We are nearing the end of another year, which means that you can expect to see a ton of year-in-review, best-of listicles and mashups popping up all over the Internet.
I thought I’d take introspective turn (I seem to be doing a lot of that lately…) and list some of my favourite gunnarolla videos produced in 2016. I’ve released 80+ videos since January 2016, and looking back, 2016 was the year that I perfected my travel storytelling techniques, experimented with some new formats, and returned to some of the absurd, self-aware content that first made me gunnarolla. I also tried to be a little more meaningful and socially-conscious this year, which you’ll see in videos like Reflection and GameChanger. I definitely feel like I am evolving, and I’m excited to build on some of these techniques and motifs in 2017.
Let me know your favourite in the comments below! 500 fanarolla points if you’ve already seen everything on this list!
12. New Year, Same Awful Society
My first video of 2016, in which I list all the goals and resolutions that I had for the year. It was a much simpler time: Harambe was still alive and a racist Cheeto hadn’t yet been elected President of one of the most powerful nations in the world. Oh well. Pretty happy to see that I accomplished a lot of the things I had set out to do this year!
11. How To Beat Neko Atsume
I’m only including this video as a reminder of that weird place I went to for a couple months, and proof that clickbait really works – with 111,000 views at time of publication, it’s working its way up the list of my Top 20 most viewed videos of all time.
10. San Francisco: Sightseeing Scavenger Hunt
I’d been to San Francisco before, but never like this. My collab with MTL Food Snob was fun and frenetic, and I’m really happy with how this new video format turned out. And so was San Francisco Travel!
9. My Mom Reads Your Racist Comments
I actually had the idea to make this video a long time ago, and with all the talk about diversity and representation this year, I knew it was finally time to follow through.
8. The Last Recorder
There were numerous recorder videos this year (and ones that had a lot more views), but this last one is hands down my favourite because it’s just. so. weird.
7. Is Drinking 100 Tea Bags a Bad Idea?
Bad Idea is a new video format that I’m testing out in December. I can’t quite remember how I came up with it, but it’s a chance to have some absurd, spontaneous fun. And this episode had all of that! I’m also really enjoying working with Wandergasm – he’s motivated, and open to everything that we’ve tried so far. #squad
6. Blue Mountain Resort: Paradise in Ontario
I had a lot of fun on this trip, and it shows.
5. Reflection (Whitewashed Version)
After news leaked that the live-action Mulan inexplicably featured a white male lead, I knew that there was only one way to respond.
4. Nutella Cafe
I documented our first trip to the Nutella Cafe(s) without any real plan in mind. After reviewing the footage, I knew I had to experiment with a new, absurd way of telling the story.
3. Calgary: Best Weekend Ever
I love Calgary and I wanted to show it off in the best light possible. This was a bigger production in collaboration with Tourism Calgary for which I had a DP (shoutout to Ryan Skursky). The result was a story that combined food, music, and a most awkward encounter with Nicole Arbour.
2. Gunnarolla at the Honda Indy Toronto
For this collaboration with Honda Canada, I reunited my dream team (David Schuurman, DP and Gloria Chik, Producer) to produce a story about the Honda Indy in Toronto. It’s slick and absurd, and you don’t have to be into cars to enjoy it.
It’s not exactly what I envisioned, but I’m happy it exists. “Magic” – one of my favourite songs that I’ve produced – sums up the past couple years that I’ve spent travelling around the world. It’s not always easy, but it is always worth it. I also got to premiere it for an audience at this year’s Buffer Festival in front of some of the top travel video producers in the game right now, no big.
BONUS: Gunnarolla x Tastemade “One for the Road”
It was a whirlwind of a trip, and I’m so happy it turned out. It was a goal of mine to experience Lunar New Year in Asia, and I’m so proud that we made it happen. Big shoutout to Ronny Tam for his support – both production and moral. Teamwork makes the dream work!