The Hillywood Present is a YouTube channel that was began on the finish of 2006 that options musical parodies of exhibits and flicks, set to songs that shall 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 unimaginable on-line efficiency that fosters an attractive relationship between the sisters and their followers.
We had the possibility to talk with Hilly and Hannah about their most up-to-date parody mission for Prime Video’s Good Omens collection … a mission which required persistence however finally turned a dream come true.
Word: This interview has been edited for readability.
Nerds & Past: Let’s leap proper in and speak 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 right now?
Hilly Hindi: Thanks! The Hillywood Present started in 2006 as a contest entry for AOL Pink. AOL requested teenagers to ship of their concepts, for their very own net present, as this was earlier than YouTube was fashionable. I got here up with an idea of impersonating totally 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 appreciated your sketch present! Might you, possibly, proceed this on YouTube and make it a collection?”
We had been a bit youthful, on the time, and we beloved filmmaking as a passion, so we mentioned, “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 acquired 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 once we discovered the formulation 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 kind of 100,000 views on the primary Twilight. I used to be 13, so positively the goal demographic for the franchise on the time, and I distinctly bear in mind a good friend 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 may not look one of the best, it may not be one of the best, nevertheless, individuals loved it and everybody begins from someplace.
Nerds & Past: Let’s speak concerning the latest parody for Good Omens. How did that mission come about?
Hilly Hindi: Good Omens premiered on Prime Video whereas we had been filming The Umbrella Academy Parody in 2019. So, throughout filming, we had been receiving requests from our followers saying, “It might actually be cool should you guys might do a Good Omens Parody!” In fact, 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 had been in manufacturing for The Umbrella Academy Parody.
After that parody wrapped, we started desirous about Good Omens once more. Nonetheless, the pandemic occurred and we had been unable to create a brand new parody throughout that point. We struggled just a little bit and thought, “Might this be the top 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 dwell streams, and I began a Twitch channel! We had been making an attempt to remain linked to our followers as a lot as doable. They actually helped us get by 2020.
In 2021 when issues had been easing off just a little bit, we started shifting. We mentioned, “What kind of parody can we try this’s not going to require quite a lot of totally different places, want 25 solid members just like the Suicide Squad parody or Physician Who Parody … we have to assume totally different.” I then pitched the complete idea of Good Omens Parody to Hannah.
Hannah Hindi: That’s once we obtained severe!
Hilly Hindi: We each felt actually assured about it! We’d been eager to create it, for some time, and we, lastly, mentioned, “Let’s do it!”
There have been a few viewers that requested, “Why Good Omens? Hasn’t it been just a few 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 had been thrilled! So, I believe it’s essential to belief your instincts! Belief your intestine and rejoice what you’re keen on, no matter what’s trending on the time.
Nerds & Past: I really feel like that’s at all times one of the best feeling, too … while you’re already celebrating one thing that’s just a little older and it goes by a resurgence.
Hilly Hindi: Sure! It was simply by likelihood, and we had no concept that there was going to be a season 2, once we had been filming this.
Nerds & Past: And then you definitely obtained 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 once we put out the primary announcement for Good Omens Parody! I believe he retweeted it saying, “That is beautiful,” and wished us luck with our Patreon. We had 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 good!” I ponder if he acknowledged the title of Hillywood once 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 had been shocked. I don’t know if we’d’ve made it to our purpose with out the assistance of Neil Gaiman. He actually helped unfold the phrase.
Hilly Hindi: We met quite a lot of people that had been Good Omens/Neil Gaiman followers becoming a member of our Patreon to help us. It was very particular and really humbling that his followers got here to our facet and mentioned, “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 had been in a position to increase the funds with everybody’s assist!
When Good Omens Parody was almost wrapped, we despatched Neil a message. It learn one thing alongside the strains of, “Would you be concerned about having a shock cameo in our upcoming Good Omens Parody?” We had been just a little nervous asking, however he responded, instantly, and mentioned, “I’m in!” We had 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 had been simply starting to movie season 2, however he stored us crammed in the whole method. In the course of the wait we emailed our good friend, Justin, who is part of TheOneRing.web, since he’s labored with Amazon earlier than. We requested, “Do you assume Prime Video be concerned about 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 can be concerned about probably displaying the parody some love, socially, once we launched it. She responded with quite a lot of pleasure and wonderful compliments! She wished to satisfy us over Zoom to study extra concerning the parody. After we spoke to her, she obtained the lowdown of the manufacturing and mentioned, “That is one thing that I believe can be actually cool to launch nearer to season 2! We’d love to indicate it some love!” We had 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 concept and informed us, “I’m pleased to do something!”
Hannah Hindi: We already had an ending with Neil in thoughts, however when he mentioned 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 shortly 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 together with his approval and was excited to shoot it. Earlier than we knew it, we had been on set with him, having the time of our lives! All the pieces labored out completely. He was an absolute delight to movie with.
Hannah Hindi: He was extraordinarily variety to us! It felt like we had been working with an in depth good friend.
