Within the vast black hole of the internet, one certainty that’s always…uh…certain, is that anyone with a camera and an the ability to pound the letters y-o-u-t-u-b-e on a keyboard, will eventually take a shot at making the world laugh. Sometimes they’ll hit comedy gold; other times, they’ll just hit someone in the balls or botch a back flip off of a Coke machine. Either way, these brave souls are willing to put their best foot and or vertebra forward, in hopes to get some sort of intangible acknowledgment that ultimately manifests it’s self as a “Fuck Yes!” or “You’re gay” comment below their video.
In this segment however, we move to celebrate a very select few; the few that take that “best foot” and keep moving it forward; the ones that set aside a very low budget and a huge amount of time to produce that of the Webisode. This month we take you deep inside the psyches that created everybody’s favorite kid-brother to a Sith Lord, Chad Vader —Day Shift Manager.
Borne from the minds of Aaron Yonda and Matt Sloan, founders of Blame Society Productions, (www.blamesociety.net) Chad Vader – Day Shift Manager is a series of eight webisodes (so far) that follow Darth Vader’s younger sibling, Chad, (played by Yonda and voiced by Sloan) through the day to day on goings as the Day Shift Manager of Empire (Super) Market.
To date, Chad Vadar is Blame Society’s most popular feature, boasting over 20-million hits on Youtube and five-million on Myspace since launching in July of 2006. Aside from the Internet views USA Today, New York Times, VH1 and Good Morning America have recognized Chad’s creators for their successes in the “Web Realm.”
In 2007 Vader also picked up the “George Lucas Selects” award for the Star Wars Fan Movie Challenge, as Sloan was hired by Lucas Arts to be the voice of Darth Vadar in the “Empire at War: Forces of Corruption,” video game.
Yonda and Sloan’s joint movie making endeavors began in 2001, when their initial production goal was “to just make one movie a month,” said Yonda. “We started out making films because we just wanted to do it,” he added. “Like most people with their art, they do it because they almost have to.” “In the back of our minds we thought, “Sure, it would be cool to do this as a day job,” but were not going to expect that.” “That would be like lightning striking.” “But it did,” Sloan chimed in.
While Vadar’s fame continues to flourish, Blame Society stays busy with dozens of other projects. One being a mock court show, called McCourt’s in Session, where Sloan plays the Honorable Pontiff Leonard J. McCourt, an all/no-nonsense judge who hands down hilariously absurd verdicts with an almost Judge Judy meets George W. Bush air. McCourt’s was featured on VH1’s Acceptable TV in 2007 and is now available on DVD at Blame Society’s website.
Another popular feature on their site (and my personal favorite) is a mostly improv based show called Fun Rangers. Fun Rangers stars both Yonda and Sloan as a couple of nearly catatonic dullards that wonder through random scenarios while employing the hilarious improv technique of “Rolphing.” (See “Why Rolphing is funny part 1 & 2” at blamesociety.net for a full disclosure on “Rolphing.”)
Since receiving that afore mentioned flash of electricity, Yonda and Sloan have been producing films full-time over the past year and a half from their home state of Wisconsin. Surprisingly, the itch to move to LA hasn’t been too irritating for the pair. “Although we have made a hell of a lot of trips to LA, we’re doing so well here, we don’t really see a need to move,” said Yonda. Sloan added, “Right now, moving would kind of be a step backwards.” “We’re surrounded with such a great crew and good people.”
With plans for a “tongue in cheek” book on the “How to’s” of Internet Superstardom, and a few TV pitches in the works, (including a possible Chad Vadar pilot) Blame Society obviously doesn’t rely too heavily on the Hollywood springboard to get them where they want to be. In fact, Hollywood has been a bit of a hindrance.
After releasing the last episode of Chad Vadar season one, Blame Society was on an unintended break from production, mostly due to legalistic red tape. “Every time I’d read a post asking, “Where the fuck is season 2?” I’d cringe,” explains Yonda. “We were ready to go with the production of season 2 and then out of nowhere comes this TV offer and all the clearances that go along with that.” “We would also like to know when season 2 will be made,” added Sloan. “It’s either going to be made into a TV pilot or we’re just going to get tired of waiting and make it ourselves.”
Despite the Vadar hold up, Yonda and Sloan have been producing and pitching a number of sketch based television shows, as well as maintaining a web presence with a show called Celebrity Bric-a-Brac Theater and their latest cooking show web series called Thor’s Kitchen.
“We really don’t want to be just ‘the Chad Vadar guys,’” said Sloan. “A lot of people found our site because of Chad,” added Yonda. “Then they end up liking the other stuff more.”
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