The Hillywood Present is a YouTube channel that was began on the finish of 2006 that options musical parodies of reveals and flicks, set to songs that will likely be on repeat in anybody’s head. Starting with impersonations of Johnny Depp and his many characters equivalent to Jack Sparrow (Pirates of the Caribbean) and Edward Scissorhands, the channel has parodied franchises from The Starvation Video games to Physician Who with catchy parodies and video. Behind Hillywood are sisters Hilly and Hannah Hindi — the duo who writes, directs, stars in, and every parody, plus sustaining an unbelievable on-line efficiency that fosters a wonderful relationship between the sisters and their followers.
We had the prospect to talk with Hilly and Hannah about their most up-to-date parody undertaking for Prime Video’s Good Omens collection … a undertaking which required endurance however in the end grew to become a dream come true.
Be aware: This interview has been edited for readability.
Nerds & Past: Let’s bounce proper in and discuss concerning the background on The Hillywood Present. How did the present come to fruition, and what has it been like watching it actually develop to what it’s change into at present?
Hilly Hindi: Thanks! The Hillywood Present started in 2006 as a contest entry for AOL Crimson. AOL requested teenagers to ship of their concepts, for their very own net present, as this was earlier than YouTube was well-liked. I got here up with an idea of impersonating completely different characters and requested Hannah to assist me movie it. Lengthy story quick, I got here in third place, however after it was over, we began receiving emails and feedback from individuals who had voted for me, asking, “Hey, I actually favored your sketch present! May you, perhaps, proceed this on YouTube and make it a collection?”
We have been a bit youthful, on the time, and we cherished filmmaking as a passion, so we stated, “Positive, why not?” We then continued the quick sketches on YouTube. Nonetheless, in 2009, we created a Twilight Parody. It was the primary of our movies that wasn’t only a sketch. It was a full-blown music video! In a single day, it obtained 100k views! We had by no means skilled that many views on our earlier sketches earlier than and thought, “Oh my God, what simply occurred?!” That’s after we discovered the method for Hillywood.
Hannah and I couldn’t have foreseen The Hillywood Present to be the place it’s now! It’s change into our little life. It’s not our full-time careers, however we hope to make it that sometime. By no means in my wildest desires would I’ve imagined how a lot it has grown.
Nerds & Past: I’ll say that I used to be a type of 100,000 views on the primary Twilight. I used to be 13, so undoubtedly the goal demographic for the franchise on the time, and I distinctly keep in mind a buddy sending me a hyperlink to the Twilight parody and all of us watching it collectively at our subsequent sleepover.
Hilly Hindi: Oh my God, that’s so cute! After we have a look at Twilight Parody, now, we expect, “Oh my God, the standard is a bit pixelated!” It won’t look the perfect, it won’t be the perfect, nevertheless, individuals loved it and everybody begins from someplace.
Nerds & Past: Let’s discuss concerning the latest parody for Good Omens. How did that undertaking come about?
Hilly Hindi: Good Omens premiered on Prime Video whereas we have been filming The Umbrella Academy Parody in 2019. So, throughout filming, we have been receiving requests from our followers saying, “It will actually be cool for those who guys might do a Good Omens Parody!” After all, it made sense, inside our little Hillywood fandom, as a result of all of us love Physician Who … we love David Tennant and Michael Sheen … all of it coincides and Good Omens would slot in completely! Nonetheless, we couldn’t do something on the time, as a result of we have been in manufacturing for The Umbrella Academy Parody.
After that parody wrapped, we started excited about Good Omens once more. Nonetheless, the pandemic occurred and we have been unable to create a brand new parody throughout that point. We struggled a little bit bit and thought, “May this be the tip of The Hillywood Present?”
Had it not been for our Patrons, we could have needed to shut our doorways. Nonetheless, they actually supported us throughout that point, and with their assist we created a Past Hillywood Podcast, did some further reside streams, and I began a Twitch channel! We have been attempting to remain related to our followers as a lot as potential. They actually helped us get by means of 2020.
