‘The Fuplers’ Get Animated for Long-Awaited Second Season on YouTube
Back in 2008, Matt Koval launched a YouTube series called “The Fuplers,” focusing on the wacky dinner table interactions of the titular family. It was a big hit on his channel (which has more than 122.5 subscribers and 14.8M views), but it was also very time-consuming. Koval played the entire family of characters (mom, dad, goth/emo teenage son and pig-tailed daughter), styled the wigs, coordinated the wardrobe and shot and edited the show all by himself. So, after three years and 12 episodes, he said goodbye the Fuplers.
But, like Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) in “The Godfather, Part III,” Koval may have thought he was done, but they dragged him back in. Fans never stopped sending him messages, asking him when “The Fuplers” were coming back. So last year he started brainstorming on just how to do facilitate their return.
With two kids under five and a wife, Koval didn’t have the time to commit to a one-man production and, besides, his family was using the set (i.e. the kitchen) and “an old man in pigtails is just freaky,” Koval said.
So Koval turned to Robert Green of Another Green World Productions, a digital content studio (clients include American Express, Federated Media, Upright Citizens Brigade, Hasbro) with whom he had collaborated with on the web series “Shelby’s Rant” and “8 Dates.” They decided they would turn “The Fuplers” into an animated series, which will debut on Sunday, Feb. 28, on Koval’s YouTube channel.
Koval still voices the characters, and he provided the series animators at Dilated Pixels with a live-action reference cut and to work from. But, while the decision to use animation freed up Koval’s kitchen and a large portion of his time, it didn’t promise to be quick, easy or cheap.
“Keeping the characters at the table, in the same location, is part of our strategy to contain costs,” Green told VideoInk. “We also had the good fortune that this was naturally the format of the original Fuplers. That marriage of content-to-cost containment is to key to success.”
Koval and Green see the new “Fuplers” as a Sunday morning comic strip.
“It’s short, funny, and the characters are always in the same costumes,” Koval said. “The goal is to start to build weekly a habit in viewers along the lines of Peanuts or The Far Side.”
Although “The Fuplers” may show up on Facebook soon, the series will remain a YouTube exclusive for the time being.
“Matt grew his audience with YouTube and that’s where his fans are,” Green said. “We may try other platforms to maximize exposure, but we think of this as a YouTube show first and foremost. It’s the right demographic, that’s for sure.”