Magician Zach King can defy the laws physics, turn his emojis into actual objects, and teleport from his bed to the red carpet at the Oscars. And he can do all these things in 6 seconds. Known as the "Vine Magician," King has made an art form out of the six-second digital video, doing what he calls "digital slight of hand.'
King plays visual jokes using the vernacular of the Internet age. His eye phone interacts with his watercolor paintings. Object fall out of his Photoshop creations. King uses TV screens to move between spaces. His illusions are not only particular to the technology of the six-second Vine video, they are a playful commentary on the technologies that have catapulted King to fame.
King's videos are addictive and entertaining. Try to look away. You can't.
King has 2.6 million Vine followers who watch his Vine magic. And brands have taken notice of his work, some of them-including Visa, Ford, Microsoft, Pringles and Unilever-have commissioned Vine magic of their own.
How does King do it? "We'll do sometimes just simple jump cuts where I freeze and people come over and change my clothes and whatever," King told ABC News. "A lot of people... are like 'How did he do that?' And we're like, 'It's just a freeze.'"
In 2008, when King was 18, he started the website, FinalCutKing.com, which offered training for the video editing software Final Cut Pro. He used a YouTube channel to provide video tutorials. After his website gained an audience, he was able to sell Final Cut Pro training seminars.
In 2011, King and a friend posted a video called Jedi Kittens on YouTube. The video, which showed two cats fighting with lightsabers was viewed more than a million times in three days and went on to have 5 million views. A sequel received 10 million views.
In 2013, YouTube named King was named "one of the 25 most promising young film-makers in America." He entered the NextUp Creators contest with a submission called Contest Entry Gone Wrong, in which he appeared to dodge airstrikes and groundfire as he pleaded to be selected for the YouTube award. YouTube awarded King $35,000 and a trip to YouTube training camp.
King began working with Vine videos in 2013. By 2014, he appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and made several Vines with the show's crew. "It usually takes about five hours to shoot and edit a video," he told ABC News.
Vine is a popular social media channel for young people, especially 13 to 15 year olds. And when creatives like King connect with that audience, there is an opportunity to make real money.
According to Rob Fishman, the co-founder of Niche, an advertising and talent agency, one six-second ad on Vine can be worth anywhere from $20,000 to $50,000. Vine ads are part of a push toward "native advertising" where the content is user-generated and grittier. Industry analysts say corporate America is forecast to spend $4 billion this year alone on native advertising - probably twice that much by the end of the decade.
King is one of a new kind of creative. He is witty, tech savvy and self-made. He took a new format and stretched its capacity to amaze.