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“Fred: The Movie” comes to YouTube

By Charu Magon


You may have heard of a lil’ someone called Fred, the squealing, hyperactive force behind the first YouTube channel to hit 1 million subscribers. Since he hit that milestone in April 2009, he’s amassed more than 2 million subscribers on YouTube and his videos have been viewed more than 616 million (!) times. Oh yeah -- he made a movie, too.

In honor of “Fred: The Movie” joining the YouTube corpus for rent, we asked the Nebraskan teenager who plays Fred, Lucas Cruikshank, to take us behind the scenes of his movie, tell us what was in his trailer (was he a diva?!), and to spill the beans on the YouTube videos he can’t live without.

1) Some people say the movie’s Fred character is different than Fred in YouTube videos. Do you agree?

He’s a little different than the high-pitched voice on YouTube videos and that’s because I think the audience would get annoyed listening to that voice for the duration of the film. Fred is still obnoxious, but I toned it down for the movie, so he’s not as crazy as in his YouTube videos. He is more energetic and hyper in those videos. The movie consists of a theme rather than random videos, creating a need for calmer, storyline sequences with Fred.

2) Describe your on-set trailer. What was in it?

I am used to being all by myself when shooting my YouTube videos and this was completely different because there was a whole crew and service men placed around the set. It was my first trailer, which had a shower, kitchen, and that was a big change from just me with my camera. There were team members with ideas and creative input versus me making all decisions with editing. It was a good change. I was thinking of expanding “Fred” to another medium and need to be open to change and enjoyed the filming/production process.

3) Tell us a fact about the movie that no one else knows.

Nobody realizes how fast the movie was put together; there were meetings in July with Hollywood producers, and I started shooting in early November. Shooting ended two months later, around Christmas.

4) What was your inspiration behind creating Fred in the first place?

I became addicted to making videos after receiving a video camera for my 13th birthday. My friend recommended checking out YouTube. My show became poking fun at video bloggers who are telling a story, but I am blogging at the age of six, when kids are naïve and throw tantrums. I exaggerate all these naïve and child-like qualities in a high-pitch voice.

5) What advice would you give others in your place?

I would say have fun making videos. There is a notion of getting famous overnight, but you need to be patient and love what you do. I was making videos since 2006 and two years later, it took off, and the videos got popular. You should focus on creativity, not just views or subscribers, and be passionate about it.