Thursday, August 27, 2009

Interview: Eskimo Kiss Project

Today, the lovely ladies of Eskimo Kiss Project have graciously agreed to be interviewed for my blog. Thanks for joining us, EKP!

(Who's EKP, you ask? Just about the best You Tube channel out there. Since starting to post clips from Alles Was Zahlt back in November of 08, they've managed to upload over three hundred videos, all edited, subtitled, and hilariously described by Lilith, Aldi and Shelly. I stumbled on their videos a few months back, and have thoroughly enjoyed their work -- and truly enjoyed getting to know them better through this interview.)

1. Which came first – the friendship, or the show? Did you three know each other before you discovered AWZ, or did you connect because you loved the show? And how did you first become aware of the Roman/Deniz storyline on AWZ?

The two kind of nurtured and fed off each other. Like some really scary obsessy time-chomping plant, only, uhm, nicer. We discovered the storyline via similar endeavours on YouTube, like the Christian/Oliver pairing on Verbotene Liebe. In fact, it was a persistent VL friend who first foisted “this other gay German soap couple” on us. Other channels had been generous enough to post the Deniz/Roman storyline, but we discovered that the show’s infamous theme song was right and we “can’t ever get enough” – we wanted more of the storylines and characters surrounding Deniz and Roman. This couple doesn't exist in a vacuum, and we found the community and its reactions to them equally intriguing and endearing. And so we delved headfirst into our active obsession with EKP and haven’t stopped since. (We suspect that if we ever do, we’ll need a patch!) But to get back to your original question, yes, we first connected through our love for the show but quickly became really close friends. We’re lucky enough to be pretty much all on the same wavelength of crazy, which is really a necessity when you spend so much time in each other’s (virtual) hair.
2. Where did you get the name "eskimokissproject"? Are there any other shorthand names/titles/phrases that people might like to know before delving into the world of Roman/Deniz fandom?

The name comes from a brief but legendary moment in the landmark episode 299, where the boys share an affectionate noserub while giggling on the ice. It’s small moments like this that endeared this show to us so much – as ever, the devil’s in the details, and details like that (natural, spontaneous, and lovely) made the characters really come alive. As for other phrases and names, oh, they are legion, from [Angry Turkish], which we insert when Deniz's dad rants, to "Asshole=I love you" referring to Roman's tendency to tell Deniz what an infuriating yet irresistible tool he is. And we’re still quite fond of our original tagline, “My parents had to flee to Asia!” That was on the screenshot of our first ever video and has since become both a synonym for “hare-brained yet hilarious plot we must cover” and an acceptable response in all sorts of social situations. You’d be amazed how many scenarios it fits.

3. If I remember correctly, you don't live in close proximity. Where do you hail from, and how does that work when putting together the clips for YouTube?

The EKP Brain was born of the frozen tundra. Split into three parts by an evil Steinkampian plot, the Brainthirds were cast adrift, settling in the United States, Canada, and New Zealand. In terms of doing the clips, it’s really no problem, since none of us actually pay any attention to such silliness as normal hours, night/day distinctions, the time/space continuum, etc. Technology is a beautiful thing. So is mind-melding.

4. Describe your work on a typical episode. How do you put it together?

AWZ airs at 7:05pm in Germany, which is 1:05pm for Lil and Shelly and crazy pre-dawn silly time for Aldi. So work begins with buckets of coffee and an AIM chatroom, where we watch the episode on the RTL site, flailing/grumbling/yawning as appropriate and figuring out how much of the episode we want to cover. Aldi (the only one of us who actually knows German) works up clipping cues, Lil edits the episode, then Aldi translates/subtitles the edited clip, and Shelly puts it all together and forcefeeds it to YouTube (which may or may not cooperate). Somewhere among all that, we scramble to piece together a description (early drafts often run along the lines of “OMG WHAT” and “SQUEEEEEEE” and “WTF Show!”).
5. How do you manage to get the clips posted so quickly? I'm very impressed.
Thank you! It's all due to magic and coffee, with a healthy dose of obsession. Fortunately we all work out of our homes so we can be, uhm, creative with our time.

