It is no doubt that the landscape in how we consume media has changed drastically over the years. If you were to go back and tell someone from the year 2003 that the world would largely stream their favorite TV Shows, or that a service like twitch would be a major player in popular culture, they would likely think you’re nuts. For people like Mario Bueno however, it would probably be a dream come true. Working in creating streaming content since those early days of the internet, Mario has been uniquely in tune to how we consume media and how that’s evolved. A host at this year’s Crunchyroll Hime Cosplay Cup, we got the chance to pick his brain about what he’s seen.
Geekset: You’ve been doing streaming content and the likes since 2003, in what ways have you noticed the most change in the content consumers?
Mario: Great question, thanks for this!
To preface for additional clarification of my response, since Digital Era Entertainment (and shortly thereafter, I myself) didn’t get on YouTube til maybe a year into the platform’s existence and web video was still VERY difficult to easily share without excessive compromises/backend needs, the focus in the early days was mostly just on digitally creating (via digital video cameras and NLE systems) and exhibiting the end result on physical disc media wherever we could (without being able to make sales since it was all “fan work”, essentially); until Youtube could sustain longer videos (…so basically, RIGHT after our 2009-2010 web series Doujinopolis concluded, hahah), we had to rely on a combination of proprietary video on an older build of DEE website and whatever we could put up on Youtube that was short-form.
That said, since then, I’d say the biggest change has been the focus on socially-oriented platforms, Twitch and TikTok in particular; with the latter especially, while Vine definitely paved the way for “bite-sized social video” (another trend I’ve noticed but never participate in activities outside of a particular style of camera test since it doesn’t really work either for my personal aesthetic for content creation nor for DEE’s particular mix of narrative work and informative video essays), TikTok has taken that up to impressive levels*, especially with the creativity people are able to exude thanks to the proliferation of high-end smartphone tech at an accessible level.
That said, I also mention Twitch as the “live interactive” element is what gives it general appeal over even something like Youtube; while Youtube does have live chat elements available, Twitch is predicated on combining “open to all” live broadcasting with a social element. Given the current situation and the need to stay home to stay safe, it makes all the sense in the world that Twitch is a platform of choice atop the already burgeoning Esports and streaming scene it was cultivating.
*I should note this is also not factoring in the current situation with that platform’s ability to operate in the US, but I’m just speaking in terms of its tangible impact thus far, hahah.
Geekset: You’ve also been doing professional emcee work for over a decade, what would you say is your favorite type of event to emcee?
Mario: Hahah, funny enough, I was JUST asked this recently, so my answer is without hesitation wrestling shows! While my experience with Kaiju Big Battel was more of a two-hour vocal gauntlet combining proper wrestling commentary, ring announcing, and a HEALTHY dose of improv storytelling, at its core, it was run in many ways like a proper wrestling show with the trappings of an indie theater troupe.
There’s a very unique energy that comes with the live crowds (and the need for participation from them) during those particular types of shows, so even if you don’t like/understand wrestling, I can honestly say just being around a wrestling audience (particularly ones like for British indie promotion PROGRESS, which is proudly built on inclusivity) is an experience that even attending traditional sporting events can’t properly replicate. It’s live theater with an interactive crowd element and the passion inherent in those crowds is a joy not just to be a part of as a spectator, but a participant.
You can find Mario Bueno this Saturday as a host on the Crunchyroll-hime Cosplay Cup, and online on twitter and instagram at @EMP_Maniac. For more information about Virtual Crunchyroll Expo and how to register for passes please go to https://expo.crunchyroll.com/CrunchyrollExpo/
- The guests will appear as judges at Crunchyroll Hime’s Cosplay Cup.
- It’s going to be a showcase of fandom creations judged by performance, construction, and innovation like no other.
- Date/Time: Saturday, September 5 from 7:00-9:00 PM PT
- Stage: Crunchyroll Stage