Interview with Bryan Harley and Roque Rodriguez of Dumb Drum, The Team Behind The Pacific Rim Sweded Videos
Recently, we teamed up with Dumb Drum to produce a series of short videos designed for Instagram to celebrate the release of Pacific Rim on Blu-ray and DVD. Bryan Harley and Roque Rodriguez, the creative minds behind Dumb Drum, have been creating “sweded” trailers for several years now and have perfected their craft. We caught up with them to learn more about their creative process, the origins of the “Dumb Drum” name, their upcoming Swede Fest, and more!
LEGENDARY: What was the first sweded video you guys made? And what inspired you to do it?
ROQUE: The first sweded film we created was Raiders of the Lost Ark, back in 2008 just for fun. The movie “Be Kind Rewind,” by Michel Gondry, came out that year and sort of inspired a “sweding” craze on YouTube.
BRYAN: So we took that concept and ran with it. That led to us create “Swede Fest,” a semi-annual film festival for sweded movies in our hometown of Fresno, California. We’ve been sweding ever since.
LEGENDARY: Where did the name “Dumb Drum” come from?
ROQUE: As a fan of hip-hop, the name comes from a lyric by Wu-Tang Clan’s Masta Killa that goes, “the dumb are mostly intrigued by the drum.” We started a blog in 2007 with the same name, but eventually shortened it to just Dumb Drum. And it stuck.
BRYAN: As not-really-a-fan of hip-hop… hey, look, our logo is a drum wearing a little dunce cap. It’s a dumb drum, haha! I’m easily amused.
LEGENDARY: Can you tell us about your experience meeting Guillermo del Toro?
BRYAN: Yeah, we were lucky enough to meet him at his signing at WonderCon 2013. It was amazing. You hear that Guillermo del Toro is one of the nicest guys in Hollywood, and it’s really true. When we told him we created the Pacific Rim sweded trailer, he gave us a great big bear hug and asked for a picture with us!
ROQUE: It was surreal to met Guillermo del Toro. I had been a fan of his ever since first discovering him with “Mimic” so to actually have this guy whose work I held so highly regarded praise my work, well it was like the entire universe had just collapsed around me. Inviting us to the Hollywood premiere of Pacific Rim was just the exclamation point on the whole thing. I still really can’t believe it happened.
LEGENDARY: Where do you get your props and costumes? Any crazy stories there?
ROQUE: The point of sweding is to be as low budget as possible. So we look around the house for things we already have that might work. We also make a lot out of cardboard. Our version of Gipsy Danger is made of cardboard, an old pair of football pads, a discarded paintball mask, duct tape and spray paint.
BRYAN: We raid a lot of dumpsters and thrift stores. The more low-budget and crappy it looks, the funnier!
LEGENDARY: What 3 movies would you take to a deserted island?
BRYAN: Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Back To The Future.
ROQUE: Desperado, The Fall, American Graffiti. This list changes almost every week.
LEGENDARY: Tell us about your upcoming Swede Fest! Can people still enter? How do you attend?
ROQUE: Our 12th Swede Fest is coming up on Saturday, November 9 at 6 p.m. at the historic Tower Theatre in Fresno, CA. Submissions are free, you have until November 4 to enter. It’s also free to attend and open to all ages. If you’re in the area, stop by!
BRYAN: If you can’t make it to this one, the next Swede Fest will be in May 2014. We also have sister festivals in Palm Beach and Tampa, FL. And we’re always open to folks starting their own Swede Fests in their cities, just contact us. More info is athttp://swedefest.com.
LEGENDARY: Any closing remarks?
Check out all our videos and subscribe to our YouTube channel at http://youtube.com/bryanharley.