I can’t believe we’re at the halfway point of 52 Sellout with 26 videos in the books! I honestly had no idea if I would be able to keep up the schedule but I’ve surprised even myself with what I’ve been able to get done over these past 6 months.
As with the first quarter (which I recapped here), some weeks turned out better than other, but I think the overall quality has gone up and the videos have been getting more and more views each week.
So here are the 13 videos of the second quarter, in order of my personal preference:
#1 Chinatown Bus, week 21
The Chinatown Bus companies are a very specific, quirky, and unique aspect of east coast city living and it was fun to try to capture as much of that phenomenon in one song as I could. I think another reason this video is my favorite of the second quarter is that it’s a full song, not just a quick jingle or background music. I also enjoyed trying to make a video that looked like a pop video from another country.
#2 Boaty McBoatface, week 17
Before the Brits voted themselves out of the EU they voted to name their new polar research ship Boaty McBoatface. The powers that be chose “David Attenborough” so I reimagined Boaty as a Saturday morning cartoon and wrote this theme song. It’s among my favorites from the quarter because Animated Science Boat.
#3 The Other Property Brothers, week 20
Another theme song for another show that doesn’t exist! People kept telling me I look like the twins on Property Brothers so I finally used that knowledge for comedy. People tweeted the video to the real Property Brothers and they even responded! Hooray for the internet!
#4 Colorado Buds and Duds, week 16
This one was fun because it starts as a low-budget commercial and ends as a sketch. It’s also a nice change of pace because at 2:59 it’s the longest video in the series. It’s like my Lawrence of Arabia! The jam band music was fun to write too, with a tight rhythm section over endless guitar noodling.
#5 Non Jovi for DirecTV, week 23
This DirecTV commercial parody features the first appearance by another actor (my friend Lee) as well as directly parodying a commercial that’s being played to death right now.
#6 Asbestos, week 18
One of the advantages of a weekly series is that you’re free to make certain weeks as weird as you want, which is what I did here. And I enjoyed using a midcentury aesthetic to make the video, showing how industrial solutions of the past sometimes come back to haunt us.
#7 Monee Mutual, week 19
The very day I posted this video google announced that it would stop posting ads for payday loan companies, which I of course took full credit for. Honestly though, it’s fun to be able to tackle issues that are current, and in researching the industry for this piece I learned a lot about these shady operators.
#8 Bud’s Discount Furniture, week 25
A parody of the Bob’s Discount Furniture ads that play incessantly, I feel this ad came together pretty well and I enjoy the buildup of weirdness Bud displays by revealing all of the ways he tries to save you money. Plus no I know what I look like with 75 extra pounds!
#9 Sovereign Citizens Tax Vanguards, week 14
I wanted to do something for mid-April tax season and I remembered an article about Wesley Snipes’ issues with the I.R.S. and how he’d fallen in with some tax protestors of the sovereign citizen flavor. I researched a lot of the arguments these types of folks use and, whew, some crazy ideas.
#10 Citadel Insurance, Week 26
My Prax’sWar Auto commercial from week 6 was a lot of fun and my friends suggested I bring him back sometime. When I decided to parody those Liberty Mutual commercials of customers airing their policy grievances in front of the Statue of Liberty it seemed a natural fit.
#11 The Inkjet Hammer, week 15
Sometimes ideas grow out of necessity and/or opportunity. I had an old inkjet printer that I needed to take to an ecycling event the next day and I thought it would be fun to destroy it on camera. And doing one of those “As Seen on TV” ads was inevitable at some point in this series.
#12 Amazon Lion-Dog with new Music, week 24
And there are those other ideas that grow out of pure grievance. That schmaltzy Amazon Prime ad annoyed me so much because the woman’s vocal was so overly breathy and contrived it made me want to scream. So I changed the music and I think improved the spot immensely.
#13 Noodles in a Cup, week 22
This one grew out of the idea for the music, I liked the having the jazzy, cheesy jingle devolve into an angst-ridden nightmare of regret.
And there you have it! Half of the 52 weeks of 52 Sellout in the books! These are my favorites but what have been yours so far? Is there a commercial or product you want me to try to work into a video?
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