An Interview with Brad Hansen

 

You may know him more for two particular viral videos that go by the names of 'The Lion King Rises' and 'WALL-ETHEUS.'  With the rather novel idea of syncing the audio of all-new movie trailers to the scenes of those that fit in an almost oxymoronic way, Brad Hansen has recently received massive viral success.  

Surpassing a million hits within seven days, we had to talk to him and find out more.  How does he create these mash-up trailers?  What else does he do besides these creations?  And just how does one connect a children's film with the audio of something less...youthful?  

 

As Brad allows us insight into the conceptualising process, "First I find a new trailer that people are really interested in. Then I just think about what characters, themes, and visuals seem to match up well, that would make an interesting counterpoint. If I can also think of a clever title spoof, then I know I'm in good shape!"

"I watch the trailer a hundred times over until I have it nearly committed to memory. With Dark Knight Rises and Prometheus I was already doing that, being fans of both franchises. Then I watch the movie I've selected to replace the footage with (Lion King or Wall-E) to refresh my memory, taking note of shots or scenes that could work. Then, using Final Cut Pro, I futz with every single shot to make sure it's evocative of the original, as well as getting the lip-syncing right and making hits happen with the music in a satisfying way. It definitely takes patience!"

Brad Hansen is currently making videos for entertainment site craveonline.com; but beyond that he also works passionately on short/indie film projects.  "I also make original work when time permits, much of which is on my Youtube channel MovieMaestroTen. We finished the short film Perv: The Cat not too long ago and my feature film, Driver's Ed Mutiny just became available to watch on Amazon instant view and Indieflix. But I always keep my mind open to remixing things, it's a thrill to take something, turn it on its head, and show people an aspect they hadn't seen before."  

For those aspiring to partake in making a viral video, he pointed us to a lavishly detailed blog, wrote by himself, explaining the key steps in the process of creation, sharing and analysis.

 

So the question persists.  This concept of a trailer parody is not a new one, audio mash-ups are rare but not non-existent; but what gives a man the type of creative thinking to map our the entire cast of the Nolan-made Batman films to that of The Lion King?  The answer to Brad is simple:

"I felt there were a lot of connections between the two movies that would be fun to explore. You have a hero who is shunned from his home who has to come back and rise again, you have this sort of class warfare going on with the hyenas, and obviously the villain sneaking around behind the scenes. With these mashups half of what makes them work is strong "casting" of your characters, and I remembered there being a lot of characters in Lion King that lined up well with the Batman universe. For example, I knew Zazu, the doddering caretaker of the lion family, would be an ideal Alfred."

With the amount of online publications which have reported on these Youtube successes, it was only natural to ask, with anticipation, just what trailers he was looking to creatively 'destroy' next.  The answer couldn't have got us more excited.  

"I'm always on the lookout for interesting remixes. Right now I'm going to wait until the next big trailer hits and see what comes into mind that would fit in a cool way. The next Avengers trailer would be a great target."

What films could possibly make for a suitable visual accompaniment for Brad Hansen?  We, for one, cannot wait to find out.