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EXCLUSIVE: Chad Vader Creators Aaron Yonda and Matt Sloan Know The Power of the Dark Side: Interview

Matt Sloan and Aaron Yonda were kind enough to let us do an interview for our blog. They're best known for their video series "Chad Vader," a viral Internet sensation that has received over 25 million Internet downloads and counting (view it on YouTube). Chad Vader has won over a dozen film festival awards, including the "George Lucas Selects" award from the 2007 Star Wars Fan Movie Challenge. The series has been written about in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, TV Week Magazine, Chicago Sun Times, Washington Post and The Metro (UK), among others. It was featured on VH-1, ABC's Good Morning America, BBC News online, G4 Tech TV and Spike TV.

What led to the idea of creating a web serial about Darth Vader's brother?
It was an idea that we thought had series potential, rather than just being a one-off sketch. It seemed like a fun idea - we really wanted to create this alternate Star Wars universe that is a lot closer to our own.
Chad Vader has been running since 2006, how do you come up with ideas for sketches?
We know Chad's personality by now, so it's pretty easy to just put him in situations and see how he reacts to them. It's really not that hard to come up with ideas, we just come up with something that amuses us and that's the sketch. It's best not to overthink the process.

Is the Chad Vader costume a off-the-shelf item or is it custom?
It's the officially licensed version of the costume that you can buy from stores. We've been ribbed by "costume purists" for the fact that it's not custom made.

The show has become incredibly popular over the years. What has been your favorite fan reaction to Chad Vader?
People have written us emails and said that they were depressed and Chad Vader cheered them up. That's always good. Some people have also said that they'd never heard of Star Wars before they saw Chad Vader and they still thought it was funny. I always like to hear from our fans in far off lands -- we have fans in Sweden, Brazil, Germany, Israel, etc. It's so weird to know that people all over the world are watching this
thing that you made. All of the fan reactions have been rewarding, even a lot of the negative ones.

How did you two meet and begin collaborating?
We met doing improv and shortly thereafter started collaborating on written projects. We worked on a public access show and started a local filmmaking group. Then we got involved in channel101.com and that was when we started bringing our work to the web.

How did it feel to win the "George Lucas Selects" award in 2007?
Great. It kind of felt like getting an Oscar. I guess for what we do, the GL Selects award is the equivalent of an Oscar.

Do you think that the impact of alternative methods of video distribution will increase?
Definitely. It's already increasing from what it has been in previous years. I don't know if it's going to become the dominant way that people get their entertainment, but it certainly seems to be moving that way. 

What led you to partner with Babelgum?
They saw our material and contacted us. We really like working with them -- they are on the ball in terms of promotion and organization and at the same time they're easy to work with. They let us do our thing
and don't give us tons of fussy notes. 

What does Blame City productions have in store for the future?
More Chad Vader, of course. We are also reviving our series "Celebrity Bric-a-brac" and will be posting several new episodes of that on Babelgum. On our channel, we have a new show called "D&D Monster Man" which is a lot of fun.

Check out Blame City Productions or Babelgum's Chad Vader for more.

Have you gone to the darkside with Chad Vader yet? What do you think about Matt and Aaron's work?
[Image source: isthmus]

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