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Mediocre Films Interview

Greg, of Mediocre Films (over 120,000 subscribers on YouTube) has his plate full lately, with numerous online series, work for 20th Century Fox and more. But Greg was kind enough to talk with me for a bit, and answer some questions for the readers of my blog.

AL: When and why did Mediocre Films start making videos for YouTube?

MF: I had been making short video films for film festivals and putting them on my own website, mediocrefilms.com. But they were downloadable QuickTime files and many people had problems viewing them, so my wife Kim suggested I put them up at YouTube for easy Flash video sharing. This was around Oct. 2006, YouTube was still pretty new. But I had seen some of The Lonely Island’s shorts there (having already been a fan of their stuff), so I figured if it’s working for them I’d try it too.

AL: Could you talk a bit about the various series you direct (ie. Retarded Policeman, WatchTheGuild)?

MF: “Retarded Policeman” (a series about a cop with a learning disability, played by an actual down syndrome actor) keeps me busiest lately, and it’s a pretty huge hit with fans. The pilot has been viewed nearly 3 million times, and the series has about 25 million views so far (www.youtube.com/mediocrefilms) . Now we’re preparing a special edition DVD for Christmas ‘08. But I’m also directing & editing my wife Kim Evey’s show “Gorgeous Tiny Chicken Machine Show” (a crazy spoof of Japanese TV), which is distributed by Sony online (www.youtube.com/cspot). And I’ve directed five episodes of “The Guild” with Felicia Day, which won best series of ‘07 at YouTube and Yahoo (www.youtube.com/watchtheguild). All three of these shows have episodes viewed over a million times, so it’s great to have such success from all the hard work.

AL: If you had one sentence to describe your channel on YouTube, what would you say?

MF: Brash, irreverent and decidedly un-PC comedy shorts and series the whole family can enjoy. Wait, that’s not a sentence. And it’s not true.

AL: How has your success on YouTube helped your career outside of YouTube?

MF: It’s led to work writing/directing several shorts for 20th Century Fox, some online ads for a few companies and also plenty of pitch meetings and interest from various studios and agents/managers. There’s actually almost too much going on right now, with several active projects and others in various stages of development.

AL: Who is your target audience? And who is your ACTUAL audience?

MF: My target audience is anyone who thinks my twisted sense of humor is funny. (I know, bad answer. Better to be specific.) My actual audience is about 70% male, and heavily teen and college age.

AL: In what ways do you interact with your audience?

MF: I still reply to emails personally (when possible), and meet plenty of fans at networking events, panels & screenings. I always value audience feedback and opinions, except I usually ignore the negative stuff!

AL: Has your circle of friends from YouTube transferred over to your circle of friends in real life?

MF: Sure, I’ve made several close new friends — but mostly from MySpace actually. That’s where I met Scott & Josh Perry (of “Retarded Policeman”) and Payman Benz & Sean Becker of Awkward Pictures, who also both perform on “Gorgeous Tiny.” We’ve all appeared in each other’s projects; kind of our own filmmaker support group.

AL: How much of your day is spent on YouTube?

MF: When I post a new video, up to 6 hours a day, otherwise an hour or so daily.

AL: What advice do you have for up and coming YouTubers?

MF: When starting out, it’s important to be as active as possible on YouTube. Get involved, explore the site, interact… you’ll see there is so much that can be done, and not only at that site. Use social networking sites, blogs, etc. as well.

AL: Do you feel you could repeat your success on YouTube if you started over today? Why or why not?

MF: I’ve wondered that myself. It certainly helped getting in so early. There’s much more competition now, and it would require a lot of time and effort. But yes, I think I could (slowly) work my way up the ranks again…


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Viral Video Wannabe...

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…is written by Alan “fallofautumndistro” Lastufka, co-author of the book, “YouTube: An Insider’s Guide
to Climbing the Charts“. This site offers resources
for readers of my book and new tips and techniques expanding upon what is in my book. Visit the Purchase page above to order your own copy today!