By Kate Rintoul, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL — Since launching in 2012, ParaMaker has become the country’s largest YouTube network with thousands of highly subscribed channels and is committed to nurturing the careers of a growing number of young independent filmmakers and performers. The company is an extension of Maker Studios in Los Angeles, which was purchased by Disney for close to US$1 billion in April this year.
ParaMaker is headed up by Carioca Felipe Neto, an entrepreneur and successful vlogger who wants to help change the landscape of Brazilian entertainment. The company currently partners with and oversees hundreds of YouTube channels, including some of the most successful in Brazil.
One of the company’s founding channels Parafernalha, which specializes in comedy, currently has over 5.5 million subscribers and since being the first YouTube channel to gain over one million subscribers, Neto’s own channel has now tripled.
In setting up ParaMaker, Neto set out to professionalize and improve the quality of YouTube content in Brazil and attract advertisers to this new market.
Speaking to Tech Tudo last year Neto said, “What we seek is to create a way to encourage this market in Brazil, generating more professional content, improve the quality of this content and thus bring more advertisers and more professionalism, to make a strong scenario [that is] established, respected.”
The company set up Talent Incubator, a forum for all those working on Paramaker channels, which serves as a center where everyone can get advice and discuss ideas. This has strengthened the community, and provides coaching on how to be successful and producing informative films on topics like copyright, advertising, production and how to earn money from YouTube content.
The rapid growth and expansion of ParaMaker has also created an exciting new sector of employment for those starting out in film and TV. According to the company, ninety percent of those working with ParaMaker are under 30 years-old, and the organization prides itself on creating numerous opportunities to learn different roles and progress the careers of those working on and off screen.
Rebecca Roche (whose mother was Brazilian and had spent part of her childhood living in Minas Gerais) graduated with a B.A. in Visual Media Arts from Emerson College in 2013. Rather than heading to L.A. or New York like most of her classmates, Roche decided to come to Rio to start her career.
“I wanted to explore media production in a completely different culture then what I was used to working in. Brazil’s industry is expanding and I wanted to be closer to the growing opportunities.” Roche told The Rio Times.
In true indie-film style, Roche interned and freelanced in Rio while looking for work at production companies until she spotted via Facebook that ParaMaker was looking for an editor. Roche sent her resume and in an illustration of how quick the sector moves, she was interviewed that same day and has been working with them for the last three months.
Roche currently works as an editor and assistant director for Canal TOP, a ParaMaker beauty channel that is sponsored by Pantene. “The channel has three very diverse, beautiful hosts. The channel publishes two videos a week. The topics covered consist of make-up tutorials, fashion advice, fun DIY projects, the do’s and don’ts of beauty care, health tips for better hair and skin.”
Roche says that the fluidity, rapid growth of the YouTube market and lucrative advertising partnerships means that those working in film can speed-track their careers, “I started out as an editor, but I was quickly encouraged to participate in pre-production. They wanted to hear my opinions and ideas for the videos.”
“A few weeks ago, I was assigned to be the assistant director of the channel’s production team, as well as an editor. I couldn’t be happier with all the opportunities I’ve been given. I am very fortunate to be learning and growing with the company.”