The ongoing saga of Chad Vader
It premiered over a year ago on YouTube, and it's still a big hit. How big? Well, the first season had over 19 million views; its creators, Matt Sloan and Aaron Yonda of Madison, Wisconsin, have signed with a talent agency and have quit their day jobs. When YouTube introduced its revenue share program--which splits ad revenue with its most visible and successful performers--Chad's dads were one of the first groups signed on. Now, they're making a second season--and paying their actors and crew.
And, of course, the real proof in the pudding: Being written up in the NY Times.
Their manager, Kara Welker of the Generate agency in Los Angeles, said the pair’s YouTube success puts them at “the forefront of the whole self-distribution platform,” allowing them to choose where and how their work will appear instead of depending on film studios or television networks to distribute it.
“They’re creating stuff on their own for their own fan base,” she said. “It’s the power of the medium. They’re their own de facto studio.”
Now that they have built a loyal following, their fans will follow them to whichever medium they choose, Ms. Welker said. “Funny is funny, and once you hook into that audience, they’re there for good,” she said.
Although they have quit their old jobs to make films full time, they have no offices or production facilities of their own; they do their shooting on location, their writing in coffee shops and their film editing at home. They still perform once a week in an improvisational comedy troupe, because, as Mr. Sloan said, “improvisation is the backbone of most of our work.”