The Hillywood Show Interview with Hilly and Hannah Hindi
I spoke with Hilly and Hannah Hindi of The Hillywood Show earlier this week and asked them a few questions about how they got started, and about their most recent parody video of the popular TV show Supernatural. Both girls, as you can imagine, were lovely and fun to talk to.
How did you get into doing the parody videos?
Hilly: The Hillywood Show started back in 2006. We made little sketch videos. And it was actually part of a contest for AOL. We came in third place for that contest and we got emails from people who voted for us saying if you continue, we would like to see more from you. We would watch your series. So we did that for 2 ½ years and then finally we made a full on parody. It wasn’t a sketch anymore of different characters. It was a full dedicated production to a movie. We had a hundred thousand views overnight on [our] Twilight Parody and since then it’s kind of been our wake-up call to say, “Okay, I think this is the brand of the Hillywood Show.” And we just stuck to our guns, which is where we’re at now.
I’ve seen some of the parodies that you have done. I think the Twilight one is actually the first one I saw and my family and I really enjoyed the Doctor Who one. What are some of your favorite parodies that you have done so far? What are ones that really stick out to you?
Hilly: Supernatural, for sure!
Hannah: Obviously Supernatural!
Hilly: Besides [the] Supernatural [Parody] being our number one, we really like our Lord of the Rings [Parody] because we are huge fans of the Lord of the Rings. It’s kind of what got us into film making. It has a special place in our heart. And we also like [the] Doctor Who [Parody] because that was another step up from anything that we’ve done. We essentially tend to lean more on what we remember or recall from our experiences. We feel like, “Wow we did a good job on that one!” Because we’re never super confident until fans actually have something to say about it. [Laughs]
So that’s how you decide what kind of shows or movies you’re going to parody? Just things you or the fans are into?
Hannah: Yeah, I mean we mostly we try to take fan opinions most because [those are] the people that are watching our show. So we take [them] into consideration. I mean sometimes there’s crazy things like Avatar and I’m like, “Hmmm probably not!” We have to be a fan of it ourselves.
Hannah: We have to have a love or an interest for it because we want to be sure that we know what we’re doing before we even film. This is something that [the fans] love and adore. And if we get it wrong then that could go down south.
Hilly: Also we wouldn’t want to create something that we’re not a fan of because…
Hannah: There’s no drive.
Hilly: There’s no drive and there’s no excitement. So when we made Supernatural [Parody] we put in our favorite fan moments. Now [if] we didn’t know anything about Supernatural, those wouldn’t have existed, those little things like that. We only feel comfortable doing something that we’re fans of.
That leads into my next question about the Supernatural Parody video specifically. What made you decide to go with Season 10, the Mark of Cain storyline, and using Taylor Swift’s song, “Shake it Off?”
Hilly: Well, part of our problem a couple years back (we’ve always been requested to do Supernatural since the dawn of time) when it finally came down to this, I [didn’t] have a concept. These seasons are so much to take in. I don’t know how to make this funny. I don’t know what to do. But, I particularly enjoyed seasons 9 and 10. I like how it was a simple storyline that I could focus on [with] the Mark [of Cain]. I really like this act type, what can I do with it? I know, “Shake It Off” was featured in “About a Boy.” I didn’t see that episode and go, “Oh God, yeah that’s the song!” I just watched it and [thought] that was cute. Nothing clicked, nothing was like, “That’s it!” It was just – whatever.
I actually had two other songs picked out for Supernatural [Parody] that I was going to try to incorporate and maybe mix into a bunch of different seasons. I don’t remember really how it happened. I just remembered one night I put on Taylor Swift and was like, “Let’s just have an open mind.” For any other parodies – because that’s what I do – I just listen to songs and I picture different parodies. And when [Taylor Swift] said “Shake it off,” I just thought of Dean shaking [and] how his hand would shake when he had the Mark. And I [thought], “Wait a second, this song was featured on the show. Oh God, that’s a coincidence!” And then it was just one [thing] after another. I just started seeing the concepts of it. I think that’s how it was born because I was going to do another song. We had two other songs that we were going to do either way. But then once this one hit, [I felt] so much better about this song. “Hannah, can we please?” And I explained the whole concept to her.
