Oklahoma City filmmaker Kyle Roberts is proof that when you work hard at what you love, you'll get noticed.
Roberts, 28, owner of Reckless Abandonment Pictures, was selected to participate in the new reality competition series “Viral Video Showdown.” His team's appearance on the show is scheduled to air during a marathon beginning at 1:30 a.m. Wednesday on Syfy. The specific episode featuring Roberts' team will broadcast at 3:30 a.m. Wednesday.
“One of the producers just contacted me. They found my work through different stop motions and music videos and stuff,” said Roberts, who is also a NewsOK videographer. “They said, ‘We love your work. We'd like you to send an audition tape,' so I had to still go through a process. They didn't just say, ‘Come out to L.A.'”
Each episode of “Viral Video Showdown” centers on two viral video creators being given a limited budget and a handful of days to complete a video featuring the same theme.
The panel of judges deciding the winners of each competition includes Adam Sessler (G4's X-Play), YouTube star Brittani Taylor, and Sandeep Parikh (The Guild). Kevin Pereira hosts the series.
The winner receives $5,000.
Roberts' team for “Viral Video Showdown” is named after his production company and includes about 18 crew members, all from Oklahoma.
“It was a big challenge, but I think we did a good job. I totally stand behind what we did ... wholeheartedly. It was nothing short of amazing. The fact that we had five days to do this, we incorporated live action and stop motion and fights and not superhero stuff, but video game stuff ... and it was (an) all-Oklahoma based crew. It was awesome. I think everyone's going to enjoy it.”
Although Roberts is a Missouri native, he has lived in Oklahoma since earning a double major in broadcast journalism and corporate media at Oklahoma Christian University.
Roberts' specialties are stop-motion animation and music videos, including an approximate one-minute re-creation of the 1987 “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” cartoon introduction complete with action figures that took three months to film. Stop-motion animation is a film technique where a series of still photos are taken that when combined make static objects appear as if they were moving.
He has just started directing the independent movie “Posthuman,” which is expected to be released online next spring as a web series in eight to 12 segments.
“Posthuman,” written by The Oklahoman's Features Editor Matt Price and DC Comics writer Sterling Gates, is a mix of the styles of two of Roberts' favorite filmmakers — John Hughes and J.J. Abrams.
“It's kind of a combination of the two, of the sci-fi superhero stuff and John Hughes teen angst, like in one movie,” Roberts said.
And Oklahomans have shown support for Roberts' filmmaking in the state.
“The biggest pro is just that everyone gets so excited, which is awesome,” Roberts said. “And they should be. You know, like we're doing cool stuff. But that's probably the biggest pro of pro-Oklahoma filmmaking is you tell someone you're doing a movie of any kind, and then you tell them you're doing a teen superhero movie or whatever, and they get so passionate about it.
“Things that could cost two or three thousand dollars for a space rental for that night is either free or like maybe 500 bucks tops,” he added.
As far as professional goals go, doing what he's passionate about is at the top.
“I've just been kind of making videos and doing what I love, and then started getting a bunch of attention and then quickly realized it's not just my friends watching this, it's people all over the world. And, it's like, ‘OK, maybe we've got something here.'
“I don't do statistics on my personal YouTube account and figure out ‘OK, this is trending, I got to do that.' I just do what I really want to do.”
For more information about Kyle Roberts and Reckless Abandonment Pictures, go to www.ra-pictures.com; and on “Viral Video Showdown,” go to www.syfy.com/viralvideoshowdown; and on “Posthuman,” go to http://posthumanmovie.com/.
But that's probably the biggest pro of pro-Oklahoma filmmaking is you tell someone you're doing a movie of any kind, and then you tell them you're doing a teen superhero movie or whatever, and they get so passionate about it.”