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Zach King is an LA based filmmaker and content creator with a combined social reach of over 115 million followers. Zach has been featured on Good Morning America, Adweek, Ellen, and People and has set the record for the most viewed TikTok video with over 2.2 billion views. He takes the audience through a chronological timeline of his life through a series of AI-generated images. Stay tuned ‘til the end to see Zach create a mobile masterpiece utilizing just his phone and the participation of the audience.
I'm super excited to introduce our first session unlocking creativity with that key that King is an La faith filmmaker and content creator and is one of social media's most prominent creators, best known for his incredible imagination and his digital white account. With a combined social reach of over 115 million followers, that content has entertained fans all over the block. He's been featured on Good Morning America, adweek, the Ellen DeGeneres Show and people and has set the record for the most viewed tip top video of all time at over $2.2 billion views. Which just happens to be a mere $2.2 billion due in a meet. But let's give it up for the acting. Everybody get more info excited to be here. I feel like we have a lot to talk about and you know, I love that you guys are the real I, whether you believe you're creative or not. You know, I look at all of you, I know every human has so many creative ideas. I want to talk about that with today. I feel who is to be here because I either share what I do in the world, which is just making science fun. Lighthearted videos like this. I had heard that Einstein had a quote that time was an illusion, and so I went out to London to go film that. And I that's my job. I go around a bunch of these little videos that have to do with sometimes art, sometimes illusion, a mix of both. But at the same. You can't be doing that. And what's fun is they get you to loop, you know, a couple people. I think the reason there's $2.3 billion views is that they're highly, you know, snack bars want to see how they're done if you watch them. Again, I have anybody have kids in the room. I'm not in the room with you but have kid. Now, I have two kids and one on the way. But this is an idea my kids gave me during the pandemic. We were at home and they were like, you'll be still. Thought we could go camping in the living room. So we ended up going out and making a video about that. And I'll give you a quick behind the scenes look at how that was made. So we do everything really practically. I don't use a ton of green screen. I love just the classic filmmaking. And so a little simple, you know, trick of opening the doors in the wilderness. But that's my job. And I know a lot of you raise your hands who have parents. I don't know if you're like me, but my camera roll is filled and filled with videos and photos of them. That wasn't quite the case when I was a kid. You know, my mom, the only good baby, Bo, do I have, is this one. And so I he gave me the idea when I knew I was talking to you guys here at Jasper, I was like, it'd be cool if I could recreate my life with AI for the photos that I never had so I present to you. My life reimagined when I this is me, a cute Asian baby in a cell, a vintage photographs. My mom and your father. Real photo. I was bringing chubby there, so that's real. And I really I the I was only told kid I grew up in Oregon and in Pacific Northwest is in the row. OK, I've got a couple knife for a minute. I grew up on a farm in Oregon. My dad had a big Orchard. So this is me and that kid and. Oh, that would got it. OK, so I think all we need to take out, let's take a maybe from school to take out or get a kid on a farm and word in for no wardrobe. There we go. What? I think I OK. And b, I know everyone loves depicting diesel as an explosion of a nebula. So I did that at Bam. That stuff that with my child that right there. And I, you know, I watched Jurassic park when I was three years old. I don't know why my parents let me watch that movie at such a young age, but it left a big fingerprint, an imprint in my mind for filmmaking. My parents would explain that, you know, it's 24 frames a second that makes the images look like their movie. And at the end of the b, just how the behind the scenes from Spielberg is showing how a tamed an island team made the dinosaurs and did CGI. And I did if I know you can make a living or didn't know what a job was, but I do. I wanted to create that kind of thing. It though with so fantastic formed by and so that put me on a journey of making movies. As a kid, I would grab my parents' home video camera and let borrow it and make these little short films and plan for my family. But ultimately, I was sad but had the gear that I wanted to buy to, not for my filmmaking I couldn't afford. And so I decided to get creative buy mode at sunnylands, the lobby. I was in Oregon, so there was massive field. I raised a ton of money, a couple dollars bought my first camera, filmed the weddings, and then grew all my dear collection from there, and slowly was filming with my sisters on the Alamo. Maybe look at that. Let's make that in a happy here. There we go. These are my three of her sisters depicted in I, and we made all in videos growing up. We're very close in age, so they were only acted and by the tunnel was at the end of high school. I decided like, I want to go down to La and try to plot din to Hollywood and out live the dream as a director, filmmaker, producer. And so I applied to film school and then sadly, I got a rejection letter. And so I decided, you know, that I could still go down to La so I flew down to l.a., I took my film set with me, but I actually got my