11 Points

11 Points About Our Real Life Mario Kart Video
written by Sam Greenspan

Of all the videos Paul and I have ever made for Panda Smash, none has ever done as well Internet-wide as our Real Life Mario Kart video. I decided to write about it today because, yesterday, the version we posted on YouTube crossed the 1,000,000 views mark.

Real Life Mario Kart was the season finale to our most ambitious project, the IdiOlympics. (What that is in one sentence: Four friends challenging each other to stupid events.)

Here's some behind-the-scenes info on the video.

  1. One of the most popular elements of the video is Gobe, playing the Princess, wearing a dress. What people don't know: Gobe CHOSE to be the Princess and CHOSE to wear a dress. We didn't tell him to. It was his idea. He even bought himself the (ill-fitting) dress.

  2. And, yes, to make things more impressive, Gobe really did do the race, in a dress, on a fractured foot. That guy really gave everything toward the production. I feel very bad that it may one day have a crippling effect on his career.

  3. We put a cream pie as a weapon because we thought it would be funny, even though it had no connection to Mario Kart. Or so we thought. Turned out, there is a cream pie weapon in the arcade version of Mario Kart.

    We don't know that because, sadly, we're way, way, way too old to go to arcades. And, as many commenters pointed out on the video... we're also way, way, way too old to be holding real life Mario Kart simulations, too.

  4. The Chain Chomp we made is Paul's exercise ball with a rope attached. That exercise ball is still in his room today.

  5. We bought the mini-bikes at Toys R Us. They were about $60 each. And they were impossible to ride. You can see throughout the entire video that we're barely using the pedals and just using our legs to walk/push them. That was out of necessity. It was also completely exhausting.

    During the race, we completely thrashed the bikes. The seats came off two of them. Mud splattered everywhere. Some of their frames got bent. Gobe slammed his down after his win (at the 3:58 mark).

    After the race, we took them back to Paul's, washed them down with a hose... and then tried to take them back to Toys R Us.

    Successfully.

  6. This event, moreso than any of the IdiOlympic events, was tough to film. We only had two cameras, so a lot of the action didn't make it. Beforehand, because I'm a producer first, competitor second, I tried to explain to our entire cast and crew (of about 10 people) that if something doesn't happen on camera, it's useless.

    No one quite figured that out (except me), so I found myself pausing a lot to wait for a camera to come before I threw something.

    Paul and Gobe knew about the production needs, but their competitiveness kicked in too much and they just started focusing on winning. And I'm going with that for the reason why I came in last.

  7. The lack of cameras also made the video a Herculean editing job for Paul, who had to try to construct a flow to the race out of the footage we had. I was really impressed at how well it ended up turning out, all things considered. (His choice to add the race map with our icons and all of the Mario Kart sounds were also invaluable touches.)

    It was much easier to edit all of our homoerotic dogpiles that happened after the race. By that point in the IdiOlympics season, pretty much every event degenerated into a homoerotic dogpile.

  8. Secret: At about the 3:51 mark, you can see my little icon float off the course and advance in the lap. That was because I was tired and decided to create my own shortcut across the race.

    I felt justified in doing this since, in Mario Kart 64, I am skilled at nailing all of the shortcuts (Koopa Troopa Beach, Wario Stadium, Rainbow Road, etc.)


  9. Keumku as Lakitu.
    Another very subtle touch was our friend Keumku holding a fishing pole and helping us back onto the course, in the Lakitu role. A few commenters noticed this. We aren't sure why it just seemed so logical to have our one Asian friend on set handle that role... it just did.

  10. We set this whole thing up in a little exercise-oriented area on the outskirts of a huge park in Redondo Beach. We were in clear view of a little league field... and, naturally, the kids were more interested in 10 adults screaming and racing around than playing baseball.

    In fact, we were so distracting that, at one point, the kids' coaches made them run laps.

  11. This video blew up on a lot of sites, which led to the best comment we've ever gotten on a video. Someone on MySpace said, "Oh my God, I know Donkey Kong, he was my SAT prep tutor."

    Which was the truth... and also one of Paul's greatest fears: His professional world and idiotic world colliding.

    Fortunately for him and me (and in large part thanks to the success of this video putting us on Break's radar), those are now one in the same.


This post was originally published on Thursday, July 31, 2008 at 07:29:36 PM under the category Games.

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