The Dudesons have been a staple of the stunt world for over a decade. From their earliest beginnings circulating VHS tapes among friends to their appearances in Jackass and their high-profile YouTube stunts, the four-person group has been fearlessly experimenting with what it means to be a creator since before YouTube even existed. In case you're not familiar with their work, here's a popular video of theirs to get you up to speed:
Now, they're exploring a new frontier. Live streaming apps and sites have garnered a great deal of attention recently. With competing platforms from Facebook (Facebook Live), Twitter (Periscope), Musical.ly (Live.ly), YouTube, and indies like Live.me and YouNow, there seems to be a gold rush of sorts into the live streaming space.
The Dudesons, along with fellow creators like Roman Atwood, have taken to Live.me. Their first broadcast on the platform airs today, and will feature them performing live stunts including a Pressure Cannon Roulette for the entertainment of viewers around the globe.
We spoke with Dudeson Jukka Hildén over email this week about the future of live streamed content, what drew the Dudesons to this platform, and what will happen to familiar platforms now that live streaming is taking off in popularity. Check out the full interview below.
What drew you to Live.me specifically over other live-streaming platforms (e.g. Live.ly, Facebook Live, YouTube, Periscope, etc.)?
First of all, we love live broadcasts because it’s happening live, right there, merciless and in interaction with viewers. It is the still dominating format of creating content and getting viewers to tune in at that specific time to get the experience.
Live.me fits us like a dart to Jarppis’ belly for many things. They are easy to work with, excited about the content and the way we want to make this live streaming take a step to a new level. Live.me believes in our vision and backs it up by promoting, marketing and backing the kind of spectacles we want to create in a long term plan. Huge visual stunts, where you have to overcome yourself, and put your butt on the line of fire — all driving the excitement and energy towards a climax of a huge live spectacle like blowing up a chimney with someone standing on top of it, or doing a James Bond barrel roll car stunt through fire and explosives.
In interaction with viewers, where they can have a say in which Dudeson will pull the stunt or if we are doing a pressure cannon roulette, what we are putting in the cannon itself, a cactus or chili powder?
Out of all the live platforms Live.me combines all the elements we believe in: viewer interaction, beaming in guests or viewers to the broadcasts to multicam opportunities and backs it up with a creative team who will market and promote the live events to reach the audience.
We are doing 3 broadcasts in October, 2 interactive challenges with viewers (this Sunday, Pressure Cannon Roulette — viewers get to choose if a cactus or a chili powder for example goes into the cannon and who will get shot with it) and 1 major stunt in Finland with all 4 Dudesons in it.
From VHS tapes to TV to YouTube, you've always adapted to the demand for your content. Do you think that live streaming is the next frontier for stunt performances? Why or why not?
Hahaa, that makes us sound old but we have been around from VHS days of blowing up our house to now making it intimate and speaking directly to our viewers in a genuine personal way.
Live kicks butt in every platform and is the toughest thing to do! We are so pumped up to start delivering the live experience of doing huge spectacular stunts or viewer interactive challenges to our Dudesons family around the world.
Our new show POSSE is a live to broadcast show on Saturday primetime at the biggest commercial network in Finland, so taking that experience and combining it with how you interact and talk with your viewers in YouTube is a huge opportunity to takeover this live genre in streaming.
WHY, because in live it all happens the way it happens in real life, [with] emotions, excitement, fear, joy… the rollercoaster of emotions going through a stunt or process of preparing to do something epic. That makes LIVE magical, because it all happens right there and then. No timeouts.
YouTube has been drawing a lot of criticism lately in the creator community for demonetization of non-advertiser-friendly content and the YouTube Heroes initiative, among other things. Do you believe the community that's developed on YouTube will move on to other platforms? Why or why not?
I’m a creator that loves YouTube and especially after coming from TV world, it was such a freeing feeling to start creating content with barely any boundaries of censorship, approval or legal process (and you can imagine us The Dudesons have had to deal with a lot of that) [without] format limitations of length nor form of content. Do it now, upload it to your audience around the world and get the immediate feedback — [the] more you start limiting this, [the] more it will take people away. But I think YouTube is still such a killer platform that creators can’t afford to turn their back on them… For us personally, it’s a bummer but also understandable because not every creator uses their common sense nor [has] the feel for right and wrong doing their videos. They just want to shock for the sake of shock and then the content becomes mean which we oppose so much!
You've managed to find success in not just Finland, but also the global marketplace. What's your approach to making universal content that transcends cultural barriers? How do you think Finnish humor is different from humor in other parts of the world?
Finland has been a dreamland for us to shoot, because it is literally our land and everything is possible. In our kind of humor back in the days, content was universal, the emotions and physical aspect of things we were doing appealed globally. Walking into a bullring on stilts or [taking a] teeter-totter to your nuts gave everyone some sort of feeling. So my thing has always been, enjoy and be passionate about what you are doing and what you are feeling, and that appeals to people no matter where they are from.
Finnish humor is more dry and twisted than most of other countries, with us being used to rolling in the snow naked and our original Santa Claus being a character who eats mean kids during Christmas.
Dudesons humor is all about positive anarchy, we like to go out of our comfort zone, challenging ourselves and never losing the childhood spark. Laugh at yourself and always leave a positive good vibe and that is my way of living and hoping that people find it too.
What's your favorite video of yours that you've put up on YouTube?
I love equally BIG things we’ve done but also the clever ideas. Lately my favorite has been POOL FULL OF POPCORN with Logan Paul. It’s relatable, my childhood dream and now had a chance to jump backflips and tricks from a roof to a 6500 gallon pool full of popcorn. What a blast!
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