In 2021 when issues have been easing off a little bit bit, we started shifting. We stated, “What kind of parody can we try this’s not going to require quite a lot of completely different areas, want 25 forged members just like the Suicide Squad parody or Physician Who Parody … we have to assume completely different.” I then pitched the total idea of Good Omens Parody to Hannah.
Hannah Hindi: That’s after we received severe!
Hilly Hindi: We each felt actually assured about it! We’d been desirous to create it, for some time, and we, lastly, stated, “Let’s do it!”
There have been a few viewers that requested, “Why Good Omens? Hasn’t it been a couple of years since season 1 was launched?” And we thought, “We’re followers of the present! So, why not?” Come to seek out out after filming Good Omens Parody, season 2 was introduced. We have been thrilled! So, I feel it’s essential to belief your instincts! Belief your intestine and have fun what you’re keen on, no matter what’s trending on the time.
Nerds & Past: I really feel like that’s all the time the perfect feeling, too … whenever you’re already celebrating one thing that’s a little bit older and it goes by means of a resurgence.
Hilly Hindi: Sure! It was simply by probability, and we had no concept that there was going to be a season 2, after we have been filming this.
Nerds & Past: And you then received to announce the discharge date of season 2 with the parody, and have Neil [Gaiman] concerned! When did Neil come into the image?
Hilly Hindi: Effectively, that started after we put out the primary announcement for Good Omens Parody! I feel he retweeted it saying, “That is pretty,” and wished us luck with our Patreon. We have been so excited and curious as to how he discovered! I do know Neil had tweeted about our Physician Who Parody two years after it got here out and his remark was one thing like, “I’m two years late on this, however that is sensible!” I ponder if he acknowledged the title of Hillywood after we introduced Good Omens Parody?
Hannah Hindi: We did the donate-a-thons and thru all of it Neil would tweet about it, saying issues like, “Good luck!” It was such a blessing! We have been shocked. I don’t know if we might’ve made it to our objective with out the assistance of Neil Gaiman. He actually helped unfold the phrase.
Hilly Hindi: We met quite a lot of people that have been Good Omens/Neil Gaiman followers becoming a member of our Patreon to assist us. It was very particular and really humbling that his followers got here to our aspect and stated, “I don’t know a lot about Hillywood, however Neil Gaiman is supporting you, so I’m right here that will help you, too!” It meant the world to us. Fortunately, we have been capable of increase the funds with everybody’s assist!
When Good Omens Parody was practically wrapped, we despatched Neil a message. It learn one thing alongside the strains of, “Would you be focused on having a shock cameo in our upcoming Good Omens Parody?” We have been a little bit nervous asking, however he responded, instantly, and stated, “I’m in!” We have been bouncing off the partitions!
Somewhat time later we noticed the announcement for season 2. It was ineffable! There was a little bit of a maintain as to when he might movie his cameo, since they have been simply starting to movie season 2, however he stored us stuffed in all the approach. Through the wait we emailed our buddy, Justin, who is part of TheOneRing.internet, since he’s labored with Amazon earlier than. We requested, “Do you assume Prime Video be focused on tweeting or sharing our Good Omens Parody when it premieres?” He answered with, “Effectively, I don’t know anybody within the Good Omens division, however right here’s an e-mail to a publicist who works inside it!”
We then despatched out an e-mail to the publicist with images from our Bookshop set, asking if Amazon could be focused on presumably displaying the parody some love, socially, after we launched it. She responded with quite a lot of pleasure and wonderful compliments! She needed to fulfill us over Zoom to be taught extra concerning the parody. After we spoke to her, she received the lowdown of the manufacturing and stated, “That is one thing that I feel could be actually cool to launch nearer to season 2! We’d love to point out it some love!” We have been past thrilled!
Because the “Wait and see” was coming to an finish and filming for season 2 was wrapped, Neil reached out concerning the cameo thought and informed us, “I’m completely satisfied to do something!”
