Interview with Isaac Moores – the guy who animated the Star Wars Filibuster
Last month, Melbourne-based video maker, Isaac Moores posted a video on YouTube. This is something that he’s done many times before, but this time it was different. Why? Because Isaac is the guy who animated Patton Oswalt’s Star Wars Filibuster.
If you haven’t seen this video, then you should probably watch it now.
In the days that followed, Isaac’s brilliant video was linked to in articles on Kotaku, Gizmodo, MSN.com [in which Isaac is referred to as a “loving nerd”], The AV Club, LA Times Online, The Huffington Post, and a host of other online publications. It was everywhere. In just one week, the animated filibuster had over 450 000 views on YouTube. Isaac’s channel gained 500 more subscribers. And those numbers just keep getting bigger.
Isaac just happens to be a good friend of mine, so I recently took the opportunity to ask him a few questions.
This is Isaac.
What inspired you to create the video?
I first heard the filibuster while overseas and my first reaction was ‘This is amazing!’ and my second was ‘It’s a shame I am overseas, by the time I get back someone will have animated this before me’.
I get back home and a week later I start to catch up on Parks and Recreation. I get to the episode the filibuster was featured in and remember the idea I had of animating it. I check online and to my great surprise, no one had made it yet. So I start thinking about how I would do it.
How long did it take?
It took 5 days of working on it full time, often staying up late to finish a scene. It was a personal passion project and I really got into it.
Was there any point throughout the process where you got frustrated and considered abandoning the whole thing?
There were time I got frustrated when making it, however it was mostly at the lack of available images. I sourced majority of the images from Google image search but there really wasn’t enough choice of high quality, clean images of the character. I think majority of the time I spent making this was using all the search functions, trying and find images that I could use. Then subsequently cutting them out and cleaning them up.
What was it like when you first noticed that people were liking and sharing your video?
After uploading the video, I tweeted it to the different cast members and Patton Oswalt. I knew if the video were to get any large amount of views, this would be the way to kick it off. I uploaded the video at 4am on Saturday. I woke up on Saturday to a lot of emails from YouTube and Twitter and knew something had happened. Chris Pratt had retweeted my video and it had gained 14,000 views in one night. The next morning I woke up and checked my phone and got a message from a friend with links to two blogs that had featured my video. I again knew that something must have happened while I was asleep. This time Patton Oswalt had retweeted the video. That day I got over 800 emails from YouTube and Twitter telling my about all my new followers, subscribers and comments. The YouTube view counter got stuck at 40,000 for most of the day, then was suddenly 130,000. Over the next week there were time where it was getting 10,000 views an hour.
You know you’ve made it when Chris Pratt is praising your work. That’s Andy Dwyer, people!
Not to mention getting some recognition from the man himself, Patton Oswalt.
It was really exciting to be getting all this attention and I was really happy to find people were really loving what I had made. People congratulated me on my work, said it was their favourite video ever. The only place people were negative about the video was on the YouTube comments, so I haven’t bothered to read them.
It feels good to have this ‘fame’ on me now. I really like uploading little videos and experiments to YouTube and having a small fan base means that more people might see and feedback on them. Unfortunately I got a bigger following on Twitter than YouTube and I don’t really use Twitter, but I guess I’ll have to continue now.
This isn’t the first cool thing that you’ve uploaded to your YouTube channel, although it is the first one to get so much attention. What are some of the other video projects that you’ve done?
The filibuster video is not my first video on YouTube and for a while it wasn’t even my most viewed. I’ve made various short films, animations, Lego videos, editing videos and some have done well. There are some videos that I am very proud of and barely get any views. And there are other videos which are older and rather bad, and have over 10,000 views. I’m just glad that this time a video that I am proud of got the views.
I linked to some of my own work at the end of the filibuster video. And the video called ‘Face Folding Films’ did very well off that. The video is basically me taking the eyes and forehead of a character from a film and moving it down over their nose. It is a strange and creepy look. That video got over 20,000 views off the back of the filibuster so I’ve been working on a second one, which you can see here.