dabbled in video blogging, or vlogging, in the past, but described her attempts as too sporadic and unfocused to garner a real following.
Though she may not have been the most experienced vlogger when she began making videos for the contest, Farkas said she has always been well-versed in geek. She noted that her parents raised her on quintessential nerd films like Star Wars, Star Trek, and Spaceballs. Which is why, despite her reluctance, Farkas said her friends encouraged her to enter, recognizing the knowledge she had to offer.
“Holland introduced me to Geek and Sundry,” said friend Ashleigh Heaton, a junior writing, literature, and publishing major, “so when I stumbled across the contest, I posted it on her Facebook wall and said, ‘this could be you!’”
With this support from her friends, Farkas said that she committed to the contest, choosing film as the central theme of her vlogs.
“I went with what I knew,” she said. “I knew that I could talk about film because it is what I am most passionate about.”
Her first submission to the contest was a vlog discussing director Joss Whedon’s recent film version of Much Ado About Nothing. As this was an ambitiously artistic film from a director whose work is generally based in genres of sci-fi and fantasy, it was a perfect choice for Farkas, who said she loves art house films and nerdy ones in equal measure.
Farkas said that her process for creating these videos is simple, and that it has not changed much since winning the contest.
“I watch the film, so the characters and the plot are fresh in my head,” Farkas described, “but from there I really just talk. The only difference now that I’ve won is I need to make sure there is a definite arch of beginning, middle, and end, and be sure to include the usual YouTube jargon urging people to subscribe.”
Professor Wendy Walters said she would argue that Farkas’s videos are much more than that.
“She has a deep and passionate interest in film and can speak in knowledgeable ways about all sorts of films,” said Walters. “She has great insights and shares them in a very infectious way, easily drawing her audience to share in her passion.”
This talent Walters spoke of caught the attention of the judges. Geek and Sundry posts a new vlog every day, touching on everything from geek poetry to gaming, and it does a good job of keeping the material amusing and accessible.
Farkas’ videos fit well with the candid, fun nature of the blog, as she balances intelligent analysis of films with friendly enthusiasm and and obscure trivia facts. The creators of Geek and Sundry saw this potential, and helped Farkas to advance to the final rounds of the contest.
The win is still very new, and the only perk Farkas said she is certain of is that she will receive a button with her name on it. However, she said she is hoping invitations to certain YouTube and geek conventions are in her future, and that someday she will have the opportunity to meet idols such as Felicia Day, the founder of Geek and Sundry, and a nerd icon in her own right.
Farkas’ admiration for Felicia Day goes beyond just a love of her work, and she cites Day’s do-it-yourself model of filmmaking as an inspiration.
“Felicia Day is really a pioneer of this internet television model. Before I watched her show The Guild, I only thought of filmmaking in the classic sense; I just wanted to be on sets,” said Farkas. “Now I’ve begun to realize that this is something that can be pursued as a career.”
McGrath can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.