I’ve really enjoyed the choice too. That song has meant a lot to people in the Supernatural fandom. I think you’ve had some exposure to it now, so it is something that people really enjoy. I did have some questions from Twitter as well. People were wondering how you keep track of all the small details from the show itself and the music video for “Shake It Off”?
Hannah: That’s a lot of work! That’s how! Hilly, pretty much like I said, she spills the entire idea to me and then I organize. She goes, “We need a hula hoop. We need a burger. We need the Blade. We need the car.” So then I have to go and make the phone calls and see who can help us out or [if] we can get what we need. And when it comes down to scripting, she was the whole idea. But when it comes to Taylor Swift’s music video and how we pay homage to it (except it was opposite with angels and demons doing what they’re doing) [was] a little bit different. We scripted scene per scene. Everything was planned and we didn’t just [say], “Hey let’s just shoot it and hopefully it happens.” It took, I think a week, and it took 12 hours each day to script that.
Hilly: We actually realized how many “shake it offs,” there were.
Hannah: Oh my God, shake it off!
Hilly: We were like, we need to make this different because, what happens is, once I started scripting, we kind of go, “Uh-oh!” We’ve been in a rut. We kept going back to the set, back to the set, back to the set. We need diversity. We need to make this fun to look at. And that’s what happens. You kind of sit there and you’re like, “Crap, we just came from that! Oh crap we just did this set.” We can’t keep going back, we just did the demons three times. We need angels! What are they going to be doing? We have no idea. We need to get away from demons and angels a little bit. We need to put in “Eye of the Tiger.” Its little things like that that we feel like we have to do to make an impact.
Hannah: So how is it done? A lot of work!
I know people wanted to know as well, what was it like to interact with the Supernatural actors
Hannah: They’re so awesome!
Hilly: They are the best cast we have ever met. The whole entire cast is so down to earth, so chill, so sweet and genuine that we have nothing but…
Hilly: …praises to sing about them. We feel like we owe them so much just for wanting to do this. Every time they came in the room we would say, “This video is mostly for the fans. Yes, it’s for us, but this is for the fans. So you are going to be the surprise factor of this video. Your cameo is going to be an impact. What do you want the fans to see you do?” And that’s when Matt Cohen [said], “Well fans like it when my shirt comes off!” He’s like, “I’m going to do that!” And he would run and do that. So there was some sort of excitement and for us it was more so special to see that they were doing it for the fans. You get what I mean? It was not just, hey do this for my video, it’s like do it to make the people who are going to watch it happy. And it was just a joy. It was one of those moments we’ll always remember because it was such a wonderful experience.
Another question from Twitter – it’s kind of funny. Someone wanted to know, Hilly, how did you manage to look so much like Dean?
Hannah: [Laughs] It’s called make-up! A lot of make-up.
Hilly: But also a lot of people ask, “How do you choose characters?” And it also came to the fact of well, obviously I can’t play Misha [Collins] at all because I don’t have any facial similarities. And then Hannah goes, “Well I can’t play Dean because I don’t have any facial similarities.” You have to look at certain things for the face. For Hannah, we picked her as Castiel because of her eyes. She has the brow bone, she has the right kind of round shape. Whereas for me Hannah goes, “No you have more of a jaw line. You have more of the lips.” There’s aspects that you have to pick apart. So it’s not so much, “Hey, Hilly, you can look like anyone! You could play freaking Bobby!” No, I wouldn’t look good as Bobby! There has to be some sort of similarity to the character you take on or otherwise it’s a total disaster. [Laughs]
What has the fan response been like for the Supernatural Parody? I’ve seen some of it myself being active on Twitter.
Hannah: Oh my God, it’s – I guess the word is overwhelming!
Hannah: I can’t explain [it] to you. This is the biggest thing we’ve ever done in our eight years. We cannot keep up with the Facebook feed, or Twitter feed, or YouTube where we can go and comment to [the] fans. And it’s been – we’re approaching two weeks tomorrow.