school paperwork through music. So I was classically trained. My parents were really serious about that. Like, like I would do five hours a day serious. So that got me through school. But secretly I was really looking into the guilt after like wanting to go in there. And I decided during that free time that I wasn't making my film project for films, for that I needed an outlet to post. So I just went by this new website at the time to youtube.com, and I just started posting what I was working on with other filmmaker friends at the school, and that slowly got me on YouTube where it was really the Wild West. There is no frontrunner. And you got to remember at the time it was literally other, other the platforms were more interesting. And then things changed. And YouTube became the frontrunner over the year. So time passes and I'm excited because YouTube is slowly about 50,000, almost 100,000 subscribers on YouTube. And I decided I get the nerve to go sit-in the back of the film classes. So I just I walk in one day and I sit-in the back and then the teachers never notice me. And I just add my name to the roll call. And I don't know why I didn't look that creepy, but I was sitting back there and but there is a big problem that happened. It's that I still have to pay for those classes. And so you remember that kid who was really sad with no money is now just an adult. Me had no money and I decided, I don't literally why I'm so sad around here. With that, I decided to get creative like I did when I was a kid, to pay for my dumb gear and just do that. I did so. I did all these film jobs. I would go around filming wedding making money on the weekends to now. I would edit. I had a terrible, crappy job where I really edited people's pipe, brutal pipe cleaning group video through the tape. Really, really well. No one else wanted to look at that footage, but I did. I watch Red carpet riders and took photos of people. I worked as a journalist doing video for my school newspaper. I was a background character, all with calf of the prisoner. That's me right back there. And I was racking in the dough in a figurative sense. But enough to pay off for school. And finally graduated. And then to maybe have $200,000 at this point. Several years later, I'm just doing duty. I'm doing it. That was my what I thought was going to be my main career at the time. And I go on a road trip with YouTube. We go all the way around the United States 10,000 miles. And I'm halfway through the road trip in Washington, d.c. and I go and meet a producer at Discovery. I just happened to meet him online on Twitter, I think, and have lunch with them. And then I got a job offer, a six figure job offer to go produce. And so I was remember that kid? I mean, I was at this point really silly about all that dough. So I decided to drive back to l.a., I went back to my house, and then I'd set up a meeting for that next week with the producers at Discovery. I go to the building on Wilshire Boulevard. And I go into this interview and the executive and really nice guy. I asked him question at the very end, you know, the part where they're like, hey, do you have any questions for us? And I just kind of talk to him about YouTube and what I was currently doing, and he was like, you know what? That sounds kind of interesting. Maybe you should do that. And then you hear there is a backdoor in the higher rates. He gave me the advice like, hey, that's an innovative space. They're doing something new. I think you should. I know what's occurred to try it out for a year or two. And so I decided to not take the job. And that led me where I lived with the help of 10 guys to help pay the rent. There was this app that came out called vine, and I noticed all my roommates were in the bathroom and they'd be watching the mine app over and over. And so I'll ask them like, what is this new app or do? This is super cool. At 6 seconds at Luke's, you'd be really good because of the category that says special effects and magic. And I was kind of doing a version about my YouTube channel for I uploaded a first couple wine and it kind of overnight from there was quite a big sensation that I was ready for. Started meeting a lot of fans in real life all of a sudden. And it put me on this, this, this big snowball of working with a lot of athletes with Nike over the years, different artists and gospel on The Ellen Show. But it was the next day after the Ellen Show that I actually felt really anxious, depressed and kind of nervous because I felt like I was actually out of ideas at the well was run dry. I had this view of creativity that, you know, there was only a certain amount of limit idea that one person could happen at that point. I made 200 videos that sounded like a lot to me, but I actually realized a quote from Steven keynes, which reason one of his books. And he said, amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, but the rest of us, we get up and go to work. And so I actually had to switch my creative mindset and actually, instead of being inspired to create, just waiting around for ideas to come. I had to create to be inspired. And so I went on a journey for a couple of years to build a process with me and my team to figure out how we could actually replicate coming up with great ideas over and over and over. And now we're about 3,400 video then since that time. And so what I want to give to you today is my version of how I get to my best ideas. And, you know, I'm going to say this is prescriptive to meet you and your own ways and you figure it out. There's a lot of wisdom in this room. So this is what I'm offering to you guys and what works for me and my team. And some of this gets me pretty excited, but it's a three step process. And I'm pretty I'm