Weekend Watch: Sweded Movie Trailers by Dumb Drum

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Weekend Watch: Sweded Movie Trailers by Dumb Drum

Assuming you watch a decent amount of television, you’re probably bombarded with high quality commercials for movies: star quality acting, realistic looking props, and over the top special effects. Perhaps, for a change, you’d like to see these trailers in a version with special effects that are closer in quality to that of a 60s SciFi film. If so, be sure to check out the “sweded” trailers by Dumb Drum.

“Sweeding” — the faithful remake of a movie done on a very low budget — originates from the 2008 movie Be Kind Rewind. In the movie a video store clerk has to scramble to replace all the videos in the store after his friend inadvertently erases them all. The movies are “Sweded” because in the movie they claim that the movies they have remade themselves are imported from Sweden.

After enjoying the film, and the whole concept behind it, Brian Harley and Roque Rodriguez decided to start a semiannual “Swede Fest” in 2008 where they live in Fresno, California. To date, they’ve received over 230 submissions. For their own work, they prefer to swede trailers for movies rather than the whole films. You can see an great example below, their most popular trailer so far, where they swede the Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer.

YouTube player

Even though they mostly try to follow the actual trailer, the results are quite comical. Though the props are silly, and generally made out of cardboard or other common household items, the shots seem well-produced and planned. As both Harley and Rodriguez have day jobs, it can take between four and six weeks to get one of these done.

According to Harley, his favorite swede (shown below) was, “probably our sweded trailer for Pacific Rim. We got to make a lot of fun monster and robot costumes and some cool set pieces.  Plus we found out the writer/director of Pacific Rim, Guillermo del Toro, and his entire visual effects team, saw our video and really enjoyed it.  That was an awesome feeling.”

YouTube player

With millions of views and tens of thousands of subscribers, Dumb Drum has certainly had a good deal of success. When I asked Harley if he had any tips for aspiring YouTubers, he noted that,

Our main tip for aspiring YouTubers would be to find something you enjoy doing and just do that. It takes a lot of work to create the videos we make, and we definitely wouldn’t be doing it if we didn’t enjoy it!  Another tip would be to… learn about marketing your videos!  It’s not enough to just make the video, put it on YouTube, and just hope people watch it. You have to get out there a spread the word, share the video with like-minded people, websites, publications, that’s often the most difficult part of being a fledgling YouTuber.

One thing that I wondered about is what the neighbors thought of these activities. When asked, he replied that “they must think we’re crazy!” Most of their work is done in Rodriguez’s backyard, but they haven’t had any complaints yet.

If you want more information on them, Harley encourages others to check out their YouTube channel or go to their website, swedefest.com. There you can find out more about submitting your video to the festival, or even starting one of these events in your town.

And if you’re wondering where the “featured image” on this page came from, be sure to check out their first Avengers trailer below. According to Harley, it was the first swede that really took off.

YouTube player


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Jeremy is an engineer with 10 years experience at his full-time profession, and has a BSME from Clemson University. Outside of work he’s an avid maker and experimenter, building anything that comes into his mind!

View more articles by Jeremy S Cook


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