Diving Into Fish Flicks

I got the chance to have a chat with Jackson McMinn, the creator behind the YouTube channel “Fish Flicks” (and partner to our very own Moth Moth Moth). Originally the channel started off as Jackson occasionally reviewing movies as a hobby during the pandemic. Soon he expanded his content into doll unboxing videos, which are now his claim to fame! While Jackson describes himself as shy and soft- spoken, his videos are anything but. The Jackson I spoke to was witty, passionate, and just the right amount of shady. What you can expect from Fish Flicks is flashy editing, biting comedy, and, obviously, the plastic Barbie fantasy.

Well before we talk about your content, tell us a bit about yourself Jackson!

Aside from my YouTube, I sell glasses for a living, not exactly what I wanna do forever but it’s what I’m doing right now! I’m also an artist. I do a lot of painting in my free time and whenever I feel like it but y’know it hasn’t been much lately. But I work pretty much all the time and editing my videos takes up the rest of the time. I’m actually editing one today to put out soon!

Oof, I did a software class last year and I literally took 3 hours to edit a 3 minute clip. I have so much respect for people who edit their videos.

I did a film class in high school, but it was honestly horrible. I got the gist but I literally just use iMovie. My PC is old and crappy but it was on there and I can crank the videos out in about 2 hours. It can be very tedious and currently I’m only uploading every 2 weeks. I’ve actually had this new video filmed for about a week but I dread the process. Once I’m in a groove, though, it’s okay. I started with movie reviews and those are AWFUL editing-wise cuz the length of the movie plus the time to edit and comment drags the editing on forever.

Well speaking of your earlier videos, how did you begin content creation and why did you start with movies?

How it started was pretty dumb to be honest. I did a lot of house and dog sitting for a couple people frequently and all I did alone was drink and watch movies and honestly it started when I made Insta stories reviewing them and people loved them and asked me to save them on my account. From there, people said I should start a channel and I just kinda started.

But I know a lot of your content now is centered around dolls and unboxing videos. How did you start that?

I’ve always loved dolls but it didn’t dawn on me to do it on YouTube before. It all happened in lockdown. The collection got BAD. I started trolling eBay for dolls constantly but I don’t remember who told me it may have been Moth but he asked me to start making unboxing videos because I literally was ripping open vintage Barbie boxes. I wish I started earlier but it’s super fun. But yeah, it started while I was tipsy on Insta. It’s something I enjoy so why not film it. Surprisingly really quickly I started getting random followers and people said they loved it. I kinda feel bad now for missing uploads, but I have one going up today so fingers crossed haha! 

Photo by Marcus Menefee

What do you enjoy most about your content creation?

I mean as much as I said I hate editing I do love it too. Even if a portion of what I film isn’t something funny or particularly interesting I can actually make it funny or engaging. When I watch over footage I go back and back and back adding stupid stuff. The unboxing itself is super nostalgic too which is great, but I find I have a love/hate relationship with editing. Even if I had enough money to actually hire an editor, I don’t know if I could because I want to do it my way but also I SUPER don’t want to do it.

What queer online creators inspire you personally?

I follow a lot on Insta and recently I started following a lot of doll people. Some of them are WILD. I’m trying to get into TikTok but I really can’t get myself to post there. You’d think it’d be easier but it’s so hard for me. You see a lot of stuff like what I do on TikTok and it’s definitely something I want to and honestly can do. I don’t have any particular people but TikTok definitely inspires me and it’s definitely a place I want to break into. I’ve tried condensing the Barbie ones into interesting moments for TikTok but it’s hard to just find those particular moments. It’s important to catch attention and keep it. I just have to remind myself sometimes that I’m still very new so I have to take things slow as I learn to grow online.

Do you have any other styles of content or videos you want to branch into or pursue in the future?

Oh definitely! I wanna try to make my YouTube more than just movies or dolls. I want it to be all of what I’m doing. I just need to film it. My paintings, my DIY projects, I just want people to come to my channel and see all the weird shit I do. The problem is that most of my paintings and DIYs are half-finished.

You said your doll videos were your more popular videos. Do you feel like you have to do more of that to maintain your audience?

I mean, I do feel pressure from the doll community. They are WILD. I haven’t gotten hate for not making content, but I hope the DIY and painting videos get good views. People do still comment on and watch both and ask for the movie ones but I really do want to branch out. I’ve heard from other creators that more variety in a channel can help with bringing in more audiences. I want to have a lil bit of everything in my channel.

Online creation is obviously a big undertaking and it can defo be discouraging initially, how do you keep yourself motivated to keep up with content, especially now with so many options for queer content!

I would post initially and when I first started they were ABYSMAL. The videos did not do well, but I enjoyed it and I just told myself it wasn’t my job and had fun. I started the Barbie ones and loved making those even more but I still told myself I was having fun and still just enjoyed even the little engagement I got initially. I want people along for the ride y’know.

Now my biggest question, why Fish Flicks? How did you get the name?

Soooo Fish came from once upon a time when I did drag for 5 seconds and I couldn’t think of a drag name. I was on a vacation with my older nieces and I didnt know what name to do and we were at the ocean and they were inspired. One of them said why not fish and I said werk! My drag name was actually Fish and it didn’t really work out for me but my Insta name was fish whiskers and Moth actually told me to call the channel Fish FLICKS. It doesn’t say much about the channel but it’s fun so the aquatic theme with mermaids just stuck.

I feel like YouTube and Drag could both be considered a kind of performance. What is the difference to you that makes YouTube more appealing?

It’s different to me because you can see me do my thing but we’re not together. It takes off the pressure. I actually made my partner Moth leave so he wouldn’t hear me. I’m TERRIBLY shy. I mean I’ve been in retail forever and am good at being fake nice but I’ve always been shy. At the last drag show I did, my heart was pounding out of my chest, so I took it as a sign. But here I can do what I want and do it calmly and you don’t see all the mistakes. You don’t see me yawn or stumble. You just see the final product.

What can we expect to see from your channel for the rest of the year?

Obviously more doll videos. Hopefully more movie videos. I do have fully edited painting and DIY videos I just need to finish. I have some planned home projects that I wanted to do and film. One of them involves painting all of my floors pink so look out for that haha. Who knows? Maybe I’ll even try out gaming. I really just wanna show everything I can on my channel.