Shake your screen and a video blogger pops up. Unfortunately, a lot of them aren’t very good and seek fame rather than fun. Art Pereira and Kevin Rule, the evil geniuses behind Art’s Not Dead, don’t care about fame or being part of the cool kids’ club. For them, they just watch movies and talk nonsense about it afterwards; this is why their channel’s genuineness is infectious. We caught up with Art to discuss the woes and wows of the Internet kingdom.
Funny thing, if you say Kevin and Art really fast, it sounds like Kevin Hart. Also, Kevin kind of looks like a ginger Kevin Smith. The possibility for mistaken identity is limitless and maybe someone will throw money at your channel. Would you take it?
The Internet is just like a giant playground with access to a bunch of swings and other cool stuff, but it’s filled with kids/people/douches/bullies who want to take over and use it for purposes that it wasn’t intended for.
Ha! That’s funny. If someone were to throw money at us, we would consider it only if we don’t become puppets for the cause of their corporate agenda. If it’s a case of mistaken identity, we would definitely take it and run with it until they realised their mistake.
You have a love-hate relationship with the Internet. Even in your videos, you seem to lay the smackdown on the Internet’s opinion, yet you have your own channel to do the same. What’s up with that?
The Internet is just like a giant playground with access to a bunch of swings and other cool stuff, but it’s filled with kids/people/douches/bullies who want to take over and use it for purposes that it wasn’t intended for. I also want to play in this playground, but I don’t have to align myself with the kids who claim ownership of the roundabout. I just want to be the one calling out their nonsense in their own backyard. It’s no secret that I hate social media and the large amount of people on it, but there are good people there that have their own opinions and don’t feel like they should fit in with the crowd. After all, I’m not a 16-year-old.
There are two things that really stand out about Art’s Not Dead videos: the quality and personality. You and Kevin put together some terrific videos that put other channels to shame. So when will you hit Chris Stuckmann level of fame?
I doubt very much we will ever reach Stuckmann’s level of fame on YouTube or even be on par with that guy. He is clinical; he thinks everything out, analyses and then presents his findings. We just go watch a movie, go back to the studio in total silence and then just blurt out what we thought – but saying that, a lot of work goes into producing these videos, so it’s not half-arsed at all. The videos do have a unique personality and that’s what we hope people will appreciate. If it blows up, then it really is a bonus. We just love this stuff and have fun doing these videos.
You aren’t shy of holding the unpopular opinion. You guys loved Batman v Superman, but disliked Captain America: Civil War, for example. Do you think this fearless honesty is what separates Art’s Not Dead from other reviewers? Because let’s face it: the Internet is one giant bullying club that wants you to bow to peer pressure.
I feel that we are of the age that we can actually form our own opinions based on what we like and know and feel. We also have the ability to see past what is presented to us on screen, which gives us the ability to call out what we see as overhyped or indeed deserving. With Batman v Superman, that movie felt like it was made for us and comic book fans like us. Civil War was made for everyone who likes comic book movies, which is 90% of the movie-going audience. We like change. We like things to be different and we applaud those who strive to try different things and present things to the core fan base. We got that with BvS; that’s why we loved that film.
Both you and Kevin are musicians as well. When can we expect some brutal honesty about the music scene from you guys?
Initially, Art’s Not Dead was created to have artist profiles of South African musicians and to see where their passion comes from and how it fuels them. If we were to do more music-based videos, it would be in that style as the more serious “Art-focused” content. We have three such interviews waiting to be edited and hopefully I can find time to do that. But to be brutally honest, it won’t serve a purpose unless it’s to be critical to improve what’s currently out there. There are the good folks of Build Your Scene who are focusing on the positives, but we don’t have the energy to do the opposite. Music for us is for fun and that is what we get out of it, and we like to keep it that way. Also, I don’t really follow the music scene anymore so I don’t care enough.
What’s the best troll you’ve ever received for one of your videos on Art’s Not Dead?
We had one guy who we saw as our volunteer fact-checker, but he hasn’t showed up in a while in the comments section. We’re really too small and not American enough to have any trolls. Thank goodness, as I’m not one to shy away from hitting them back. The comments we do get are always positive, so we appreciate that.
What’s the most difficult part of being a YouTube reviewer?
Finding the time to actually create content is the most difficult thing. Even if the videos end up being 10 to 20 minutes in length, it still takes a day to put them together after filming it. I do all the editing so finding the time is the biggest challenge, like I said, but it’s fun.
Finally, what’s the worst superhero film ever?
That’s a tough one. I mean, what are the factors: pre Batman ’89 or pre Iron Man? Or even of all time? If you look at all of them, it could be argued that they are all pretty bad except for a few shining examples, but my worst one would have to be Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. I have tried to watch that four times (ha! Funny) and stopped it every time around the wedding stuff. The other one that angers me is 2014’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. They completely messed up the whole thing that made their back story so great, and messed up Shredder and just washed over the angst of Raphael. Too much for an origin movie. I know I could write a better screenplay for that movie.