I’ve been a fan of Evil Iguana for a pretty long time now. You may have heard of EIP from their Twilight spoofs, you may have been a fan of their webseries The Allen and Craig Show, you may know them from that one time when they hung out with the Hillywood Show, and if you are a former student of mine you might recognize Craig from that one pillow fight video I had you all watch. [Teaching tip: If you find that you totally suck at teaching, it is a lot easier to make a bunch of high schoolers care about a video with several of your favorite YouTubers dramatically pillow fighting than trying to get them to understand the significance of the Green Light in The Great Gatsby…or so I’ve read]
I’ve been following Evil Iguana since college, and I just love their stuff. They are hysterical guys, and I am so excited to give you guys the scoop on their new series, Vigilant. However, in case you’re new to Allen, Craig, and EIP in general, here are a few random EIP videos to get you started:
One of my favorite, ridiculous episodes of The Allen and Craig Show
(fun fact: the show’s theme song used to be the ringtone for my best friend–however, she did not watch the show, so she just thought I was passive aggressively calling her a jerk and an asshole #FriendshipWin)
A drunk interview with Allen and Craig
An EIP spin on My Drunk Kitchen:
And, of course, when Officer Murphy and Officer Deering pulled over some reckless street racers…
Of course, I could spend an entire post telling you about my favorite Evil Iguana stuff, so you just need to check out and subscribe to the EIP YouTube channel for yourself. There is a TON of great stuff there, but most importantly, that is the place to be if you want to check out their new show superhero series, Vigilant. Trust me, this isn’t one you’re gonna want to miss.
Vigilant premieres in August, and from the looks of the behind-the-scenes clips EIP released, the series looks like it will be a TON of fun. Allen and Craig were nice enough to answer a few of my questions about Evil Iguana Productions in general, and what we can expect from Vigilant. Take a peek. I know you’re going to be as excited about their new series as I am:
Kendall: Let me just get the question I’m sure you’re sick of answering out of the way: what’s the story behind the name Evil Iguana Productions?
Allen and Craig: That’s a great question, and we wish we had an equally great answer. As memory serves, the name came from the title of one of the earliest videos we shot, which has been unfortunately lost due to our apartment fire last year. We wish there was some sort of greater meaning behind the name, but there’s not; it’s simply a title that sounded catchy, and we stuck with it.
K: What inspired you all to start Evil Iguana Productions?
A&C: Starting EIP was less of a conscious decision on our part than it was a natural evolution. We were never sitting around saying, “Let’s start a production company!” Instead, making videos was our hobby in high school, and we started each one with the EIP title card. It wasn’t college or after where we began to seriously consider taking EIP and turning it into an actual company.
K: EIP has gone through a lot change over the years. So as it stands now, who are the members of Evil Iguana Productions?
A&C: We are the two who write and direct each thing you see coming from EIP. Depending on the scope of the project, we may do the editing as well, or we will hire a professional editor. Beyond that, it varies from video to video. For skits, we have some talented friends of ours help out if they’re free and willing (Robin Andrews and Callie Stephens have both helped frequently). Behind the scenes, in terms of project management, budgeting, and all those other less-exciting parts of running a small production company, it’s primarily handled by us, Callie Stephens, and our good friend Zach Allen. Callie and Zach help us remain fairly sane.
K: So it’s been nearly five years since the finale of the Allen and Craig Show hit YouTube. Do you guys have any plans to ever do an Allen and Craig Show anniversary episode? Do you still have that army helmet?
A&C: We’ve been asked about an anniversary episode several times, but we haven’t ever landed on an idea that we both love. The two of us have each tossed out a few ideas that never stuck, and it never really went beyond that point. Given that we’ve never had one of those light bulb moments where the perfect episode suddenly becomes clear, we’re not planning on investing much (if any) time in to planning one last episode. If the idea strikes us, we’re open to it, but we’re not actively searching for it. With that being said, we still have the army helmet. It has certainly seen better days (it’s sloppily held together with tape), but it most certainly exists, and it’s sitting on the top shelf of Allen’s closet.
K: After the Allen and Craig show finished up, though I’m guessing you remained friends, the two of you worked on different projects for a while. What made you two decide to start making YouTube videos together again?
A&C: Allen stopped for a short while because of school responsibilities and personal conflicts that no one wants to hear about. But once those were out of the way, we both got back to doing what we love: trying to make each other laugh. If we think we can get a video out of the deal that will make other people laugh too, then even better. That’s how it all originally started, and very little has changed.
