About the Shoes

Tanner Jones, opinion editor

Be it at Starbucks, Jerry’s Foods, or the Waters of Edina, Edina High School students can be found working a variety of jobs after school and on the weekends. Junior Jake Passolt also works, but his revenue comes from a unique source. Last week Passolt opened his mailbox to find an envelope from Google, on it was written “YouTube revenue services” and enclosed was $100.

In 2014, Passolt, along with his twin brother and three other freshmen on the cross country team were tired of disappointing running shoes. “You’d buy a shoe, put it on, start running, and think to yourself, this shoe sucks! All the reviews online were bad,” junior Ben Elliott said. Shoe reviews were scarce and unhelpful. “We took it upon ourselves to bring some quality to the shoe review industry,” said Elliott. Thus, their YouTube Channel, “About the Shoes,” was born. “We got a shoe, a camera, a chair, and filmed a shoe review. Little did we know that video would gain over 27,000 views,” said junior Sam Elliott.

Since their humble start, “About the Shoes” has blossomed. “We’ve become, in my opinion, one of the funniest channels on YouTube. We still do shoe reviews, but now are primary focus is infiltrating the meme community,” said junior Ben Passolt. Recent videos include those titled, “WE GOT HACKED,” “Killer Clown Sighting,” and “Gamer Pranks in the Hood.” Videos like these are similar in nature to some of YouTube’s largest and most profitable channels, which Passolt says are his inspiration. “A lot of what we do now comes from PewDiPie, PrankInvasion, and of course SoFloAntonio,” he said.

Despite recent changes, the video-making process remains the same as it was three years ago. “We stick to the basics.It’s a four step process,” said junior Alec Manderscheid. Each video starts with the kernel of an idea.“Usually the purchase of a new pair of shoes helps with this or some other event like clown attacks. Next is coming up with a script and filming. We’ll often make a loose script at the beginning, and get more detailed as filming begins while they come up with more ideas,” he said. After filming, the footage is sent to Jake Passolt, who makes edits. “Ben Passolt will take a couple days to edit the video and make a thumbnail. He will then send the video to me, who will upload it to the channel with a clickbait title and detailed description,” said Manderscheid. Passolt, the channel’s editor, has grown fond of his role. “Editing is my passion. I recently saved up enough to buy one of the best programs, Windows Movie Maker,” he said.

In coming months, “About the Shoes” hopes to expand and capitalize on recent gains. “Our biggest milestones for years were getting 100 subscribers and earning $100.We’ve just accomplished both. Now it’s time to become YouTube professionals,” Passolt said. “Soon we’ll be selling T-Shirts, so look out for those,” said Manderscheid. The group also intends to to challenge the widespread negativity in the YouTube community. “There’s a lot of hate out there, a lot of trolls, a lot of dark memers, we rise above it all and keep on carrying on, setting a standard of excellence and zero tolerance for cyber bullying,” said Ben Passolt.

On YouTube, possibilities seem endless.“My dream is to be like Ethan from H3H3 and have YouTube as my job. I’m really excited for the future of the channel. I hope everyone subscribes to About the Shoes,” said Jake Passolt.