Hannah Hindi: We already had an ending with Neil in thoughts, however when he stated these specific phrases … you can not inform somebody like Hilly, who is aware of no artistic bounds, one thing like that! *laughs*
Hilly Hindi: I rapidly altered the script, and pitched the thought of Neil giving Crowley the basket that comprises season 2, together with Maggie and Danny’s cameos! Initially, the basket revealed simply the “month of launch” for season 2, not the precise date.
Neil instantly wrote again along with his approval and was excited to shoot it. Earlier than we knew it, we have been on set with him, having the time of our lives! Every part labored out completely. He was an absolute delight to movie with.
Hannah Hindi: He was extraordinarily variety to us! It felt like we have been working with a detailed buddy.
Hilly Hindi: We have been very humbled and honored. It was a dream having Neil Gaiman on our set. I by no means would’ve thought this might occur! We will’t sing his praises sufficient. He’s so loving, so variety, and the way Hannah stated, it felt like we had identified him for a really very long time. He made us really feel very comfy.
Hannah Hindi: After that, we edited it — Hilly edits — and from there despatched it off the Amazon for a preview.
Hilly Hindi: After Amazon reviewed the edit, they got here again to us and stated, “Effectively, now we have excellent news and unhealthy information. The excellent news is that we confirmed it to everybody on the workforce and so they find it irresistible … a lot that they wish to provide the official date of launch for season 2, not simply the month!’”
That was wonderful! We have been floored and flabbergasted! However then got here the unhealthy information … which was we needed to wait, just a bit bit longer, to launch it.
It had already been so lengthy for our followers, nevertheless, some have been already guessing that one thing was up. They have been saying, “There have to be an thrilling purpose for the wait as a result of Hillywood by no means takes this lengthy!” Followers have been conscious there was a delay as a result of pandemic, however now there was an added mysterious delay that we couldn’t give away. It was an enormous religion journey, on our behalf, to hold on, however we knew it was one thing particular for the followers.
Boy, did we be taught a lesson in trusting in God and having endurance within the ineffable plan. We thought we have been ones within the entrance seat driving, however we discovered that we are literally those within the backseat, asking God, “Are we there but? Are we there but? Are we there but? Are we there but? Are we there but?”
Nerds & Past: Anybody who follows Neil on social media will know what I’m speaking about, however my favourite factor is to scroll by means of his Tumblr weblog and simply learn the responses that he offers individuals asking him questions. And so with the entire Good Omens season 2 pleasure occurring, he’s given lots of people the “wait and see,” “wait and see,” “wait and see” … it appears like that was an identical theme to your course of right here as effectively. “Wait and see” should simply embody the Good Omens season 2 expertise.
Hilly Hindi: We coined his well-known “Wait and see” phrase when our followers requested, “What’s occurring? What’s taking so lengthy?” We’d reply with a cheeky, “Wait and See” in homage to Neil.
Hannah Hindi: We will’t thank our followers sufficient for his or her endurance, fixed assist, and perception that there was a purpose for the additional wait.
Nerds & Past: The parody was effectively well worth the wait. Are there another Neil tasks that you simply’d wish to discover sooner or later?
Hilly Hindi: Oh … that’s a superb one! I feel a Sandman Parody could be completely wonderful, however that present is kind of an endeavor.
Hannah Hindi: That’s what I used to be considering …
Hilly Hindi: Simply episode 1 of Sandman … these set designs are beautiful!
Nerds & Past: We’re large followers of Sandman round right here, so we might love that. Are there any moments from the Good Omens parody that you simply’re notably happy with by way of efficiency or modifying?
Hilly Hindi: Enhancing is all the time enjoyable! We love going by means of all of the clips and seeing it come collectively.
Hannah Hindi: It doesn’t take us too lengthy to get a primary edit executed, actually.
Hilly Hindi: What I’m happy with … effectively clearly, primary was Neil Gaiman. That was simply an incredible expertise – it was like a fever dream. It didn’t really feel actual.
Hannah Hindi: The opposite factor that we’re actually happy with is the entire pyrotechnic scenes. It was quite a lot of planning, organizing, and ensuring that every little thing went completely for every specific, shot. We solely had a lot propane that we might use, so it needed to go excellent. I’m actually happy with it. It was our first time working with hearth like that.
