One of the Portland Film Festival
's higher billed events, a panel featuring “Randall,” the narrator of the viral Honey Badger video, and the Totally Sketch YouTube comedy crew
, ended up being what the moderator called an "intimate conversation"—meaning that a grand total of 13 people showed up
But despite the tiny turnout, the panel was an unexpectedly entertaining window into what it’s like to be an Internet filmmaker. Randall, who is legitimately obsessed with animals and sees his videos as vehicles for raising awareness about them, revealed his strategy for dealing with nasty commenters.
"I respond to the haters and the trolls,” he said (and yes, he spoke in the effeminate and enthusiastic manner of the videos). “They're asking for it. I just call them different animals’ genitals. Someone's like 'that video sucked!' and I'm like 'thanks, hummingbird penis!'"
Randall says that although he deals with a lot of hateful comments, he also receives plenty of love. "I'll get emails from people who are like, 'I'm battling cancer but I don't give a shit, I'm gonna smack the shit out of it.'"
Steve Green of Totally Sketch, which produces weekly satirical and parody videos, said the love can get a little creepy. "I didn't upload yesterday and I have kids tweeting me today saying ‘I miss you,’" Green said.
Randall also dished on being solicited by Sarah Palin's reps and the Tea Party to do TV and radio spots on their behalf. "I was like, you gotta be kidding me," he said.
It’s a bummer the event was so sparsely attended, but PFF’s publicity hasn't been particularly strong (and scheduling the first-ever festival for Labor Day weekend was perhaps an unwise move). Check out the remaining lineup here
and read our reviews here