On Ponies and Mercenaries

Picture by TheYoshiPunch
Why limit yourself to one fandom? Picture by TheYoshiPunch

If there’s an aspect of the TF2 Community that our blog has overlooked, its the extremely prolific video-making community. Several notable SPUFers are also Youtubers, and today we’re interviewing someone from the “mashup” community, where TF2 aspects are combined with media from another franchise. 2007excalibur2007 is well known for his “sentence-mixing”; taking TF2 audio and juxtaposing it over visuals from other media, especially the My Little Pony:Friendship Is Magic television show.
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Tell us a little about yourself; how you got started, how you got involved in your favorite fandoms, or how you crafted your own image in the mashup community.

When I first started out, I wasn’t really ‘involved’ in any fandoms, or at least not yet at the time. I’m a fan of TF2, but I couldn’t really say I was involved with its fandom, mostly because I hadn’t really contributed anything TF2-specific that was particularly noteworthy to the community; I’m just normal fan like any other.

My first real involvement with the MLP/TF2 fandom began when a silly out-of-boredom idea to sentence-mix the opening intro to MLP:FiM with TF2 voices somehow became popular among the masses (I was already a ‘brony’ at this time). At first, I thought people are just going to pass it off as just another generic TF2/MLP mashup, but I was completely blown away when I found out that my video somehow got posted to popular MLP news sites, namely Equestria Daily and DerpyHooves News. It then eventually spread to other bunch of MLP-related websites/forums, and perhaps even to some TF2 sites as well! Needless to say that I had not expected any of this, at all. Haha.

I had gotten tons of comments from people saying that they liked it and loved how almost-perfect my sentence-mixing sounded. Then I thought to myself: “I should try making more of this! I mean, I had fun making it, and people seemed to love it, so why the heck not?” And from there, I continued to make more MLP/TF2 mashups! And as time went on, I got more and more involved with both communities. But hey, that’s a story for another time.

What process do you usually go through when you come up with and then make a new video? What’s your favorite part of the process?

Ideas-wise, I don’t usually have a process when it comes to these. Most of my ideas just sort of come and go (weird, I know), and since most of them are just simply parodies of other things (e.g. songs with modified lyrics, etc), it really isn’t too much work for me just to come up with them. I do however, write those ideas down as soon as they hit me, so I could revise them later if needed. After that, I just immediately proceed to use whatever those ideas are on my video, this being my favorite part of the ‘process’, if I could even call it that. Sentence-mixing and all.

All the time I see TF2 content in My Little Pony videos, even when the video is completely unrelated to TF2. Why do you think the pony and TF2 communities intersect so often?

Picture by stupjam.
A very brief time with either fandom will reveal crossovers of many shapes and sizes. Picture by stupjam.

I think it’s because geeks like us tend to try and cross-over whatever mediums that we love to involve ourselves with, in this case, MLP and TF2. From what I could see in the community, a huge majority of the MLP fandom are also fans of TF2, and that they’ve also probably created loads of noteworthy TF2-related content even before this whole pony phenomenon. When you realize that you’ve made a bunch of TF2 content in the past out of love for the game, it’s pretty much irresistible to try and do the same thing with MLP, so it really isn’t surprising to see these people putting TF2 stuff in MLP content, or vice versa.

Plus, it’s really hard not to look at Engineer and Applejack and make a connection between the two, since they both have that cowboy/cowgirl personality. Or Scout and Rainbow Dash, since they both share a love for speed.

What is your favorite TF2 video you’ve made? What’s your favorite TF2 fan-video not made by you?

Ooh, this one’s a toughie… I think I’d have to say “This Spy Aria” is by far my most favorite that I’ve worked on, as I faced the challenges of not using Heavy (like I almost always do) to sentence-mix, haha. Plus, that evil Spy laugh at the end? Totally worth it!

As for one that isn’t made by me, my favorite would have to be this recent video that just came out: “Meet the Rabid Heavy Taming Engineer“. I’m a sucker for action sequences, and this short SFM film almost blew my mind… almost.

What advice do you have for people who hope to make their own TF2 mashups? Are there any resources you’d recommend?

Just have fun doing it, really! And let it be a reminder to all that if you want to do a TF2 mashup video with anything, you are NOT limited to just sentence-mixing. You have a whole library of TF2 voice clips that you can take advantage of even without splicing the sentences and stuff. Plus, with all these new TF2 updates that Valve has been giving us lately? You have a LOT more voices and lines that you can use and play around with.

A site that I would recommend checking out would be the the official Team Fortress Wiki as they archive every line/dialogue that every class/character would utter in-game, but this is merely just to make searching for a specific line easier, as opposed to going through all the voice clips one by one.

Thanks for your time!

You can watch 2007excalibur2007’s videos on Youtube, or follow him on Twitter. This begins a Daily SPUF initiative to have more interviews of notable members of the community. Look for more in the coming future!

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