Prologue: Last December, I was roaming through Twitter when I saw a couple of my friends were applying for the YouTube NextUp Program. I figured why not since it didn’t cost anything to apply, but I certainly didn’t expect to be one of the 30 channels selected from the thousands that applied. It was an incredibly humbling experience and I’m grateful our channel was selected, and I never would have guessed I would have met content creators from different corners of YouTube and learn to respect their content in a whole new light. One of those content creators was Wren Weichman.
All throughout the first week, Wren was in high demand. He was the special effects guy for NextUp 2013, and everyone wanted him involved in their videos. I sat back and watched creator after creator approach him with ideas, so I figured I’d make his life even more awful and approach him with an idea of my own.
Honestly, it all began with me just wanting more Harry Potter content on YouTube, so I had this silly idea of the four different Hogwarts houses involved in a battle to show the different techniques of wizard dueling – very Avatar: The Last Airbender. I knew a VFX person would need to be involved, and I thought I’d just toss the idea Wren’s way and see what he thought. This was before we even knew each other; funny how we’re such good friends now and that idea completely took off.
After the first week of NextUp, there were MANY Skype calls between Wren, RJ, and me about what this Harry Potter video could become. It soon evolved from a simple little idea to a complex story with an actual narrative that we were all proud of. RJ wrote an 18 page script that we had planned to shoot in just 2 days with the help of other NextUp talent (Nick, Evelina, Devin, and Jon) and professional actors Wren had tracked down (Tanner and Brent). We provided our own costumes and props, Wren borrowed a Red Epic, Evelina’s husband fetched us food, and we took two days off our already heavily-scheduled week 2 of NextUp to film OMEn Chronicles. And boy was it tiring/a lot of fun.
Obviously, the video has been released by now, but not before Wren dedicated some 2,000+ hours to editing together the film. Pun intended, he really worked his magic and made this film a fucking masterpiece. Of course, it’s received criticism everywhere from the acting, to the story, to the dialogue, to the VFX, but I think the like/dislike ratio speaks for itself. The response has been overwhelmingly positive and we’re so excited so many people enjoyed the immense amount of effort Wren put into this film.
Check out Wren’s channel here.
I’m writing this post to give the video a second round of traffic – it needs more views. Do Wren a favor and share the video, if not this article, so more people can see it and we have more leverage to possibly turn this into something bigger. Thanks to everyone who made this possible, and to everyone who has shown continued support since it’s been uploaded.
Let me know in the comment section below what your favorite moments are, and possibly what you think will happen next. 🙂