In the middle of filming a climactic action sequence for his latest short film, Ryan Connolly ran into a problem: a stuntman, who had just been engulfed in flames by an explosion, wouldn't stay on fire. "The wind was too hard," Connolly said. "It basically was like he was not on fire at all." His crew carefully reset the scene, ran the cameras, and blew the explosives again, but the stuntman still wouldn't stay lit. With time running out to film that day, Connolly decided to scrap the stunt and lean on tricks he'd picked up running a film tutorial show on YouTube. "I had set people on fire digitally before, so I knew we could do it," he said. "I could confidently just be like, 'Don't worry about it. Let's move on.'"
Connolly's YouTube show, Film Riot, turned 10 years old in May. Over the last decade, Connolly has published more than 1,000 episodes and pulled in more than 170 million views on videos explaining the secrets behind big Hollywood productions, including how to shoot magical blasts out of a wand and how to create an eerie fog that floats along the floor of a room. Connolly isn't a Hollywood-approved director, though. When he started the show, he was living in Florida, just out of film school and trying to figure out all this stuff for himself.