How I built a 3 million following on TikTok for talking about movies

  • Juju Green, 30, runs a TikTok movie account called Straw Hat Goofy, which has 3.1 million followers.
  • He got into the app after downloading it for his work in advertising.
  • This is how he balances content creation and a full-time job, as Jess Bacon recounted.

As I said, this essay is based on a transcribed conversation with Juju Green, 30, about how he built a 3.1 million following on his TikTok account.Straw Hat Goofy.” Edited for length and clarity.

My background in advertising was my entry into TikTok. In early 2020 I was working on a social media campaign for a client so I checked it out and quickly became obsessed.

I thought I would start making videos, although at the time I had no idea what I was doing.

If you scroll deep enough you’ll find some questionable videos of me attempting dances and lip sync challenges. I think that’s how a lot of people come to TikTok – they see and do what everyone else is doing.

I obviously talk about movies and pop culture every day, so it was only a matter of time before I started doing that on TikTok

I realized that TikTok was something I could do more seriously than my Avengers: Endgame videoquickly became known. Then I talk about Hercules – breaking down what I noticed, what I liked and what I didn’t like – and it snowballed.

There weren’t that many people in geek culture at that time, and I think that was one of the reasons my account grew so quickly.

Just before the pandemic, I tried to make videos in the office all day. I had to sit down and say, “If you make videos, spend time with your family, and have time for your job, you’re going to have a very rigid schedule.”

When I wake up, the first thing I do is make 4 or 5 videos

Then I design them with captions and post them throughout the day so it seems like I’m there when I’m actually doing other things. This helped me manage my time and stay organized as I still have my day job.

5-10 second videos do really well on TikTok as it’s very easy to like and move on.

I noticed a trend of my videos going viral when it came to popular movies. I’ve had a bunch of viral videos about Disney Pixar’s Turning Red. Every video about the film had at least 2 million views.

I talked about things I noticed about this film, what I liked and didn’t like. Obviously there comes a time when you need to get out of this thread and apply what you’ve learned to other things – I can’t become that only the “blushing” type.

I feel like my audience likes it when I see things other people don’t see

The casual movie audience doesn’t look as deeply into things. They enjoy watching someone point out the hidden meaning behind certain moments. My TikToks are like DVD extras.

I do a lot of film reviews, and I’ve done “My Favorite Movies That Set In Space” or “Actors That Hollywood Tried To Make” — I’ve gained a huge audience with that.

I also change how I film the videos. For my reviews, I record film clips with voice overs. For other series, I use green screens to talk about movie posters and illustrate a bigger point.

That means I have many different types of film lovers in my audience. Compared to other accounts that do one thing that works really well for them, I’m an all-encompassing movie guy.

I still work my day job in advertising at 72 and Sunny

My bosses and I have worked out a schedule so I can schedule time for work, and then when something comes up for Straw Hat Goofy, I just have to let it know in advance. It’s about planning.

It’s still very hectic as the movie news cycle never ends. Something like a new trailer might show up at noon when I’m in a meeting and I need to make a video about it.

Discussions on TikTok can become extremely toxic. People fall into the trap of saying, “My opinion is correct, you don’t know anything about it.”

I’ve seen a lot of movies, but a lot of people have seen a lot more movies.

As a creative, I also try to appreciate the effort that goes into filmmaking. I try to offer a balance of naming the good, the bad, and the in-between, and it allows people to jump into the conversation and also have their say.

Filmmakers are excited about how they can constantly improve. When I make videos, I say, “That’s what they wanted, did it work?”

It may have worked for you but not for me and we can talk about it. That respect also helps when you’re on the red carpet and talking to the people who made the films.

Personally, I’ve always had a lot on my plate – I worked at Disneyland and Amazon at the same time during my studies.

I can’t speak for others about how they manage their time, but I can find a way for myself if I want to do something.

I started social media for fun

In the depths of your mind you might be thinking, “What happens if my videos explode?” I thought, “I’m going to quit my job and get a big house,” but here I am blown up, and I don’t have my job abandoned and don’t have a big house.

When I started I didn’t have an example of how this career worked and I was fortunate to be approached by brands like Netflix and Disney. Honestly, shooting from videos for fun and hosting the Oscars red carpet was weird.

It all starts with the creator and how strong their content is and how authentic it is. If a brand hires you for something – an event or a sponsorship – and you do something different than what you normally do online, they will keep that in mind.

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