What happens when you take a tech nerd, a film student, some well-meaning “new guy hazing” and a shared passion for superheroes? Besides a bromance for the ages, given the right amount of talent and dedication, you might just end up with a venture like Ismahawk—a Vegas-based, up-and-coming film production company currently racing toward 500,000 subscribers on YouTube.
Danny Shepherd (the film student) and Jeremy Le (the tech nerd, renamed “Jimmy” by Danny, hence the well-meaning hazing) met while working at Best Buy back in 2009. They immediately struck up a friendship, and discovering shared interests, they began shooting videos together for their fledgling YouTube channel. At this point, Jeremy decided it was time to change from a career in electrical engineering to one in film, and he quickly discovered his expertise helped him greatly behind a camera. Isn’t serendipity awesome? Anyhoo …
Now you know who they are … on to what they do. Of course, to make it onto my radar, you must’ve guessed that it was either nerd shit, burlesque or musical theatre. This time it’s the former. Ismahawk have several projects on the go at any one time, and their regular programming consists of podcasts—HawkTalk every Tuesday, review videos, and original programming such as their Nightwing web series and (my personal favorite) the Minute Match-Ups. Imagine fights between the most exciting Marvel and DC heroes—or villains—and this is what these guys do. With, I might add, wild success. Their The Flash vs Quicksilver short, released last year, topped an incredible 11 million views, with good reason. I implore you to Google it immediately, and then make your way through their back catalogue. I’ll make myself a cup of tea while you’re gone. I like tea. English Breakfast—milk, one sugar.
So, having taken your necessary break to watch all their videos—which of course you just did; I finished my tea, after all, and even found time for a ginger snap—you’re probably guessing that the production value apparent in the works take more than just a team of two. And you’re right; Ismahawk is growing. Additions to the team include Noel Schefflin (keep that name in mind) and Tony Smith—two “faceless background goons” who have worked their asses off to become more than just dead guys in the back of a frame—plus Hal Rydberg of PixelArts Inc., who provides props and awesome cameos, and Fred Sullivan, who is taking care of social media and their Patreon page, which I’ll get to in a second.
Ismahawk has many new projects in the pipeline, including a short film starring established characters, a new and completely original web series and a super-secret collaboration with a major TV network. Hard work pays off, y’all. And also, I suppose now is the time to drop my OMG bomb. A recent Minute Match-Up is very close to my heart … My favorite comic/movie universe is without a doubt Gotham City, and while I love Batman, it’s the villains who get me. An installment titled “Joker vs. Joker” is on the way, and shit damn it’s good. If you keep your eyes peeled, you might just catch a glimpse of yours truly amongst the anarchy and chaos that undoubtedly comes with these legendary psycho-killers.
To finish, I must add that up until recently Ismahawk was self-funded. Thankfully, with their growing success, the guys are starting to land sponsorship deals with costume and prop companies, as well as a group of supporters on Patreon that they’d like to extend their heartfelt thanks to. If you’d like to support them, and I highly recommend you do, visit patreon.com/ismahawk. What is already impressive can only become more so with the help of fans.
Sometimes, there’s too much to talk about on one subject to fill one column. It won’t be long before I revisit these guys. Once again, thanks for reading my nerdy ramblings, and please do get in touch on twitter @charlistarling once the video drops. I promise there’ll be lots to discuss!