Iván Miranda, at 40, has a somewhat atypical profession for someone his age: he is a youtuber. And, although he does not show Fortnite games, in a way what you see in his videos can be considered the toys of a 40-year-old boy. Because Iván has, among others, a remote-controlled car that climbs the walls, a machine to make holes in the beach, a cannon capable of launching hundreds of plastic balls the size of an orange at about 100 kilometers per hour and, soon, a tank. “But it’s red and plastic, don’t worry,” he jokes while we talk on the phone. All his constructions are made of this material and he has made them to the delight of the more than 100,000 followers subscribed on YouTube to the videos that he records in an old carpentry shop in San Sebastián. He is the Basque MacGyver.
At age 40, he has more than 100,000 subscribers to his YouTube channel where he builds ‘pots’ with a 3D printer
“As you can imagine, tinkering, I’ve tinkering all my life,” he relates. At one point, roughly four years ago, he left his company and moved on to gimmicks on a professional level. His market research consisted of seeing that people like videos in which other people do things on the Internet. “I said to myself ‘well I do them too’ and I started doing tests.”
“In the end, being Spanish and being from here, it’s a bit difficult to believe that people will want to see what you do,” he confesses. “So when they start to see it you warm up and do more.” And so on until in the summer of 2016 he decided to upload one video a week.
“It is a brutal amount of work and until June of this year he had not failed a single week.” All this, while he had another job and without forgetting his work as the father of two children who, obviously, do not have broken toys for too long.
Unlike the hero of the Phoenix Foundation, he doesn’t do everything solely with his hands, but almost. His assistant is a 3D printer that executes the designs that he makes and enters. He buys the parts, except for the plastic, which is provided by his sponsor. “It provides me with all the filament that I can spend, which is not little,” he confesses. It is the red body that shapes each of his crazy things.
After a little debate, neither of us know how to name what he does. Buildings? Inventions? Finally we conclude that perhaps “pots” is the most accurate translation of contraptions, the word he usually uses in his videos. Yes, Iván records only in English.
“When I started I had a moment to stop and say ‘do I do it in Spanish or in English?'”, He explains. In the end, since he wanted to be able to dedicate himself exclusively to this, he gained English by numbers: they can see him without problems in the United States, Canada, Australia and much of Europe, Spain included. But with an “insurmountable” accent.
- Did they tell you something? It is a very characteristic accent, but it is not so normal to see.
- Yes, this has statistics: which country do you think is the one that gives me the most negative votes?
- Spain. But with a distance of about 4% with the next country. Many people complain about it in the comments: “you have a horrible pronunciation”. No, what I have is a Spanish accent and it hurts all Spaniards to hear other Spaniards speaking in English. It is so. It’s that it hurts, damn it. But we are used to speaking with five vowels that are vowels, vowels. When we try to say things like fish we do what we can. When you hear another you say “oh, how it hurts”, but it is what it is.
The whole process is done in the warehouse that he has in San Sebastián. This batcave -Iván, that we know, for now neither fights crime nor considers it- arrived after several moves. “When I started, I made the videos in one of the rooms at home. Then I had a son and he took the room, so I was moved to the storage room.”
Hence, when the YouTube channel “began to give a little dough” to a commercial premises and later – and with more income – Iván finally arrived at the carpentry in which he is now, which, moreover, catches him close to home and allows you to move around with your gadgets. “There I can brutalize myself as much as I want.”
Ideas, he assures, are not lacking, because with experience he is learning new techniques that allow him to take up abandoned projects. And that’s when it gets brutalized: “if instead of putting one of five I put one of 50 it goes faster, if instead of making it half a meter I make it two meters, then better … I think that it comes out a little the Basque in me “.
The Basque in him is sometimes recognized on the street, something he considers “quite surreal”. “Someone approaches you as if they have known you all your life and you spend a good time trying to find out what you know about them.”
Nor is it that strange, considering that his channel already exceeds 100,000 subscribers, something that YouTube recently recognized with a plaque. He also gives them when he surpasses the million, 10 million and 100 million barriers, which, for the moment, no one has achieved. “The one with 100 million is easier for me to print,” Ivan admits laughing.
Not all are successes – with a printer made with felt-tip pens it failed “miserably” – and the work, which also includes editing the videos and managing social networks, he does practically alone (sometimes his friends come to help him to record). “I’ve lost sleep with this YouTube shoveling,” he admits with a laugh. “When someone comes to record it is a blessing.”
In any case, the pots do not have a very long life. Except for the inventions that he likes a lot and are pardoned, like the cannon, “most of them are destroyed and I get the pieces back.” The plastic is not a problem, but the components are. “There are engines that cost 200 euros each and if the machine has four … Well, I’ll take them off and use them for the next one. If not, there is no way to afford this.” In total, about 40 or 50 hours of work per week (in its first stage it could reach 70) that are recycled for the next construction. “I do not feel sorry for it; I am more excited about what is new than what is already done and tried.”
Another one that will survive is his favorite, which no one has seen yet: the mega-tank that he is making. He talks about it with a mixture of pride and the laughter that comes in when we say – or, in this case, do – a little outrage. “To give you an idea, the size of the tank has been given by my van: I have made the largest tank capable of entering through the back door.”
Iván talks about his tank again later, when we ask him about the thing that still escapes him, the Moby Dick of his youtuber career: “if he could have, for example, another type of machinery to work with metal, probably the The tank would not be made of plastic. And surely the police would come to pay me a visit. ” But don’t panic, because it will be red and plastic, like everything this MacGyver does. “When I was little, when I grew up I wanted to be like him. I think I almost succeeded.”