We were all kids once. That means we each had a favorite toy. Depending on your age that might be the G.I. Joe aircraft carrier or a Howdy Doody puppet. Traditionally toys are something we’re told to out grow. But what kid, or adult for that matter, wouldn’t dream about a job where they got to play with toys for a living?
Paul Hollingsworth is someone who’s been able take his love for LEGO, plus his experience working in the film industry, and turn it into the kind of career that the kid inside all of us dreams of as the mastermind behind Digital Wizard Studios.
“I don’t have an NBC deal or a Universal deal or anything like that,” Paul states matter-of-factly. “But the fact that 16 million people can go watch a movie that we’ve made is pretty incredible.
‘I’ve been making LEGO videos for probably about 20 years now,” says Paul.
“I started doing fun videos and then stopped for a little bit. But then it started up again about six years ago. My friend Brent and I made a LEGO animation for a film festival and we did it in a very short amount of time.”
“We’re both really crafty with VFX. So we were able to build, animate and make a whole movie in 10 days. We ended up winning that film festival and then we made another film, Batman’s Day Off. We won that festival and then just kept making movies on YouTube. I think we made about 12 movies in our first year and Batman’s Day Off ended up getting about a million hits with LEGO animation,” Paul says proudly.
“YouTube is a great distribution platform,” Paul continues. “Because it allows a creator like myself to be able to put things out there and reach an audience that I normally would not be able to hit. And to date I think we’ve got something like 30 or 40 million views on our YouTube channel. Which is pretty incredible for guys who just started making videos off their kitchen table or in their garage or whatnot.”
And what does 30 or 40 million views mean? Paul explains. “The best thing about getting views on YouTube is that there is a tiny bit of monetization. It’s not very much. The other thing it does is it gives us some street cred for being able to make viral videos and tap into a market of what people want.”
“Now, what toy makers want is engaging videos that show their products off in cool and fun ways. So that allows us to get clients like Spin Master or LEGO or Good Morning America and make videos for them in little fun creative ways. That’s how we’ve been able to grow Digital Wizards Studios out from a two man operation in my garage to having 10 to 12 of us here on any project at any given time.”
So how did Paul go from doing these videos for fun into the company he runs today, Digital Wizards Studios?