In the middle of Holiday season, it's become tradition to surround oneself with the familiar. Christmas food, family bickering, and drinking with your friends while avoiding the other people you went to high school with. This year, the lady, the dog, and I spent it far from home, across the country. How's a guy supposed to catch his fix of the familiar with a side of warm and fuzzies in the winter of 2015?
A few weeks ago, Star Wars was an impending juggernaut. Like a snow storm you knew was coming. School was going to be cancelled, and everyone was going to post about it on Facebook. It also presented itself with a great opportunity to rally the troops from Magic Plus (my old sketch comedy group) to put together a shameless cash grab at Star Wars-mania and greasy fat finger clicks on YouTube.
We hustled and bustled for a few weeks and below is our finished product, the first wholly new live action Magic Plus sketch in almost 3 years:
But it wasn’t so easy to put together.
BEHIND THE SCENES
Making something with your friends is one of the most satisfying feelings you can have, it just so happens that these specific friends haven’t all lived in the same house, city, state, or side of the country for almost 3 years. So finding the means to work together isn’t always so easy. But like anything that grows, it all starts with a seed.
Texts with Al from 11/19/15
We bounced around ideas, noting that Al’s uncle had a replica Stormtrooper costume in Michigan, and if Al could take advantage of that while visiting home over Thanksgiving, we would be in business. A few days of back and forth lead to this quick exchange, where I sent Al an old compilation of 80s dating video profiles.
And like that, we were off. All I needed was to put a script together by Thanksgiving. With a camera and green screen, Al and his uncle could shoot the characters in Michigan. Then once he was back and putting the edit together in FL, I could recruit a few fun people I know out in Los Angeles to record some voices here, while Al and the crew recorded voices in FL.
Vader Pre-VHS makeover
We came in right under the gun, posting the video December 17th, the day Episode 7 came out. Almost a month to the day from when we started brainstorming. We had a decent showing on Facebook, thanks to a lot of people willing to share the video. YouTube took a nap while that was happening. And these aren’t all runaway viral hits, but for nothing warmed me for the holidays quite like getting a funny with old friends, and new, out there.
Plus.. there’s going to be like 6 more of these movies. That’s what we call ‘evergreen’ kids!
Cheers to the voice cast who came up with much funnier stuff than I had in the script: NO CANKLES!
Thanks to Al Krakosky's uncle, for seriously investing in his inner child.
Subscribe to the Magic Plus YouTube Channel, in case we get our act together and put out another sketch.
Check out some more of Al’s awesome work at Unknown Media
And have a Happy New Year, if you feel inclined to do so.
May the Schwartz be with you all.