Jeremy Scott and Chris Atkinson are geniuses. They are the two men behind the YouTube channel Cinemasins. On their channel, they devote videos to pointing out errors, injustices, and assorted wrongdoings throughout the entire plot of popular movies. I had the pleasure of conducting an interview with them via the all-too conventional interview medium of Gmail, discussing such topics as writing books and an uncanny influence over major film happenings.
Note: Answers where a speaker isn't indicated are statements on behalf of both men.
So, how did you come up with the idea for the channel?
We tried to do a "fake movie review" show that didn't take off. But we still wanted to do something on YouTube involving movies and humor, and the concept was "movie mistakes delivered as if from the Micro Machines guy." Obviously, we were fans of Mystery Science Theater 300, and had our own impromptu sessions of MST3K when we both worked in a movie theater.
Tell me a little bit about your “Letters to Hollywood” videos on the Cinemasins Jeremy channel.
Jeremy: It’s just a way for me to let of steam a bit. Whether it’s a common complaint about the film industry or something small and odd that only bothers me, Dear Hollywood videos are a sort of sarcastic open letters on how I would personally improve things. The original idea was to mash-up a Deep Thoughts kind of vibe with humorous observations about Hollywood. Almost certainly by coincidence, several of my Dear Hollywood wishes have gone on to be fulfilled.
What goes into picking out a movie to count sins for?
We believe in tent-poling, so if the sequel to a movie we haven't done yet is coming out, we try to do that movie either the week before or the week of the sequel's release. If we've done the movie, or there is no natural tent-pole, we try to do something thematically similar to whatever big movie is coming out that week. Then if there is absolutely no big release, we'll try to find some big movie we've never done before, like something from the Harry Potter or Twilight series, and do that.
What do you guys think of the trailers for Jurassic World and Star Wars: The Force Awakens?
Those trailers look pretty great. We definitely get pumped for those movies watching those trailers. The new Mad Max trailers are pretty insane too. But of course, if the trailer were any indication, most movies would be great.
Describe the experience of working with Neil DeGrasse Tyson for the Gravity video.
Since we deal only in narration for these videos, we never got to meet him or anything. We reached out to his people, and he agreed to do it, and we scheduled the release for whenever he could get it back to us. That said, it was exciting when we got the narration. And when we sent the video back for he and others to review before we published it, he said it was "wonderful." So that made us feel great.
What’s one upcoming movie that you can’t wait to count sins for?
Jupiter Ascending is definitely shaping up to be one of those movies, as it's been pushed back so many times. Over the summer there's the usual big action/franchise flicks like Avengers: Age of Ultron. No matter how good/bad that movie is, it will be fun to do. Same goes for stuff like Terminator: Genisys, which looks like it's going to try to do the X-Men: Days of Future Past thing and try to wipe out all the other movies that came before it.
What’s the best thing that’s happened to you guys as a result of the channel’s popularity?
Chris: For me it was being able to leave the movie theater business. Once you do that job for so many years, you start becoming what they call in The Shawshank Redemption, "institutionalized." Also, opportunities start being offered, and getting put into position to publish a book that you've been sitting on for years is an exciting thing.
What are some exciting things we can expect to see soon from you guys?
We're experimenting with a live show here in Nashville that, if successful, maybe we can take on the road. We're coming out with a couple of new channels, and we're about to get involved in some pretty sweet collaborations. Both of us have written books that we hope to publish soon.