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YouTube is getting hammered.
Four days a week, Sledge founder Shane O’Connor uploads a 30-second video of a sledge hammer destroying something. Anything, really: pineapples, Twinkies, lotion, light bulbs, keyboards. He hammers things so you don’t have to. And despite being a relatively new creator, he has already received nearly 60,000 views in just four months.
“There is some carnal desire in us all to see destruction unfold,” O’Connor tells the Daily Dot. “We want to see something break or fail in a spectacular fashion. It’s fun and exciting to watch events that you are not normally witness [to] unfolding before you. No one wants to smack their iPhone with a hammer, but we all have wondered how it would hold up and what that would feel like to swing that hammer down. When you see that in a video, there is a connection and relatability. There is that catharsis being released from being able to relate to the destruction.”
A colorist for digital media, O’Connor first dreamed up the idea of Sledge years ago, but at the time, he hesitated to invest thousands of dollars in a slow-motion camera. He came close to making this idea a reality several times but was foiled by last-minute scheduling changes that rendered his company’s equipment unusable. Frustrated, O’Connor finally secured a camera deal, and Sledge was born.
“What inspires me to spend hours and days making this incredibly niche content is the thought of sharing my videos with others and bringing them some sort of joy for 30 seconds of their day,” O’Connor states. “At every turn we have the opportunity to ingest new and original content online, and from my perspective it can be overwhelming. People are becoming less and less willing to sit through a longer video online, unless they know the creator and are fans, so for me when I looked to creating Sledge, it was all about the content. Strip away all the frivolous bits that we have come to expect in online creator videos and just get down to business.”
On the cusp of his 100th video, O’Connor is enjoying shooting for Sledge and already has enough filmed content to continue uploading four times a week for a year. That being said, O’Connor does worry about the channel’s future, on account of growing production costs and his current lack of access to the YouTube Space.
“What keeps me going is our small group of fans, honestly. I look forward to the random things that they have to say and I respond to every last one of them,” states O’Connor. “Due to the pretty large upfront costs of the equipment involved, we won’t be able to do a season 2 unless we surpass that 10k subscriber mark, so that we can get access to using the YouTube Space and their gear, here in L.A. It seems daunting to us at this time, but we have high hopes for the future.”
A little channel with a big heart, O’Connor’s Sledge follows in the footsteps of countless destruction- and slow-motion–obsessed creators before him including the Slow Mo Guys, and Gizmo Slip. And while still growing into its full potential, Sledge has the production quality and niche theme to make it worthwhile addition to your subscription list.
Carly Lanning is a journalist who covers social media. Her work has been published by Psychology Today, NBC, Thrillist, and Ms. Magazine.