Exclusive Interview with Vine Star and FSU Student Marcus Johns

For Marcus Johns, famous Vine user and fellow Florida State University student, Twitter’s popular video-sharing app has been a series of successful firsts. Since the app launched in January 2013, Johns has been the first non-celebrity user to hit a million followers. In addition, he was also the first to earn himself a “verified” badge next to his name, a logo reserved for celebrity and high-profile users.

Marcus’s six-second video clips, which he refers to as “comedy sketches,” come from his every day life experiences. As one of the app’s earliest adopters, he has attracted a loyal fan base of more than four million followers in just over a year. This is due to the fact that Marcus has been setting trends and going outside the norm since the beginning.

I caught up with Marcus Johns after his ultimate Frisbee practice last week, where he discussed his life off and on Vine, as well as his thoughts on the future of the app and tips for other users.  

Her Campus (HC): How do you come up with the content for your Vines?

Marcus Johns (MJ): All of the content that I get is through regular, everyday life stuff. Like something will happen and I’ll be like, ‘That’s the perfect Vine, let’s do it.’ Sometimes I’ll film it on the spot, most of the time though I’ll write it down in my phone and I’ll shoot it later.

HC: Which one of your Vines is your favorite?

MJ: My favorite of all time is the one called, “My dad is such a loser.” It’s one of me trying to do a kick flip on a skateboard and I suck and don’t land it. Then my dad walks down the driveaway and says, “Hey I use to skateboard.” I look at him and I’m like, “My dad is such a loser…” and I stop and flip around the camera and all of a sudden my dad is doing a handstand while going down a turn really fast on the skateboard.

HC: Is your personality the same in real life as it is in your Vines?

MJ: It just depends what mood I’m in. But for the most part, like when I’m with my friends or if I’m comfortable, I’ll act like that. My Vine definitely depends on my mood. Sometimes I’ll have Vines where I’m just normal or angry, but usually it’s over the top silly. It’s like a Jim Carrey personality a lot of people refer it to.

HC: What do you like to do with your free time?

MJ: Frisbee, ride my motorcycle, go off-roading, and just random stuff. I have a boat at my house so I like to ski a lot. I like to just be outside and build things. Also I like music and making videos. Vine is kind of like my hobby as well.

HC: How has your life changed since Vine?

MJ: It’s definitely different. When I go out I’ll plan on having to take a picture with someone who notices me. Also little things like people already know who I am. There are a lot of people who know I am but they don’t say anything because they’re trying to be polite or are nervous. You just get a lot of eyes on you, but it’s something I knew I was getting into when I started.

HC: Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

MJ: I want to go out to L.A. after I graduate. I want to act first and eventually build it into a directing and producing career. I’m getting my degree in media production to prepare me for that. I wanted to finish my degree before I go out and do all that, even though a lot of people in L.A. don’t have a degree.

HC: Did Vine inspire you to pursue a career in media production?

MJ: I wanted to do that before Vine, but Vine definitely re-inspired me and made it a reality. Now, I have a plan and have my foot in the door and know a lot of people in L.A. because of my Vine career. It helps because these people will contact me now and be like, ‘Hey Marcus, can you promote our movie?’ Because 4.4 million followers, that’s a lot of people they want to get their hands on.

HC: How do you see Vine growing in the future?

MJ: I don’t really know – it’s been so unpredictable. There have been some really horrible trends on Vine lately. Before, it was a place of creativity and originality, and now it has moved toward kind of like, ‘Oh, let me play this YouTube clip.’ There’s a few of us who are still around who are all original. As long as there’s good, new people coming out, Vine will have its day. It’s only going to get bigger here. It’ll be just as legit as YouTube in five years. It’s definitely not going anywhere for sure.

HC: What advice do you have for other Vine users?

MJ: My biggest thing is originality. Any one can have a viral video. There are certain things that propel people into stardom – but for the most part it’s all about consistent originality. The biggest thing is good content that will last the test of time. If you’re starting the trends you’re on the right path.

Marcus ends the interview by saying, “It’s been fun. We’ll see where it goes next.” 

If you aren’t already following Marcus on Vine, you should be! His profile can be found at: https://vine.co/marcusjohns. Also be sure to follow him on Twitter at @marcusjohns.