Currently sitting at a comfortable 269,000 subscribers, Dominic Noble, also known as “the Dom” on YouTube, is perhaps best known for his hugely successful Lost in Adaptation series, as well as his takedown of the infamous Fifty Shades of Gray franchise. And of course, his two cats, who even have their own page on his website.
What motivated you to start YouTube?
“To be completely honest, my early motivation can be boiled down to the desperate need for a creative outlet. I had zero idea that doing it full time was ever going to be an option. After graduating from university with a film degree I discovered that the life of an aspiring editor in the UK during a time of extreme economic recession really wasn’t all that fun.
It seemed inevitable that my immediate future would consist of years of unpaid ‘work experience’ at various production companies boosted by the inconsistent freelance income I received from editing wedding and corporate training videos. That sort of work drove my (at the time undiagnosed) ADHD off the charts, so to alleviate the mind from crushing boredom, I started making my own videos in my free time. YouTube just seemed like a logical platform for me. The following I gained was a complete surprise.”
Your most famous series is Lost in Adaptation. How did you come up with that?
“I don’t recall there ever being a big ‘eureka’ moment when the concept came to me. I often say I’d been making the show for years before I started YouTube, talking people’s ears off for hours after watching movies about how it differed from the book. All it took to create Lost in Adaptation was to switch on a camera while I did it. It’s nice having an appreciative audience for it now instead of the kindly tolerance of my friends.”
What videos are you currently the most proud of?
“I guess I should probably say the Fifty Shades of Grey series, as those videos seem to have resonated with a lot of people, but I have to admit the genuine distress I went through making them does tarnish the pride I might otherwise have had.
Even though it’s not my usual content, I’m pretty proud of the video I did about the history of the Eye of Argon. Being able to do something to stop a decades long bullying campaign and help (in even a tiny way) make people more aware of the effect that sort of thing can have on a person meant a lot to me.”
You’ve recently announced that you’re going to do Lord of the Rings content [in fact, at the time of publication, Dom has already released a video], which you previously mentioned you wouldn’t do. What changed your mind, and is this indicative of anything new to come in the future?
“I hope so, assuming the content doesn’t flop with my audience. Seems like a sure thing considering LOTR’s continued popularity, but you never know when it comes to YouTube.
I’d been holding off on tackling Tolkien’s work because I never quite felt ready for the challenge of talking about all the pros and cons of what’s probably the most successful adaptations in living memory. There are changes and omissions in each film that I could talk about for so long, they would individually take up an entire video’s runtime.
However, recently I realized that I could just… do that; make a whole series of videos, each concentrating on a specific adaptation related subject, instead of trying to make a single, disturbingly long and stressful episode that encompasses everything. In hindsight this seems a rather obvious solution, but better late than never I guess.”
YouTube has been the target of criticism lately, how would you change the platform if you could?
“There are pages and pages I could write about this, varying from the practical to just plain wishful thinking. I’m aware that for many of the frustrating issues, YouTube’s hands are tied. They couldn’t possibly hire the kind of manpower to handle every event, so the imperfect automated systems we’re at the mercy of are an unfortunate necessity.
However, I’d love to see just a little more transparency between YouTube and the creators. It would cost them nothing to be a little more open about the changes to the system they plan to introduce BEFORE they do it. It’s more than a little stressful when the platform you depend on for your income suddenly starts behaving differently with no warning.
Their method of dealing with copyright claims is another very difficult tightrope for them to walk because of the legislation they have to abide by, but I think everyone on the platform will agree their current system is far, far too open to misuse by bad faith parties, and it’s a problem that desperately needs addressing.”
Do you have any advice for people who want to become YouTubers?
“Nothing that hasn’t been said a thousand times before by more successful people than me; Stick with what you know, make videos you’re passionate about, try to keep yourself aware of what the dreaded and ever changing algorithm is most likely to push to new watchers, and no matter how tempting it is, don’t attempt any sacrificial eldritch magic to get your big break. It will only end badly.”
Is there anything else you’d like us to know?
“Mint flavored ice cream is gross and overrated.”
Leaving off on those wise words, you can subscribe to Dominic’s YouTube channel right here.