A Very Potter Musical was originally posted for friends and family to view, but since has become an internet meme in an of itself among Potter fans. We talked to the musical's creators about PG-13 humor and wizard sex.
It's no surprise that A Very Potter Musical became such a huge internet sensation — the whole production was surprisingly well executed, with great writing and a young charismatic cast that could give the big-budget films a run for their money. It's gotten so big that at a midnight screening the other night a third of the trivia questions asked were about ‘RumbleRawr' and the Mars version of the wizarding school, ‘Pigfarts'. If you're unfamiliar with the production, it's a full musical version of Harry Potter that takes some of the best of books one, four, six and seven to create a completely new take on the story.
We sat down with Darren Criss and Brian Holden (along with a few cameos from the elusive Lang Brothers) the creators of A Very Potter Musical to discuss their newfound Harry Potter stardom. Here are some of the highlights:
How did you feel about this thing basically taking the internet by storm?
Brian: In five days it will have been up for a month, but the first week that it was up it was fun and scary. It was like opening the floodgates to Harry Potter fandom, and the internet. It was really cool and overwhelming and we were getting offers. Like everyone was all, "Give me the soundtrack! I want a DVD!"
Darren: "I want to do this in my school, university, theater company." People all over the world — literally, that's not a hyperbole.
Brian: People asked us to translate it into German.
Darren: My Italian friends, that, um are actually not even my friends, they're friends of friends of friends, who may or may not actually be my friends, in Italy, sent me a long e-mail in Italian asking me to translate it in Italian.
Darren: With the show, when we started it people were all like "You should go to NY, or something and put this show on". And yeah that would be cool, but if we did, it would be a legal nightmare. It would be absolutely ludicrous, it could be done if we wanted to get our asses kicked.
Brian: This is a good time to bring up one thing that was floating around the internet when we took the videos down for a week. (We took our videos down a week) so that we could edit them and tweak them. Warner Bros never contacted us and said, "You guys have to take these videos down." We took them down for a few reasons. One, the first time we performed it, it was for a college audience, so we could get away with things you normally can't get away with like with younger kids watching — which is the case now. We wanted to make it into something that could be a PG-13 type thing, that children could enjoy without having to sneak around their parents.
Darren: Some jokes were cut, and of course we didn't want to.
Brian: We like em.
Darren: And there were things I was bummed about, 'cause I like saying them. But we didn't want any room for this show to possibly be perceived in a negative way or be attacked.
So what kind of projects are you working on now? Are you thinking about something new, or going back into the musical genre…?
Brian: Yeah, we have a few new ideas for some new musicals. They're all comedy musicals because frankly, that's what we love. That's what we like to do.
Darren: Parodies are what we love. Although I'd love to write that serious symphony one day, but its probably not going to happen because it'd just end up being too goofy.
Brian & Darren: It'd be the funniest symphony you've ever seen.
Darren: Back in the day, if you wanted to make a television show or movie or a musical, you'd have to go pitch it and get backers and stuff. What's cool about now [is] that... if I was to tell you what the show's about you'd be like "Um, ok" but now I can be like, "Hey, you wanna see it? Watch it. Just watch it, and you'll understand."
That's really what's great about the internet right now, I mean, you look at things like Dr. Horrible, which was on a shoestring budget.
Darren: We love Dr. Horrible. Joss Whedon can do whatever he wants.
Brian: He's good.
Darren: He's very good. But that's the kind of thing we do. For comedians and musicians, you can just put it on the internet
Brian: And that's the idea behind what we're working on right now.
Darren: We're really excited about it. It's going to be a full musical.
I know that the Harry Potter phenomenon is just absolutely nuts, especially with fans, and I was curious to know: what are some of the more colorful things that have probably been sent to you or asked of you?
Darren: I think I've been unofficially married to a number of people.
Brian: We always try to get him married in a few different states so we can avoid some legal trouble. I think the things that are most amusing are that Darren, Walker and Lauren Lopez in particular, are having just legions of fanboys and girls who are running after them.
If you'd like to listen through the whole interview, including the nasal-sounding wheezing that passes for my voice nowadays, here's it is infull mp3 glory.
You can find Little White Lie or A Very Potter Musical on the Starkid Channel. Also, on opening night of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, the guys all went out and serenaded film goers in Hollywood. It's worth checking out merely to see Gryffindor adorned musicians walking past Hollywood and Highland. I don't know about you, but after seeing that, a chapter of my life seemed to be...complete.
Special Thanks to the Lane Brothers, Darren Criss and Brian Holden of the StarkidPotter Channel for their cooperation.