Known for playing Jasper Hale in “The Twilight Saga,” actor, songwriter, producer, and aspiring director Jackson Rathbone takes fan questions about his online web series, “Aim High,” and the future of entertainment on YouTube in this exclusive Google+ hangout, moderated by Shira Lazar.
With season one well under way, “Aim High” – a series developed by Warner Bros. Digital Distribution – has found great success among a global YouTube audience and is developing major hype for a “bigger, better” season two.
Rathbone plays the witty and warrior-like Nick Green – a high school student who moonlights as a government operative for the U.S. “It’s kind of like one part Ferris Bueller, one part Jason Bourne,” the star jokes.
Speaking of working with acclaimed director McG (a.k.a. Joseph McGinty Nichol) Rathbone says, “He’s got this really wonderful energy that he brings to all of his projects […] I do have dreams of directing myself someday. I’ve always tried to work with directors that I admire.”
Jackson also compares his experiences working in major motion pictures with putting a show online. Citing the partnership with Warner Bros., he says, “We have the production quality of a TV series you can see on any network, but it was also asking a lot of people to work for free.”
He reveals that for an online series, the team would shoot ten pages a day, which is a massive amount compared to the three pages that normally get covered on one day of a movie shoot. He also points out that on “Aim High,” he would do two or three takes per scene, whereas on “The Last Airbender” film, he would deliver roughly 30 takes for the same chunk of dialogue.
When asked to give advice to aspiring artists, Rathbone turns to the cast opportunities online: “Entertainment has changed drastically. You have the Internet. You have Twitter. You have YouTube and you can put yourself out there.”
A YouTube viewer himself, Rathbone is an unashamed fan of viral cat videos and Joss Whedon’s classic, “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.”
In fact, it was projects such as “Dr. Horrible” that inspired Rathbone to jump into the world of online entertainment.
“With YouTube and with social media, it’s a connectivity between artist and audience that wasn’t there ten years ago,” he says. “Finally, people can really say what they want, have a freedom of expression that is really poignant.”
He adds, “I’m a fervent, die-hard believer in freedom of speech and I think with YouTube, there’s that ability to have the freedom to express yourself.”
Watch new episodes of “Aim High” every Tuesday on YouTube and follow Jackson Rathbone on Twitter.
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