Ready for a wild ride into the world of bizarre animals, creepy insects and insane nature? Join BillsChannel as he uncovers the mysterious side of wildlife and travels the planet to discover what it has to offer, all for your enjoyment!
Catch up with Billschannel now and find out where in the world his crazy adventure began, in our latest edition of Creator Q&A!
Hey Bill! To start things off, for any viewers out there who aren’t familiar with your stuff, can you give us a quick rundown of what billschannel is all about?
BillsChannel started out as a comedy channel but then gradually morphed over to covering wildlife and nature. Nature has always been one of my passions but I also like comedy so those two are always battling each other.
How long have you been working with wildlife? What sparked your passion for adventure?
I got the nature bug when I lived in Costa Rica as a teenager. I lived out in the country and had an abused Arabian horse that my parents picked up for next to nothing. The horse wanted nothing more than to kill me every time I rode it. For fun I would ride my horse as fast as I could through the forest. It would head for every low hanging branch available to knock me off. The thrill was amazing. I never found kicks like that in the city so I guess I’m still out there looking for cheap nature thrills.
How did you get started on YouTube? What was your inspiration for starting a channel?
It was love at first sight circa 2006. I went to film school but was never much of a team player. My personality is more like a writer or painter. I like to work alone or with one or two other people. When YouTube appeared, it was a platform that allowed me to make videos myself and get them out to a big audience. There was no sitting around waiting for someone else to give me a green light. No artistic differences, and no wasting time trying to find a distributor. It was all right there. It was the best thing that ever happened to me as an indie filmmaker.
What gave you the idea to do your popular series ‘Real or Fake’? Are you ever surprised when you learn about a new creature?
Real or Fake came about from viewers’ comments. I would make a video and people would say it was fake and I was a moron. Over time, I developed this theory that the biggest issue on the internet is deciphering what’s real and what isn’t. I started making something that was half ‘America’s Most Wanted’ and half ‘Myth Busters’ but focused mostly on strange animals. Now the comments are “everything you do is fake and you’re an even bigger moron than I thought.” But there are more of those comments so I guess that is good.
What is the best part about working in nature? What’s the worst?
Working with nature puts me in an almost cosmic frame of mind. When you are out there in the Amazon, in a real jungle environment, you get a better sense of being on a very unique planet filled with all sorts of amazing life forms. On the downside, there is the realization that insects will one day rule this planet. They are twice as clever as we are and I am convinced they are evil.
Do you have a favorite video (that you created)? Why?
One of my favorites is “Animal with the Biggest Balls.” For me, it hits the right note of rebelliousness, humor, and education. The question was submitted by a viewer and it was just so much fun to run with it. It ran up 15 million views and generated one of my favorite viewer comments: “That took balls to make that – subbed.”
Tell us about a close encounter or scary situation that you’ve had while filming in the wild.
Most of my close encounters involve humans. I’ve had guns pulled on me, spears in my face, and knives at my throat, but I’ve never had any serious problems with animals. I’ve been charged by a few elephants and given the evil eye by some hippos, but nothing very serious. I like the thrill but not the stupid. Most animals (excluding insects) are not interested in attacking you unless provoked.
What do you want to say to the people watching your channel?
When you look at the stuff I do and you say ‘I want to do that’ but I can’t afford it, just be aware of what I have learned: 5 years after a great adventure, you won’t remember how much you spent, only what you experienced.
What can we expect next from you?
Hopefully I can get more original series in the pipeline this year. I might even tackle the most viewer requested video of all time: “Which animal has the biggest love muscle?” Stay tuned…
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