Hilly Hindi: We had been very humbled and honored. It was a dream having Neil Gaiman on our set. I by no means would’ve thought this may occur! We are able to’t sing his praises sufficient. He’s so loving, so variety, and the way Hannah mentioned, it felt like we had recognized 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 mentioned, “Effectively, now we have excellent news and dangerous information. The excellent news is that we confirmed it to everybody on the staff and so they adore it … a lot that they wish to provide the official date of launch for season 2, not simply the month!’”
That was wonderful! We had been floored and flabbergasted! However then got here the dangerous 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 had been already guessing that one thing was up. They had been saying, “There have to be an thrilling cause for the wait as a result of Hillywood by no means takes this lengthy!” Followers had been conscious there was a delay because of the pandemic, however now there was an added mysterious delay that we couldn’t give away. It was a giant religion journey, on our behalf, to hold on, however we knew it was one thing particular for the followers.
Boy, did we study a lesson in trusting in God and having persistence within the ineffable plan. We thought we had 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 his Tumblr weblog and simply learn the responses that he provides individuals asking him questions. And so with all the Good Omens season 2 pleasure happening, he’s given lots of people the “wait and see,” “wait and see,” “wait and see” … it appears like that was an analogous theme to your course of right here as nicely. “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 happening? What’s taking so lengthy?” We’d reply with a cheeky, “Wait and See” in homage to Neil.
Hannah Hindi: We are able to’t thank our followers sufficient for his or her persistence, fixed help, and perception that there was a cause for the additional wait.
Nerds & Past: The parody was nicely well worth the wait. Are there some other Neil tasks that you simply’d prefer to discover sooner or later?
Hilly Hindi: Oh … that’s a great one! I believe a Sandman Parody can 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 big followers of Sandman round right here, so we’d 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: Modifying is at all times enjoyable! We love going by all of the clips and seeing it come collectively.
Hannah Hindi: It doesn’t take us too lengthy to get a primary edit performed, actually.
Hilly Hindi: What I’m happy with … nicely 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 all the pyrotechnic scenes. It was quite a lot of planning, organizing, and ensuring that the whole lot went completely for every specific, shot. We solely had a lot propane that we might use, so it needed to go good. 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 had been such a giant endeavor and one thing fully new for us. We obtained by it, although, and it turned out nice!
Hilly Hindi: That was our first day of filming on the Good Omens parody, so we had been a bit nervous. Nonetheless, we had wonderful individuals with us. We had our common little crew of 5 individuals however for that individual night time, we had a bit extra crew on set, because of security … so a pyrotechnic staff, the water truck, and so forth.
A enjoyable truth is that Rene Diamante, who was our pyro director, already had expertise doing one of these 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 finances, however he graciously labored inside our little Hillywood finances. It was a lot enjoyable working with Rene!
Nerds & Past: In addition to Neil, who would your dream visitor look be?
Hilly Hindi: Oh, wow! Dream visitor look … I believe it will be actually cool, particularly since we’ve performed so a lot of her songs earlier than, to work with Girl Gaga. Undecided in what capability, however I believe Gaga, positively.
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 just a little monster and now we have really been in a position to meet her. She loves our Gagaween Parody! It’s at all times so particular while you meet your heroes and they’re so loving! We’re followers for all times.
Nerds & Past: It’s at all times very good while you meet somebody and so they’re simply nearly as good as you had been hoping they might be … possibly even just a little higher.
What recommendation would you must give to somebody contemplating beginning their very own channel or artistic endeavor?
Hannah Hindi: Effectively, initially, congrats on wanting to begin one thing! For my part, I’d say to begin small, and never count on the whole lot to go excellent. It is a studying expertise and it takes a very long time to know how the whole lot features.
Additionally, consider one thing that’s artistic and new! It would enable you stand out! You need to have the ability to draw consideration to your self in a brand new and constructive method.
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 really get pleasure from these movies extra as a result of it’s one thing new.
It is likely to be just a little scary to get on the market, particularly on the web, because you’re uncovered to so many feedback. Nonetheless, if you’re in love together 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 must be gratifying for you. Believe in your self and who you’re, as a result of everybody deserves their very own world of creativity. It doesn’t need to match anybody else’s creativity. Creativity is totally different. God gave us many various types of creativity. So I believe each individual must be celebrated, regardless if it’s becoming into the norm.
Nerds & Past: I believe you each simply completely summed up how essential it’s to be your self as a creator. Thanks a lot to your time right now, and I’ll preserve my fingers crossed for Sandman content material from Hillywood sooner or later.
Hilly Hindi: Oh my! Possibly, sometime, sooner or later! And maybe we might work with Neil once more.
Hannah Hindi: In the event you ever get an opportunity to satisfy him, he’s the whole lot and extra! The purest soul on the earth.
Nerds & Past: I’ve not met him, however I do have his autograph and typically I simply have a look at it, fortunately.
Hilly Hindi: He’s one of the best! The quantity that Neil has supported Good Omens Parody … he has gone above and past! He and the Supernatural solid are golden! I miss Supernatural and people boys a lot. I don’t wish to, fully, shut that door, as I’m nonetheless looking forward to a Supernatural film. In the event that they’re searching for somebody to tackle a Supernatural film, we’d, fortunately, volunteer! That might be dream.
Watch the Good Omens parody from The Hillywood Present under.