on the nose of the graphics, so bear with me. So the first step is growing. Idea one this might not be new to you. It's the classic brainstorm. But after me raised, learning was always broke it and my goal and this is guys get to your very best ideas and learn to do that after this. That would be incredible win. So I start with idea being an idea that being is maybe a term you've heard skiing, you're just borrowing the idea green housing, we're not greenlighting it or is growing it there's no always or but that's just Yes. And you're building up the idea very optimistic for that idea for a certain time and every idea needs a goal. Prof I want to give you an example, one that we actually did. Is there anyone that works at Amazon in the root? I didn't get permission to share if I'm in a shared French car. So they asked us to show Alexa magically performing a fictional function, something that it actually can't do. So, you know, the goal right here is to get massive amounts of idea generation. I'm trying to get to 5100 ideas in the first hour. And the key here is to not overthink the tech. And a lot of people come up to me after I'm like, old tech. You what? What do you like to use? Jam, water, whatever. And it's like I think we did used to whatever we need paper, sharpies, pens. I use a lot of software too, but it doesn't matter. We're not trying to be talking about that and we're not labeling our ideas. Have you guys ever been in a brainstorm where you go to the brainstorming? You actually come out of it feeling kind of bummed out because other people on the team, well, you don't have the same common language. You feel like they actually said they share your ideas over and over. You put one out there and you're Siri to do that, and then everyone takes out their shackles and shoots the idea down right in front of you. And has anybody have actually if the worst feeling ever. So we're not labeling it, does it? You don't have to say, hey, I have a bad idea to share the badge or I have a bad idea. There's no labels. We're just saying or getting them on the list. And this is also a place to not put the producer cap, you know what I mean? Bad producer for you guys is the person who's the organization, that task. And after they have to figure out how to get the project delivered by X amount of time, on time and in budget, that person should be in the process, but not quite talk about the logistics at that point. You can just shut down an idea if it sounds too complicated or a template could be over budget. We're only building up ideas. So here's the example of this Alexa idea I was going with. We actually put up many, many versions the best. This is just for you on a page and we just go as fast as possible. Why? the idea? Some of them, we should get Nick Cage. So the force this is something that after we do that process will take has created around the office around the team. I have about 20 by people on my team and we'll just split all at different places in the fields. Hey, put your pulse on this. Which idea out of this whole list sounds interesting to you? And you'll notice you start to get little data points that did really for us just show that human interest in this piece. It's not necessarily the coolest trick yet. It's not the coolest story, but it's something that resonated for some reader with the team. So we end up following that one. We Zoom in, it says, OK, so the device takes Zach underwater for a scuba trip and immediately, you know, this is why we don't the preacher start talking about logistics yet. I can think of 50 reasons why when you base good why we should not do that video the expense the budget how are we going to do it are we talking about real diving or is the effects of angle look bad? So all that to be taken into consideration in this next stage, which is the refinement of the idea. And so the refinement still, there's no better your hat on. And we asked this question, what step is this idea? And because oftentimes what we found in the creative process, great ideas, what have the potential to be great ideas, they're not labeled that in the beginning. They have to go through the process to become great, but those ideas get shot down so early. So with this question, it helps to protect those ideas as they move through the studio. You know, it's the water cooler moments where we're talking with the team and someone will be like, oh, you're shooting underwater. That sounds ways you are the end. You shouldn't do that. Do something else is that moment instead of that conversation happening that way, you know, when we're still buying your idea. OK hey, what stage is this idea? Are you looking for help to grow it? Are you looking for help to refine it and figure out the different ways to do it? What process, argument? And again, the goal here, the common language that we build for the team is that whittling down the idea. It's very Pixar, right? It's not about the person and turning down their idea, but it's just genuinely what's the most interesting thing we could do when we look at this one, we started doing a refinement for us. We started realizing that, you know, maybe instead of a scuba mask, you know, the retention armadillos go way to the roof when they can see my face and I fill up like 70% of the screen right away so I can have a scuba gear on. But let's make Alexa. Maybe she magically transforms because the ball kind of looks like a helmet anyway, so we could do a trick there, and then I could be free diving. And then something else that we could do is like, so it doesn't look like a flood and it's deemed 10 as freaky or scary, but it's, it could be very tropical one by so we could maybe add some, some fish in there like a fun like a Stingray or something. So