New stars are born on YouTube every day, and for some of these stars YouTube is just the beginning. YouTubers have moved on to get their own movies, television shows and advertising deals (such as Fred, iJustine and The Annoying Orange, to name a few). The latest YouTube star to make his way to the big screen is Kevin Wu aka KevJumba, who will be starring in the upcoming sci-fi hit ‘Rock Jocks’ with big name stars like Felicia Day, Justin Chon from Twilight, Jason Mewes from Jay and Silent Bob and more. We had the opportunity to ask KevJumba, as well as John Byrnes, one of the film’s Executive Producers, a few questions about Rock Jocks. Read on to find out what they had to say.
Before we get to our interview with KevJumba and John Byrnes, here’s a little bit of background on the film. The plot is described in a Rock Jocks press release. “A secret band of overworked government employees spend their night shift fighting off boredom and a meddling bureaucrat hell-bent on shutting them down, while defending the world from an onslaught of asteroids. Rock Jocks is a honest, edgy and quirky comedy that offers an unorthodox glimpse into the universal truths that arise out of the basic human condition.” Felicia Day will be starring as the second-in-command leader of the band of overworked government employees, Justin Chon, Gerry Bednob from 40-Year Old Virgin, and Kevin Wu (KevJumba) will be part of the band of misfits, under their captain, who is played by Andrew Bowen of Reno911 and MadTV.
Justin Chon and KevJumba have uploaded a couple of behind-the-scenes videos to let fans catch a glimpse of what the filming was like.
I asked KevJumba about how he got involved in the production. He said, “The Producer for this movie, Sheri Bryant, found me through YouTube and thought I might be a good fit for one of the roles in the movie Rock Jocks. I had never done a feature film before so I decided to audition, and fortunately they liked it. So then I was given the part.”
He told me that acting in a feature film is a whole different world than creating videos for a YouTube audience. “It’s a completely different experience. On YouTube I have to worry about writing, shooting, and editing all of my videos, but with Rock Jocks my sole purpose is to act and to take direction from the director until he’s happy with each scene. It’s been really fun, especially getting to work with the great cast that they have on this project.”
Speaking of the great cast, I asked John Byrnes how they managed to put together such a wonderful cast. He told me, “We invested a lot of time in the development phase of the project to identify actors who we felt were right for the roles. Our film is fresh and original, but also has popular culture appeal that spans the worlds of sci-fi, gaming and smart comedy—and the actors we chose reflect this unique mix. We also held extensive auditions through our wonderful casting agent, Geralyn Flood, who worked closely with us on principal casting decisions.”
I also asked John about the behind-the-scenes footage that Justin Chon has been uploading to his YouTube page and whether we would be seeing more of these clips. He told me, “We are very lucky to have Justin in our film, and proud of the incredible enthusiasm, creativity and dedication he brought to the project. We trust that he will continue to promote our film, and his amazing role in it, through various channels. His role in the upcoming Twilight series will take much of his time as we head into post-production, but we’ll be working with him and other cast to get the word out as we get closer to release.”
In addition to these YouTube videos, Rock Jocks is relying heavily on social media for promotion, already accruing fans on Facebook and Twitter. John tells me, “Social media is one of many marketing tools we plan to use to promote our film. It’s a great way to identify our audience and create meaningful conversations with them as we progress through production, post-production and ultimately distribution and release. Our film has natural built-in appeal for the 18-24 year old viewers—a segment that is very fluent in social media—so it’s a natural platform on which to build awareness and excitement for our feature project.”
The film just wrapped up production about a week ago, so now it’s on to post. You can follow Rock Jocks via social media for news about how the production process is going, as well as when you can expect to see it hit theaters.
Megan O’Neill is the resident web video enthusiast here at Social Times. Megan covers everything from the latest viral videos to online video news and tips, and has a passion for bizarre, original and revolutionary content and ideas.