Awake, my pig, and defile yourself by watching this Rock TV!
Will Hines (the star of this particular video) has become a good friend of mine since he joined Rock TV a few years back, and a big reason for that is that we share a very particular sense of humor. My wife regularly teases me about how many texts he and I send back and forth, most of which read like (hilarious) nonsense. I remember a conversation early in our friendship when it somehow came up that we had each long been nursing ideas for comedy sketches involving characters from He-Man & the Masters of the Universe. I took this as an unmistakable sign from God that we were meant to co-lead Rock TV together.
In 2009, the ministry adopted the first of those two ideas, which became Skeletor Goes to Burger King (which has blown up on YouTube – now over 26,000 views!). Then, last year, the ministry decided to adopt the second concept, He-Man & Me. There are a number of ideas working in this video. At various points it’s a messed up after-school special or a pop cultural riff (He-Man, most obviously, but the title song sequence is almost directly lifted from an early-90s Christian kids show called McGee & Me – watch for yourself). The whole thing then operates on an odd wavelength – it never gets as silly as one might expect, it just remains the story of a guy who becomes friends with a strange, self-absorbed jerk.
We shot the live-action stuff on a couple warm Saturdays last August, and then Will spent much of the winter animating it. It was definitely a labor of love for him, but the end result is goofy and great, and I think it ended up making for a truly unique video. Additional bonus points to Will for his low-key, naturalistic acting job, which helped keep a lid on the tone we wanted.
Other stray observations:
-I love the “see you at swim lessons” line. These adult men seem to inhabit the world of 11-year olds, for unexplained reasons.
-Ryan Pickett and I had fun framing every shot of Will and Adam (his nemesis) in a way that made Will look like a hobbit.
-The repeated use of “closed-fist punch” was an element that was in every draft of the script, going back to Will’s original treatment.
-The video is admittedly a little “talky”, especially for a project that features an animated 1980s cartoon character. While this might not be everybody’s favorite approach to such a concept, I’m happy we did it this way. It’s less cartoonish than Skeletor Goes to Burger King, but there’s more to it that seems weird and funny when you think about it after the fact.
-Great performance of the theme song by Rock TV’s old friend Kevin Sawyer. The “Grayskull dreamin’” bit at the end was a nice little ad lib.