Hannah: Oh yeah, Thursday. Sorry! I think it’s more so the fact that it’s overwhelming with how many people have shared it. But it’s the love. It’s so different now. And the support. It’s insanity. I can’t even put it into words.
Hilly: The fans take the time to write [to] us [about] what the video means to them and how it brought them from a very dark place to a very happy place. How even their two-year-olds are dancing and singing to it. The have their whole family involved. The whole family doesn’t watch Supernatural, but they’ll watch the video. It’s overwhelming for us to see such a strong response. We’ve never felt so much love from this many people at a time and they’re all genuine.
Hannah: It almost in a way for us feels like a dream, like it’s not happening. I can’t explain. I think it’s kind of maybe starting to hit us, but we feel numb to it because we’re just in shock.
Hilly: I’m afraid I’m going to wake up and all of it’s going to just end. That’s how it feels. It feels like it’s a façade and it’s going to crumble away, but we’re just soaking as much in as we can because we have this fear that something’s going to happen. It’s not, but it’s just one of those things that’s hard for one person to wrap their mind around. Thousands of emails and thousands of comments. It’s just, “Oh my God! What? This is amazing!” I hope we can meet half of those people and at least tell them, “Thank you,” because that would be incredible.
That would be great if they could get you in the convention circuit or something, so that you could get the chance to meet some of the fans.
Hilly: We would love that.
Hannah: It would mean so much to us.
Hilly: We’re dying to go to cons and just meet those fans.
We can actually put the suggestion out there for Twitter, to ask for that.
Hannah: Yeah, that would be wonderful! Anything – we’re willing to go [anywhere in the] US, across the world, to the other side of the globe. I know there’s even fans in the UK and Scotland [who say], “Are you coming this year?” “Where?” We need to be invited. We can’t just go out, because we can’t afford it. But, oh my God, I would die!
Hilly: Any con, we would be happy!
Hannah: Yeah, we would even go cosplay. It would be so much fun!
Do you have any plans set? I know you’re still on a high from what you had just finished, but do you guys have any plans at all for what your next parody might be?
Hilly: Oh good question!
Hannah: I think we have too many ideas.
Hilly: We have a lot of ideas. Right now we’re taking a big rest, because Supernatural Parody was our biggest production and it was a lot of work. We’re not going to ever tell anyone, “This was easy!” This was very hard. The production was huge. So we’re taking a little break right now so we can gain back some of our brain cells. We have a couple ideas that are very very different from Supernatural that might surprise some fans, but we kind of feel like it might be time to explore this aspect since we’ve never done it before. Things like that. We’re not sure how big of a production we’ll do next, but either way, it’ll still be something special and fun. We’re excited, and hopefully, God willing, we’re able to make another one.
Are there any final things that you would like to say to our readers?
Hannah: Thank you!
Hilly: A huge hug and kiss to everyone who actually physically shared the link with friends because that is what is making the video grow. They’re the ones that made it grow. We have done nothing. Yes, we made a video. I guess, just from to bottom of our hearts, thank you to everyone who has shared it with friends. They’re the ones that made it happen. Also the ones who took the time to write us a comment and taken the time to create fanart, and gifs, and memes, and cute little things. That just makes our day! We start smiling and it’s just the best thing we can experience.
Hannah: Yeah, our fans are an inspiration. If they did not comment or do anything for us, we would have stopped years ago. So yeah, pretty much a big thank you to the fans and we’re just happy that they’re still watching it and they keep sharing it! It’s amazing.
If you haven’t watched The Hillywood Show’s Supernatural Parody yet, check it and Hilly and Hannah’s other videos out here. Thank you so much to Hilly and Hannah for talking with us. Get some rest and good luck on your next parody!
Author: Jessica Rae
Jessica has a BA in music with an emphasis in voice and spends her day typesetting, editing, writing, and moderating webinars. Jessica primarily reviews anime and comic book series. She also offers insights on various movies, books, games, and other geeky topics.
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