MUMBAI: The Vacationeers, a four person comedic film group based in Los Angeles, have struck viral and comedy gold with Google. They have been hired by the Internet giant to write and produce a series of short videos, the first of which launches today at youtube.com/thevacationeers.
The Vacationeers (thevacationeers.com) comprises Todd Berger, Blaise Miller, Jeff Grace and Kevin M. Brennan and have made over 30 short films between 2006 and 2008 including one that poked fun of the paranoia surrounding the "street view" feature of Google Maps.
This short, aptly called Google Maps, received millions of views, coverage on CNN, and garnered the guys a revenue sharing deal with YouTube. The Vacationeers then produced four more Google parodies called The Googling. The videos became such a cult hit, that Google itself flew The Vacationeers to their offices in Mountain View, CA. The Vacationeers are now working with a variety of Google’s marketing departments to create comedic video content.
The first official collaboration between Google and The Vacationeers launches today (26 May, 2009) to promote google.com/studytips, a campaign to assist college students to use Google for studying.
"We are very pleased to be one of Google’s marketing partners and pioneers in the next generation of brand marketing in the online space," say The Vacationeers.
Other companies are also starting to take notice. The Vacationeers were recently tapped by Pepsi and Medium (messagebecomesmedium.com) to help them market Sierra Mist Ruby Splash. In addition, director Todd Berger and Vacationeer Productions (the group’s production company) have been hired by Comedy Central’s Atom Films to write and produce five short films. Three of those shorts will be a fictional comedic web series about Barack Obama, which begins shooting next week.
The success of The Googling webseries last year also helped The Vacationeers secure financing to shoot their first feature film, The Scenesters. In a departure from their campy videos online, The Scenesters is a Cohen Brothers-esque dark comedy about a group of crime scene videographers who hatch a plan to catch a serial killer picking off young hipsters on the east side of Los Angeles. The film’s trailer, posted last month at thescenestersmovie.com, already has a cult following online with over 10,000 views on YouTube. The film will be making its rounds on the festival circuit later this year.