OE Interview in The Apiary

For those too lazy to click a link, below is our Apiary interview, written by the hilarious Elaina Fejes. Enjoy!

Things are looking good when your videos run right off the web. For the past four years, Olde English has been developing a flourishing online fanbase with their vids, but one of their latest creations, “One Picture Every Day,” made its way to unlikely places such as Good Morning America and Entertainment Weekly. We approached Olde English after their show at the UCBT last week to talk about the process and their presence.

Read our responses after the break.

After an intense stretch of shorts you produced this summer and fall, what can you tell us about writing for a live show compared to writing for the screen?

RAIZIN: What sucks about writing for the stage is it means you have to rehearse. When I direct a video, I can get a hundred different takes of every line and use the one that’s the most not-crappy, throw some music over it, and boom, there’s a sketch. In a live setting, the actors only get one chance to deliver their lines, so the odds are much higher you’ll get one of the crappy takes, unless you rehearse the crap out of it. When you rehearse a sketch, that means reading it over and over again, until it’s not even funny anymore and you start to think maybe the actors aren’t crappy… maybe the line you wrote is crappy! THIS IS DANGEROUS. So instead, we put off rehearsing as long as possible and that way every performance is a surprise. If you go into a show well-prepared and confident, where’s the thrill in that?

ADAM: I’ll echo Raizin on this one, but more seriously. I think that often when working on a live show we’ll leave more elements unplanned or unrehearsed than other groups would, simply because letting the moment happen spontaneously is often more successful than trying to force it with obsessive planning. Or maybe it’s just because we hate rehearsing.

You have some devoted fans that visit your website regularly and leave brutally honest comments on your videos. Do you guys take those to heart? Do you have your fans in mind when you write?

BEN: We’re thrilled when the fans like our videos, but we don’t get shaken up when they don’t. We always try to make comedy that’s interesting to us. If we like the comedy we’re making, we’re happy.

ADAM: Frankly, I view “writing for the fans” as a temptation to be resisted. We often have to remind ourselves that the most vocal of our fans are also a small minority of our total audience–not to downplay the value of their opinions, because they are also often the most insightful–and that aiming to please them won’t necessarily please the other 99% of casual viewers and first-time visitors. For instance, our more devoted fans tend to enjoy self-referential videos like “Raizin and Adam Live Together” or “Hidden Messages,” because they play off of material they’re full of in-jokes, which obviously don’t mean much to everyone else. That’s not to say that those videos aren’t fun to make, of course.

Do you feel that the internet has given an advantage to groups such as yourselves who might not have had the forum in years past to do what you do?

BEN: For sure!
ADAM: Absolutely. Next question!

In the same vein, do you feel it’s harder now for groups to find their own identity because of the accessibility and overpopulation of groups on the internet?

RAIZIN: I think we’re very lucky in that we kind of caught the wave early. Now just about every comedy group has videos on their website, but when we started, it was mostly cartoons, or clips of TV shows. If we started posting our videos today, in the era of youtube, there’s no way we’d become as popular as we have over the last four years. That said, I think we’d be even more popular if we had more videos about babies yawning, or cats falling off things. I’m always pushing for more cat videos.

ADAM: Definitely. “Gym Class” was a minor hit on the net a few years ago, but I doubt it would have done nearly as well now, simply because there’s too much material out there that is frankly much better. We got incredibly lucky with “One Picture Every Day” on YouTube–there’s plenty of equally great material other groups are putting up that goes ignored there, simply because the volume is so high. That’s why our website will always be, in my mind, the real home for our material: if you follow a link to “One Picture” on our site, you know who we are–if you watch it on YouTube, it’s just one of the fifty funny YouTube videos you watched today.

What do you think makes you stand apart from other comedy groups? Don’t be modest.

ADAM: I’d say it’s our lack of attention to any facet of life on Earth other than making comedy. Our apartments are filthy, our clothes are rags, and our girlfriends don’t bother calling us anymore. We’re also never content with any of our material, which is frustrating but productive.

DAVE: I’d say our ability to fill out complicated forms. When we come up with a device like the one for “Ben Take a Photo,” we brainstorm until we’ve got more material than we could ever use. Then, we arrange the best pieces until we’ve got something that works and we fill it out with connections and argue over endings. I think it’s that laborious process that makes us who we are.

What’s next?

ADAM: We’re currently looking into producing content for various online and traditional media companies, and doing our best to worm our way into the industry at the same time. I’d say more, but I’m of the opinion that telling people about a possible project you’re working on is a surefire way to make sure it doesn’t happen.

15 Comments on “OE Interview in The Apiary”

  1. kevin Says:

    you’re gonna be getting new publicity every week!

  2. Keilah Says:

    You guys are becoming bigger and bigger! Very cool. (My first comment ever :])

  3. sarah hayley Says:

    italics everywhere!

  4. Olives. Says:

    Well done, boys. You should have mentioned OE Rules–for some reason, Rules just knocks my socks off.

  5. Brad T Says:

    Nice group photo… I almost forgot that caleb was still in the group

  6. Timmahh Says:

    you seemed shaken up when no one liked the boxer vs. raptor video. i guess that was the exception. you spelled “to” wrong at the top. i’m just full of negativity today.

  7. Stefan Says:

    hah I saw this interveiw before you guys posted it thanks to my awesome stalker capabilities.

  8. Chioke Says:

    Q: What do you think makes you stand apart from other comedy groups? Don’t be modest.

    DAVE: I’d say our ability to fill out complicated forms.

    i.e: the FAFSA, 1040 EZ, et. al

  9. threechordme Says:

    Timmahh i liked the boxer vs. raptor videos
    and so did almost everyone else i know so a few of us
    liked those ones but i guess this is not the place to debate this

  10. cap'n steve Says:

    woot woot! dedicated viewers!
    congrats, and good job. and i love the sarcasm.

  11. Phil Says:

    you guys are the best
    and, I don’t get boxer vs. raptor, but my friend loves it

  12. Potato Says:

    I love Boxer vs. Raptor too. I just realized how long it’s been since I’ve commented on here. I missed it

  13. Kileigh Says:

    Devoted fans? Try rabid fans. Fear us and our love!

  14. Timmahh Says:

    you took my “no one” comment too literal. i thought the first boxer vs. raptor was funny, but the second one just seemed…thrown together to meet the quota. there were two or three positive responses to it though, before it was removed. it’s probably the only video i did’nt find funny out of all of the ones posted here.

  15. Tim Says:

    literally, hoe. get yo grammer right