Matt Conant (on the left)
Have you ever had a conversation with someone and afterward, you realize just how geeky it sounded? Like discussing why it took the Empire so long to build the first Death Star, yet had the second one done in a couple years? Not that I ever had that conversation…
Anyway, now imagine someone records it and puts it on the web. That would be the idea behind The OverAnalyzers. Matt Conant, one of the producers and actors in the show, was nice enough to talk to me about being over analytical and The Angry Video Game Nerd.
Who came up with the idea (which is so simple, yet brilliant)?
The concept was the brainchild of James Rolfe. I believe he and Mike Matei had been watching a lot of Transformers and started laughing at the sudden but constant disappearance of Optimus’s trailer. So from that sprung the concept that one could try to find explanations for the inexplicable in pop culture. I don’t think we realized we’d go so far off track every time, or that it would be funnier if we never reached a solution.
How do you decide on a topic?
We have a top-secret spreadsheet of possible topics that we share through Google Docs and discuss over the phone and IM (I know, nerdy). Stephanie and Mike actually wrote out a couple of scripts, but as we got close to shooting, we realized it was going to end up more off-the-cuff than scripted, so we cut them down to bullet-point lists and make sure to hit the needed punchlines.
It naturally became kind of a blend of script and improv. So when it comes time to shoot, James will go through our spreadsheet of hundreds of possible topics and select the 5-10 he really likes about a week in advance, and we’ve got a week or so to cultivate them and make them really funny.
Warning: Plenty of NSWF Language, Turn Down Your Speakers
What’s up with the chick with the Russian accent?
This is probably the #1 question we get on the Cinemassacre boards. The accent was one of multiple things we were hoping people would over-analyze on the boards because we love community engagement. We even had some jokes planned for future episodes revolving around involving Susie’s “heritage” relating to pop culture topics, but we ended up cutting most of those scenes and decided to drop the accent starting with Episode 9 when it became the main focus of the fans’ over-analysis.
Of course, it’s a terrible Russian accent… because it’s not a Russian accent. Without the ambiguous European accent, she sounds pretty Canadian, so we’re all expecting her to get poked fun of for that, too.
What’s it like working with The Angry Video Game Nerd?
James (AVGN) is awesome. He and Stephanie were acting partners in college, so she introduced us a few years back when we were working on Piece of Meat, a parody music video where we needed a nerd character and a blood effects person. James happened to be both.
So I think I actually met him the day I had to direct him, and of course, he knocked it out of the park. Since then, I’ve filmed some videos of his, including his 300th movie Dragon in My Dreams, and we’ve become good friends over the last few years.