Vote for Hacker, He’s No Slacker

When Khalil Hacker ran for class president his slogan was: “Vote for Hacker, he’s no Slacker”. As Hacker recalls, “The kids took that slogan and ran with it. In hallways, classes, buses, kids would chant “Vote for Hacker, he’s YOUR Slacker!” Khalil Slacker is the name he embraced and thus Slacker Productions was born.

Slacker Productions is a YouTube channel which releases in-depth movie reviews, comical gaming videos, and miscellaneous videos related to films and the art of film-making. Hacker says, “It started as just a movie review channel. I used to watch movie reviews from a few popular channels and found reviewing a movie in video form can be very entertaining.” Hacker began to notice these popular channels were solely based on opinion and not the craft of film-making itself. “They also got many facts wrong, and as a movie fan this bothered me,” Hacker recounts about his early decision to begin this adventure. Hacker also noted that, “ These guys were becoming very popular in the YouTube scene and making decent money from it for doing something that I could do, but also give facts and insight on the films.”

Putting this together takes some serious time and Hacker doesn’t take the process lightly. Hacker says, “I treat my movie reviews more like essays. I’ll watch a film and research as much as I can about that film.” He added, “Once I have a set opinion and solid reasons to have that opinion, I write an outline of what I’m going to say in my video.” Hacker understands the attention span issue and tries to incorporate humor and make appropriate edits by adding clips and images to help further his point or for additional laughs. Once the reviews have reached the finish line they are uploaded to YouTube and promoted on his Facebook page.

His viewership is hit or miss depending on the high or low profile of the topic. “Many of my reviews of underrated, lesser known, or older films tend to do well,” Hacker said. Gazing over his channel, films like In Bruges, Kung Fu Hustle, and An American Werewolf in London are front runners while more popular fair seem to get lost in the crowded highways of the internet. The lower wattage on the more popular films doesn’t bother him as Hacker said, “I still review them for the small but mighty loyal fan-base I have built.”

What’s next for Slacker Productions is exactly what you’d expect but it’s no less inspiring. Hacker revealed that, “Sometime soon I would very much like to start releasing short films on the channel.” It’s a logical evolution and a smart move for this budding entrepreneur. “After some experience and more resources I would like to start making my own feature length independent films under the name of Slacker Productions,” Hacker said. He quickly added, “That is still a long ways away, but my ultimate goal for the channel.”

Slacker Productions is growing rapidly and if I had money to be a betting man, I would bet 2017 will be a big year for Khalil Hacker. Time and time again, this true gentleman has proved that he is a genuine hard-worker with a work ethic far beyond the usual early twenty-something. Check out his Facebook page and follow this from the ground up as it promises to be a fun ride.

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“To all of those wanting to do something new and creative, the most important thing to do while also being the most difficult thing is just get out of your own way. When doing something that is meaningful to you, it’s easy to put yourself down and psych yourself out. But once you shut that voice out and just do it, it’ll become easier. With every video I create, there is a voice telling me people might not like it. Every time I click the upload button, I remind myself that the most important thing is I worked hard on that video and that’s all I can do. I can only get better in time. When I first started the channel, all I had was a camera and an editing software I bought on Cyber Monday. I had no tripod, lighting, or internet. I set the camera on a pile of boxes when I filmed myself talking about movies while sitting on a laundry basket. I edited and uploaded my videos using a coffee shop’s Wi-fi, which would take up to 4-5 hours. Now I have internet, a much better knowledge of editing, lighting equipment, sound equipment and a few fans that encourage me to keep going. I look back at those first few videos and cringe, but I know that I needed those videos to help get me to where I am today.”

-Khalil Hacker, Slacker Productions

Tristan Layne Tapscott has been dubbed the “Quad Cities’ P.T. Barnum” and although the person who initially said it meant it as an insult, he happily accepts the title.