6. Recently, a hotly-anticipated episode was clicked on so much in the first few minutes after you posted, it managed to break the internets for a little while. Were you surprised at its popularity?

Very! First we thought it was a technical glitch, then we found out we were being overrun and descended into fits of incredulous hilarity. For the record, that particular episode was well worth the fuss. ;) [Note from Kate: I totally agree!]

7. Did you ever expect your work to get such a rabid following on YouTube?

We really didn't. This started just for us – a fun project among friends that we figured others might enjoy, too. We’ve been doing this for less than a year and were surprised to get 1000 subscribers so quickly. Now that we're pushing 2000, we're beside ourselves! Soon we’ll need to put out ads for -slaves- staff or something.

8. What's the best part of working on eskimokissproject? What's toughest?

Best? Sharing the awesome flailing moments, both with each other and then again once we post. Worst? Either waiting by our empty mailboxes for the paycheques from RTL that never come or inexplicable cravings for fries at odd hours of the night.

9. Did you have a hard time keeping the faith during the dark years?

Shared pain is better. We found hidden gems like Killer Virus (episodes 439-443), which turned out to be puzzlingly fabulous despite the cracky premise. And really, the darkness is part of what we love. Besides, there were always past days of glorious storylines to revisit, and now there’s even current awesomesauce going on. Having waited and suffered and moaned through the “dark years” and stubbornly clung to hope where there was none, we feel we’ve got a better appreciation for the good stuff. Or hey, perhaps we’ve just gone mental and made it all up!

10. One of my favorite parts of your eskimokissproject channel is the descriptions you write for each episode. I've found myself cutting-and-pasting paragraphs to friends who don't even follow DeRo, just because they're so hilariously well-written. What other writing do you do? Where can readers find it?

We're all fanfic writers, and dabble in original projects, too, although by necessity that gets backburnered when EKP is really busy. When we first got into this show, we produced a bunch of English-language DeRo fanfic, which can be found at but, erm… mind the ratings. None of these are exactly fluffy or innocent. ;)

11. Is there anything I didn't ask that you wish I had? Anything you'd like to add to this interview?

There’s an endless amount of joy in sharing this lovely, insane and occasionally infuriating creation with our equally lovely and insane viewers, but the fact is that there would be nothing to share if it wasn’t for a team of brilliant creative brains halfway across the world who work on making this show every day. So a big thanks to the creators, writers, directors and actors of AWZ, who we curse and slag off daily and with gusto but whom we also adore. Keep up the awesome! (And give us a zombie plot!)


Kate Davies said...

An example of why I adore EKP's video descriptions:

"Episode 371 - Dear Deniz: Much, much later, when you have grown up and accepted being whatever-it-is-you-are and have learned how not to be a selfish, lying, cheating dickwad, and after Roman's had glorious awesome sex with lots of other people and a fab relationship with someone who adores him and you've gone through hell being jealous and realising you still love Roman, and when you've crawled from here to Timbuktu and fought desperately to get him back, and then even later when he finally maybe gives you another chance, YOU HAVE SO FUCKING MUCH TO MAKE UP FOR, OMG."

The ep itself is heartbreaking, but the description makes it bearable, IMO. Smooches, EKP!

Maia Strong said...

Fantastic interview!

I'm one of the lucky ones who gets random snippets of your comments and links to vids via IMs from Kate. Such lovely diversions of humour (on EKP's part) and sexyboyness (from Roman and Deniz, of course). I enjoy them all! :D

ddurance said...

This sounds really good. Like I really need something else to suck up my time. lol


Anonymous said...

I love EKP's video descriptions as they accomplish three things for me: 1) they entertain me with their rapier wit and never fail to leave me in stitches, 2) they intrigue me enough to get me to watch the video and render me hopelessly addicted to the series, and 3) they provide insights that I would have otherwise missed, making my viewing experience more rich and profound.

From a fan in the Philippines