I used to be additionally actually happy with how a lot Hilly gave for every shot throughout that shoot. She gave me 150% in her efficiency. I used to be nervous as a result of these pictures have been such an enormous endeavor and one thing utterly new for us. We received by means of it, although, and it turned out nice!
Hilly Hindi: That was our first day of filming on the Good Omens parody, so we have been a bit nervous. Nonetheless, we had wonderful individuals with us. We had our common little crew of 5 individuals however for that specific night time, we had a bit extra crew on set, as a result of security … so a pyrotechnic workforce, the water truck, and so on.
A enjoyable reality is that Rene Diamante, who was our pyro director, already had expertise doing any such shoot, as a result of he was the precise pyro director on Billie Eilish’s music video! It was a blessing that we discovered him for this as a result of he already knew precisely what to do. We don’t have a Hollywood price range, however he graciously labored inside our little Hillywood price range. It was a lot enjoyable working with Rene!
Nerds & Past: Moreover Neil, who would your dream visitor look be?
Hilly Hindi: Oh, wow! Dream visitor look … I feel it might be actually cool, particularly since we’ve executed so a lot of her songs earlier than, to work with Girl Gaga. Unsure in what capability, however I feel Gaga, undoubtedly.
Nerds & Past: How might you not have enjoyable along with her? She looks like probably the most enjoyable individuals alive.
Hilly Hindi: She’s a masterpiece and I completely adore her! I’m a little bit monster and now we have truly been capable of meet her. She loves our Gagaween Parody! It’s all the time so particular whenever you meet your heroes and they’re so loving! We’re followers for all times.
Nerds & Past: It’s all the time very good whenever you meet somebody and so they’re simply nearly as good as you have been hoping they’d be … perhaps even a little bit higher.
What recommendation would you need to give to somebody contemplating beginning their very own channel or artistic endeavor?
Hannah Hindi: Effectively, to begin with, congrats on wanting to begin one thing! For my part, I’d say to begin small, and never anticipate every little thing to go good. This can be a studying expertise and it takes a very long time to grasp how every little thing features.
Additionally, consider one thing that’s artistic and new! It is going to provide help to stand out! You need to have the ability to draw consideration to your self in a brand new and optimistic approach.
Hilly Hindi: With this point in time, there’s quite a lot of worrying concerning the algorithm and what’s trending. I’ve found loads of movies which can be off matter of what’s trending and I truly take pleasure in these movies extra as a result of it’s one thing new.
It is likely to be a little bit scary to get on the market, particularly on the web, because you’re uncovered to so many feedback. Nonetheless, in case you are in love along with your idea and if it brings you happiness, simply do it. It doesn’t matter, simply put it on the market and have enjoyable! It needs to be satisfying for you. Trust in your self and who you might be, as a result of everybody deserves their very own world of creativity. It doesn’t need to match anybody else’s creativity. Creativity is completely different. God gave us many various types of creativity. So I feel each individual needs to be celebrated, regardless if it’s becoming into the norm.
Nerds & Past: I feel you each simply completely summed up how essential it’s to be your self as a creator. Thanks a lot to your time at present, and I’ll preserve my fingers crossed for Sandman content material from Hillywood sooner or later.
Hilly Hindi: Oh my! Perhaps, sometime, sooner or later! And maybe we might work with Neil once more.
Hannah Hindi: If you happen to ever get an opportunity to fulfill him, he’s every little thing and extra! The purest soul on the planet.
Nerds & Past: I’ve not met him, however I do have his autograph and generally I simply have a look at it, fortunately.
Hilly Hindi: He’s the perfect! The quantity that Neil has supported Good Omens Parody … he has gone above and past! He and the Supernatural forged are golden! I miss Supernatural and people boys a lot. I don’t wish to, utterly, shut that door, as I’m nonetheless longing for a Supernatural film. In the event that they’re on the lookout for somebody to tackle a Supernatural film, we might, fortunately, volunteer! That will be dream.
Watch the Good Omens parody from The Hillywood Present under.