Everybody’s heard the old saying “It takes a village.” That is perhaps the best possible way to explain Hulu’s “RocketJump: The Show.” On the surface, each episode of “RocketJump: The Show” features the making of a digital short, plus the finished product. It goes much deeper than that, though.
After years of creating YouTube videos that often went viral — and three seasons of the web series “Video Game High School” — the crew at RocketJump has what they do practically down to a science, putting incredibly visual effects hand-in-hand with over-the-top action and cutting edge humor.
However, not everything is as easy as it looks and “RocketJump: The Show” is putting that idea to rest, giving viewers a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to not only run a digital studio but keep content flowing. What it takes more than anything is dedication from every single person involved, as it turns out nobody has just one job.
Ten minutes into the premiere episode of the series, which debuts Wednesday (Dec. 2) on Hulu, it’s apparent that everyone works outside of their job description — even if that means the manager of operations is stepping into an acting role for a western-themed comedy.
It’s a unique setup the group has, but one that works for them as they all rise to the occasion to do whatever it takes to make the best product.
“[The show is] kind of a hybrid or a tri-brid, I guess. It’s part documentary series and part shorts program,” showrunner Ben Waller explains to Zap2it during a visit to the show’s set. “You learn about RocketJump and the people involved and what it’s like to be a digital stupid now that everything is kind of changing and shifting around in a media landscape.”
That is what makes the show so unique to RocketJump co-founder Freddie Wong. “The side of RocketJump that I don’t think anybody’s seen that I think is really interesting is how does this group dynamic work and how does the business side of this work,” he says.
If you’ve followed the studio’s work over the years, many of those faces may be familiar, though. Both behind-the-scenes and in front of the camera, “RocketJump: The Show” is littered with people who have starred in numerous YouTube shorts and throughout “Video Game High School.”
The reason is simple: The studio has been cultivating the perfects cast and crew for years.
“It’s good to have the familiar faces around because you’ve developed a shorthand,” Waller says. “It’s also to bring in the people who are absolutely the best at what they do.”
Wong adds, “I the thing that’s absolutely awesome is the people we found in ‘VGHS,’ we were very fortunate. I think they’re some of the best actors out there, period. They get what we’re going for and they just ick the snot out of any other actor.”
“We’re very keen on working with people … especially who we’re friends with,” he says.
Making a TV show with your friends? For a crew like RocketJump, it doesn’t get any better.