Andrew Bowser Talks Onyx and the Horrors of YouTube Filmmaking [Ep. 84]

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You’ve almost certainly seen a video with Andrew Bowser’s “Onyx the Fortuitous,” whether it’s him being ‘weird Satanist guy’ or giving a too-detailed, flowery, dark witness account of a news story while dressed as an Arby’s employee. Onyx has been a viral YouTube staple for years now, but he’s coming to the big screen — with your help and ours.

Andrew starts by explaining Onyx’s weird combination of hyper-confidence and backpedalling with his famously quick and frequent interjections of “idunno.” Matt describes it as a “squirrely over-caffeinated charm,” but at one point Onyx was a little more subdued. At this point, though, is it even possible to dial it back?

YouTube worked for Onyx in some ways, but it turned out not to be the best fit for the character or the skits. TikTok stepped in at just the right time, and Onyx embraced the fast-paced, broad distribution of short form Onyx glory. Sometimes it’s topical, most of the time it’s not, but TikTok works either way. 

Part of why it works is Andrew’s complex theory on comedy, which is that it needs to be an emotional over-commitment to something absurd. Onyx getting upset about something isn’t intended to be funny, but it is because we’re witnessing something that’s just way more intense than it should be. 

Andrew’s career has been a wild ride, with tremendous success on producing/directing, but he’s struggled for 14 years to get funding for his own projects. Why does he keep going? Because he’s not normal, just like we aren’t. It’s important to be weird and defy all the evidence in front of you. Like Andrew says, “I’m crazy and I’m going to do this UNTIL I DROP DEAD!”

We talk about the Onyx film — its plot, its Kickstarter, its incredible rewards — and then answer Patreon questions about what it’s like to be known as Onyx, the delicate business of cringe comedy, how Andrew got the Arby’s uniform, and… Onyx’s fursona. He’s got one, sniff sniff.

We’re working on something significant, and it means we’ve got to skip this next week (and we haven’t had a skip in about 5 months).  But we’ll be back the week after that with a new guest. Stay fresh, babies!

BowserVids: youtube.com/user/bowservidstotally

Onyx Kickstarter: www.kickstarter.com/projects/1418036943/onyx-the-fortuitous-and-the-talisman-of-souls

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Hosts: Kevin Lieber and Matt Tabor

Produced and Edited by Ben Webster → https://twitter.com/benwebsterTCU 

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Opening Animation: Kidmograph

City Animation: Eric Langlay

“The Create Unknown” is produced by Unknown Media.

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