Epic Rap Battles of History – the brain child of Nice Peter and Epic Lloyd – is one of the most popular YouTube series of all time. Hear the duo at Vidcon 2013 talk about the months of prep it takes to bring these hilarious face-offs to epic life, and get some insight into the complex visual effects process that makes their episodes look so great. Plus they answer questions from fans live from the floor of the Anaheim Convention Center, including the list of their ultimate favorite collaborators.
Though they run a hugely successful YouTube channel now, Peter and Lloyd first started making these wacky videos as a side project. “We did the first two – either we wrote in his apartment or recorded in my apartment,” Peter says. “When it came time to record Adolf Hitler, we had to go in another room.”
So, when was the moment that they knew they’d hit on something big? “When we got banned in Germany,” they joke. “Which, of course, made it all that much more popular.”
If anything, the numbers certainly prove that they have a huge and growing fanbase of online viewers. “The first time we asked for suggestions, we got about 150. And now we get about 450,000,” Peter says. “We really do try to go through as many as we can, but it’s hard to go through them all.” Along with a lot of research and great fan suggestions, they always manage to piece together awesome content. Lloyd adds, “What we really try to do is be not the Wikipedia version of the jokes.”
And the road to success has been paved with many memorable experiences. “One of my proudest moments was Mr. Rogers,” Peter says. “Some of the younger audience, they didn’t know about him before! That blew my mind. Mr. Rogers is like my personal pimp hero!”
Of course, they’ve also had the chance to meet some pop culture and music icons, including people they’ve parodied.
“We knew it was happening, but we couldn’t believe it was actually happening,” Peter says of collaborating with Snoop Dogg. But Lloyd’s big moment came when he met Skrillex, who he played in of the rap videos. “He knew about it. He thought it was great!” Lloyd says. “We tried really hard to do him justice, and he looked just like him,” Peter says.
So, what’s next for the channel? “In terms of expanding, we want to maybe do more stuff on the BTS channel,” Lloyd reveals, “and show different aspects of – rather than just the shoot day – more of the behind the scenes and how we edit stuff and how we mix stuff.”
“We’ll grow by staying the same,” Peter adds. “Just keep doing it and keep doing it right.”
Specifically, looking out for a potentional Superman vs. Goku video – one of their most popular suggestions!
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