Tonight, we posted the final two episodes of our YOMYOMF Network series The Book Club. It was an epic Karate Kid-inspired two-parter with guest appearances from basketball great Blake Griffin and Community star Gillian Jacobs. If you haven’t yet, see them in all their glory here:
Now, my intention isn’t to single out The Book Club over any of our other programs because as proud of the show as I am, there are plenty of other videos on our channel that I’m equally proud of. But what makes the conclusion of this series special in a different way is that The Book Club represents sort of the end of the beginning (in the best possible way).
You see—The Book Club was the first show that we greenlit for the YOMYOMF Network. As soon as YouTube informed us almost exactly a year ago that we would be a part of their new funded channels program and that we had to develop some kickass original shows, the first people we turned to were the creative team of Timothy Kendall (director), Chris Marrs (producer/actor/writer) and Danny Pudi (producer/actor) whom we had previously worked with on the short Blowout Sale:
And what we learned during that previous experience was that these guys were the real deal. Not only were they extremely talented and pleasant human beings who knew what they were doing, but they could also create high quality content with very little resources. All of which was exactly what we needed.
So YOMYOMF head Justin Lin (currently in London directing Fast Six) and I sat down with Danny and Chris (Tim was off on some gig) on a pleasant autumn day to brainstorm ideas for this YouTube channel that we were trying to put together. If I remember correctly, the guys pitched three different ideas—all brilliant, all would’ve worked as well as The Book Club (and who knows—maybe you’ll see those other ideas very soon), but there was something about The Book Club that just seemed like the right fit not only for YouTube but for what we wanted to launch with in our first year to create our identity.
I’m pretty sure we gave the greenlight on the spot. We knew what these guys were capable of and we trusted their artistic sensibilities so there was no need to talk any further before making that decision.
I still remember what Justin said to me as we walked out of that meeting—“If only we could find 50 more guys like them.” We knew they would deliver and they did.
So when I say this is the end of the beginning—it harkens back to that day. We had been handed this amazing opportunity by YouTube to create our own channel and as exciting as that was, it was also very scary. We had no idea what we would be programming. But knowing we had talent like Tim, Chris and Danny in our corner made us feel like maybe—just maybe–we could create something really interesting out of this. For me at least, that was the moment when the whole idea of the YOMYOMF Network finally felt real in a tangible way. We had greenlit our first show, for Christsake! This was actually going to happen. There was no turning back now.
I also say this is the beginning of the end because though the run of the series is technically over, I have a feeling this is not the last you’ve seen of either the show or the talent behind it on our channel. And if you think that’s my non-committal way of saying there’s more to come. Well, then so be it…