K: Let’s talk about your new superhero web show, Vigilant. What can you tell us about the show’s plot and your characters?
A&C: Craig is playing a character named Wayne who, despite his best efforts, is a bit of a schlemazel; he’s unlucky, he’s hurt easily, he can’t make a relationship last, and he’s a bit lost. After hitting an all time low point in his life, he explores the world of vigilante justice and quickly finds out that it’s harder than simply throwing on a cape and mask. Allen plays the role of Chris, Wayne’s best friend and voice of reason throughout the series.
K: When does the first episode premiere, and how frequently will new episodes be uploaded?
A&C: Episodes 1-3 will all be released on August 27th, 2015 on YouTube. After that, we’re releasing one episode per week until all 12 episodes of the first season are released.
K: Did you guys both write and direct on the show or did you guys split the writing/directing duties?
A&C: We’re both involved in the writing and directing. The original concept for the show was developed by Zac Coleman. He worked closely with Kyle Bridges, our writer friend/comic enthusiast, to develop the characters and plot. Initially, the show was quite serious, which is a bit unusual for our normal YouTube content. Craig took the 12 episodes and made some changes to make it more fitting for a webseries within our budget, and then Allen took the scripts and turned it in to a comedy. That was a new method of going through the writing process for the both of us, but it was a lot of fun.
K: Where did you get the idea for this web show?
A&C: Credit for the initial idea goes to Zac Coleman. He’s the one who first thought of it. He presented it to us, and it moved forward form there.
K: There are tons of superhero stories out there right now. What makes Vigilant different?
A&C: Vigilant has developed its own balance between realism and fantasy. On the one hand, it’s realistic in regards to the physical abilities of the heroes and other characters’ reactions to the whole, borderline ridiculous, idea of vigilante justice in a big city. On the other hand, the extreme characters and stylized cinematography makes the viewer feel like he or she is halfway in a comic book. We took the serious issue of crime, threw a rubber nose on it, and then maybe added a KAPOW exclamation box on top of it just for good measure. That whole process is a bit reflective of our attitudes toward most things in life. Yes, we could (maybe should…) take most things in life seriously. But, when given the choice, we don’t. We’d rather turn something serious into a joke, which is why Vigilant was a good fit for us.
K: Who are some of your personal favorite superheroes?
A&C: BATMAN! You also can’t go wrong with Captain America and Deadpool.
K: Who are your biggest inspirations?
A: For me, I think the late Kurt Vonnegut would be one of my biggest inspirations. On the surface, a lot of his writing was hilarious and borderline child-like. Below the surface, he could make a reader reevaluate his or her own personality and the world in which we live with a painfully critical eye. I love that balance, and it makes me want to be a better writer. I could go on and on with other sources of inspiration, but if I had to choose ONE, he would be right up there at the top of the list.
C: There have been many over the years that have made me change the ways I do or see a project. However my biggest inspiration which sold me on trying to make film a career would be the show 24. I enjoy movies/shows of all different genres, but that one became an obsession faster than anything else. I wanted to work on that show, film characters like that, etc. So I thought it was time to take my love for film to the next level and really learn as much as I can so I can hopefully film my dream 24 type project.
K: Where do you see EIP going in the next few years? What’s a crazy goal you guys have?
A&C: In a perfect world, we see ourselves continually filming and pumping out project after project. We both feel like we’re wasting our own time if we’re not knee-deep in a project, so we don’t see ourselves stopping any time soon. We’d love nothing more than for any of our projects to take off or, at the very least, give is a strong enough foundation to take on bigger projects that can not only reach a wider audience but also pay the bills. If we can turn a hobby with a best friend into a full time job, then we call that win.
K: Where can we find you guys online?
A&C: You can find us on most all of the major social media outlets. We think. We’re getting old and out of touch with the new ones that come out. Is myspace still a thing? No? Oh man…
Evil Iguana Productions on Facebook
Evil Iguana Productions on Twitter
The Evil Iguana Tumblr
Evil Iguana on Instagram
We’ll using those sites to get people involved with Vigilant, and we’ll even be giving out some sweet prizes too!
K: Anything else you want to mention that I didn’t ask?
A: Craig sucks at checkers.
C: It’s true, I really do.
A big thanks to Allen and Craig for talking with me about Vigilant. Be sure to subscribe to the EIP YouTube channel, and watch Vigilant when it premieres on August 27.
Have you watched any EIP videos before? What are some of your favorites? Who are some of your other favorite YouTubers? Let me know in the comments!