How it was recently...
In the summer of 2007, I stumbled across YouTube. I had never heard of it before, expect when it was in the news after being acquired by Google, but I had forgotten about that the other day. Of course, the first thing I searched was domino videos. I was surprised to see that there already was quite a community of domino-builders, with FlippyCat their "leader". Of course, his videos impressed me most.
After a while, I began to think: What if I joined them? That was just an idea in the back of my head though because I thought my parents wouldn't be too happy about it - they like to keep things private, so I thought they would be sceptical about that. But I overestimated that, and so when I asked them on November 2nd if they agreed to me uploading videos to YouTube, they agreed at once.
Ten minutes later, I had a YouTube account - not having a clue how much it would change my life.
The name Annodomino wasn't hard to find. The phrase "anno domini" had always reminded me of domino (after all, the two do have the same linguistic root), and I had noticed it represented my initials as well. If I was a musician, I had once thought, I'd definitely call myself Annodomino. So, when looking for a YouTube name, I remembered that, and because "Annodomino" was taken, I added 2007. I regret that today, I should have called the channel "AnnodominoVideos" instead - that sounds way more serious.
Well, I had my account and was excited to discover YouTube. In the evening of November 2nd, I just changed the layout of my empty channel like I wanted it to be; the next day, I uploaded my first video, and a few hours later, another one: A compilation of nearly all of the domino videos I had taken so far.
I had created that compilation back in the summer - actually just for fun, to see what it would look like and to try out Windows Movie Maker, which I had never used before. I showed it to a friend of mine, who said something like "you should keep that for your CV, it looks impressive".
The background music in that video was Eminem's "Lose yourself", one of my favourite songs. As that song is obviously copyrighted, the video is not on YouTube anymore (I didn't care about copyright back then). But that video was my first contact to the worldwide community of domino-builders, and I was aware of that - no one had ever heard of me before, and with this video, I basically presented myself.
And already at that time, I had quite some ambition. I did want to be, or become, as good as possible at domino-building. So now I had basically practiced and prepared for eight years before finally asking the world (although just a minor part cared, of course :D) - so what do you think? Good or not good?
I logged out of YouTube after uploading the video, and checked back a few hours later.
There was a message in my inbox. I hadn't even noticed yet that there was an inbox and you could send messages to each other, but I was even more excited when I read the message itself and who had sent it: FlippyCat!
"That was a great video. :) I don't usually see many clips anymore that I want to stop and replay to see how it was setup. Nice."
(Yes, I did go through my whole inbox of 1402 messages to find that one again...)
When I went to his channel, I saw my video featured on top. Everyone who went to the channel watched it - and that, of course, were many.
Almost every YouTuber has a slow start. They have to be patient until they start receiving feedback and slowly gaining more and more viewers - even if they are brilliant, people have to discover them first. That was different in my case - with FlippyCat's support, I received nice comments and subscribers so fast that I was absolutely stunned.
To cut a long story short: Since then, I've started to share my domino projects online and get in contact with other builders.
The first awesome consequence was CDT. Since 2008, it has become a regular event and I'm happy to be a part of it.
And since joining YouTube, filming and editing has become a part of my "domino life". It doesn't feel like two different things. It's so much different than in the years before 2007, when I basically set up some dominoes to make nice tricks and effects, called my family, and toppled them. Now it's all such a bigger deal.
I won't write about the projects I've made since 2007 because I've got another rubric for that: Just click on "Themed projects" to your right.
One remarkable thing is missing there though: In October 2010, I was asked to help at the shooting of a domino scene for TV. That happened out of the blue - I had just prepared for some good relaxing ten days of vacation, and then I receive such an e-mail... a week later, I was in Munich (for the first time, by the way) behind the scenes of a TV film production. It was just awesome, and the scene turned out well, too. It will take some months until the film will be broadcast though.
I guess this is a good place to say THANK YOU to everyone I owe it to.
First, my family who have always supported me in the best possible way. And a few friends and even former teachers of mine. In the years before joining YouTube and connecting with domino nerds all over the world, there have always been mates who accompanied and supported my strange hobby. Thanks! They know I mean them if they ever read this ;-)
Also, FlippyCat has always been supporting - I could almost say: promoting - me a lot. And he's always taken the time to answer questions and share tips, which is not a matter of course at all if you have tens of thousands of subscribers. Thanks!
Many thanks as well to Simon and Niclas for inviting me to CDT. It's an awesome team and we've really become good friends over the years.
And thanks to the many, many domino-builders who have given me supportive comments, reasonable criticism, and compliments.
That's it so far! Let's see what the future will bring... and what I will bring the future ;-)