By now, chances are solid that you’ve at least heard someone mention The Hillywood Show, a YouTube channel headed up by sisters Hilly and Hannah Hindi where they create parodies of some of their favorite shows and movies like Lord of the Rings, The Walking Dead, Supernatural, and Doctor Who. The Hindi sisters have not only created a channel that regularly delivers amazing videos that viewers love, they’ve also turned their fandom love and creativity into a career. And it turns out it all really started when Hilly decided to enter a contest. I spoke with Hannah and Hilly at Denver Comic Con this year to learn a little bit more about how they took one contest entry and turned it into the huge YouTube empire that is The Hillywood Show.
Back in 2006, Hilly entered an AOL video contest and roped Hannah into helping with the camera work. Hilly placed third, and she decided to keep creating after receiving a lot of encouragement from family and friends. So what is it that made The Hillywood Show different? Ultimately, it was the two things that no other YouTube channel had–Hannah and Hilly. Both at their Denver Comic Con panel and in my interview, the Hindi sisters continued to repeat their advice to up-and-coming YouTubers to create something original and not to try to copy others. “You can always take inspiration from someone else, but you’re not going to grow on YouTube if you’re not doing something different,” Hannah explained, “Try something new, and if it doesn’t go well, try something different.”
That’s exactly what Hannah and Hilly did in creating their own channel. They figured out a way to express their love for their favorite fandoms in a way that loads of people online could relate to. They brought in expert cosplay (seriously, the way they transform into their parody characters is nothing short of amazing) and creative storytelling to make videos that poked fun at the shows and movies we all love, all while ultimately celebrating the fandoms. It’s pretty amazing to see how much the girls’ skills have grown, comparing one of their Twilight parodies from 2009…
…to their Supernatural parody from 2015.
Despite their awesome work, Hilly admits that sometimes she worries about people not understanding their work. “You might not get it if you don’t really love cosplay,” she explained, since she’s often dressed as a guy. Of course, overcoming those insecurities has paid off pretty well for them. When they happened to meet Osric Chau–a huge cosplay fan himself–they not only made a friend who appeared in both their Walking Dead and Supernatural parodies, but also convinced nearly the entire Supernatural cast to make an appearance on the Hillywood parody of the show.
The Hillywood Show has gone beyond just getting impressive cameos and parody cast members. Jared Padalecki himself has even talked about how he wants the girls on Supernatural (what petition do I need to sign to make that happen) and the Hindi sisters have such a dedicated fan base donating to their Patreon that they’ve managed to make The Hillywood Show their main focus.
“We don’t feel like we’re professionals,” Hilly laughed, “We’re still trying to learn and keep an open mind on ways to make our work better and learn new skills and techniques, but it’s a very humbling experience to realize our work does touch lives.”So what’s on deck for the sisters? They’re currently working hard to make their next parody–based on BBC’s Sherlock–something that the community will love. They’re taking their time on this latest parody to live up to the high expectations they’ve set for themselves. Plus, it only adds to the Sherlockian experience, right? “It wouldn’t be a Sherlock parody if the fans didn’t have to wait,” Hannah smiled.
Have you seen a Hillywood Show parody? Which one is your favorite? How have you tried to creatively express your fandom passions? Let’s talk about it in the comments!
Image Credit: TheHillywoodShow.com