where does refining this process and now it's over execution. This is where the producer can put on the producers hat. Finally, and we ask a really impossible question. When we started this question of the team, it scared a lot of the new people who joined because we asked the producer and the production team to market the video in one hour, make this video in one hour to preview. It's a little bit like a storyboard, but we want the video format. So a little example of the mock up we have the producer, nate, I mean, they're really janky. He's just mocking up. He's getting in lines. He's saying, hey, Alexa, free dive. Really rough, right? Not pretty. We do that process eight times or so before we ever make it to this stage, which is where we shoot. And I thought before I'm a geek about behind the scenes, so if you're down, I'll show you this. Sure behind the scenes video today, we're flooding a room. And to pull off that trick, we're going to sink a set. So those are the steps we borrow or find. Execute FRB funders to show you the file. Alexa activate vacation mode starting vacation routine. Now have a great trip. See you later. But is it that the Super special video? But I wanted to talk a little bit about how we use AI and the creative process. Now that that's the process that we generally use. But there's been some new ways that we started using it, which is kind of fun. So, you know, obviously the first thing that came to mind for my team is like this generation, we already go through that process. You know, when I say I'm looking for 100 ideas, we're actually looking for 100 years. We now just type in as the initial steps. And so we'll get a list back like this. I asked it for 25 pet peeves. But what's cool to me, you know, these were reading as like, OK, you have now chewers that are placing closed paper. They're they're OK but then culprit is pranks like for me it's just it's filmmaking. We want it to be seen by the audience who can comprehend without audio. You know, 60% of our viewers don't watch the sound. So it is very visual. So, all right. You know, give me a list of 25 of the most visual pet peeves. And then that list becomes way more interesting to the filmmaker in me. We actually have thing that you know, what that look like. And this one camera down here, number 16, driver drivers going to back you that have a parent with my kids next in the street when they were five. I think about that all the time. And so I decided we developed this idea and made a video from that prompt. So this is a kid that play. Hey, hey, hey, hey. Back get the play. OK I'm telling you, I have the best job in the world now. And so everyone on my team is a writer. You know, without a formal title, everyone is involved in the writing process. And on Mondays, we do pitch concepts and this is what we call talk about dungeon world, I think coined that term. So a t-shirt is essentially this little zombie, but this is how we used to do it. It's like a title. So tells you what the description of the concept is. It's got a short little description of what actually happens and then it image. It kind of hits all the learning abilities to be able to comprehend the quick idea. But now we actually generate all of the artwork. So it's not rough storyboards. This is just one from last Monday. I'm a landscaper and basically trim and one of these jobs is come the slide. And so we have all our team, which is great. And they're not all artists. Usually we have one storyboard or full time on the scene and they would send all of him every week to art. But now we've already kind of do this project and play it in here. This describes, you know, an image so much better and it's really focused to already see how people live. We did a little film where we wanted an animated creature monster, and we could have spent, you know, a couple of weeks with fluffy members developing the monsters over and over. But we just put the prompt in to the version of the prompt cute monster or monster in made out sand. And this is what we ended up making from it. Have you guys see my wallet, the treasure. And we might buried it. What do you mean, you buried it? What? and they let me down. Over here. God hey, everyone, this is the final monster, which actually looks like one of the main designed vessels that aid us. And then we obviously have an artist's created model of an animated. But at that first step of development, that's really fun to help our process. You know, there's a lot of cool things happening with I'm sure you're going to hear all about it at the conference. You know, two nights ago, I pull my kids aside and I was like, hey, guys, like a really good speech. And they were asking me one of the three guys and I was like, oh, do you want to see two best qualities? So this is me explaining what I see your kids and how your mind can come up with the images. And I had them put into one each one of their own thoughts. So one of them said a dragon breathing fire over a city, over an ocean. And so these are the images that came back and they were like mine. Well, the other kid, Aliya, said he wants to see a cute monster with white fur. And, you know, it's totally his personality, which is adorable. But the coolest part to me wasn't that it didn't stop there. And this is where I get excited as a career filmmaker that one of the kids ran off on their own. They started grabbing paper and penned and wanted the color. And so for me, you know, I know I said earlier that you have to create to be inspired by. I think we are in age where it's cool that you have tools like this that can help inspire and then gets you out and excited to create. So excited for what you guys are going to learn today. And Thanks for being here. I'll see you later.