Dustin McLean dustin@dustfilms.com
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I answer fan questions regularly on my channel so be sure to ask me via social media and you just might see me answer your question in a video!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why did you stop making Homemade Movies?

A: I get asked this question at least once a day. It's far too complicated to answer briefly but I'll try: When I was making the show the entire burden of production fell on me; I did have full-time help and a small team of various sizes at various points in time, but DustFilms produced the show entirely. Which means not only did I direct the individual episodes I was in charge of the entire budget, hiring people to work with me full-time, writing thier paychecks and otherwise handling all of the money coming in or out (that is a mountain of paperwork not to mention the dealing with taxes.) I was responsible for all of the casting and scheduling and making sure that everything was well planned, organized and came together correctly and was delivered on time. I oversaw the edit of the behind-the-scenes but I persionally edited the actual episodes as well as put together the side-by-side comparision videos. I created all of the logos and branding and related artwork including thumbnails for YouTube. I did all of the sound production which could seem like a minor afterthought but was actually a huge, 2-day production at least, depnding ont he length of the episode. The list goes on and on but the point is I was busy 7 days a week and it just never, ever stopped.

From January 2014 onward I started a second show on CineFix called The Cutting Room which was animated and was an attempt to ease this giant burden of production by cutting back on the number of Homemade Movies episodes to every other week. This actually worked very well for Homemade Movies, I trimmed the crew back to JUST Ben Martin and myself and we had this 2-week cycle down to a science! I hired an animator who only worked on The Cutting Room. For reason far too unpleasant to get into here let's just say that the production of that show was a complete and utter nightmare and made my life a living hell. The production of both shows immediately became far too difficult for me to continue doing and at the end of the current season I would have been doing Homemade Movies non-stop for a year and a half. That's a long freaking time to be going at absolute maximum capacity.

The point is this - as fun as it might have seemed on the surface to make this show I became absolutely miserable, there is no other way to put it. It was incredibly hard but I am not afraid of hard work; it's more like how long can continue on doing something that is much harder than it should be? I can cram and stay up late and work 7 days a week because I'm passionate about my work but how long does it really make sense to do that? A week, cool. A month, sure. 6 months, ok. A year, man. Longer than that, wait a second I need to stop this before I have a full blown mental breakdown, there are more important things in life than making this show. It was especially hard that I would always have such a long contract that I was bound to fulfill a set amount of episodes for a set amount of time which left absolutely no room for error (or getting sick or getting off schedule in any way whatsoever.) I would have loved to continue to direct and produce episodes but I felt like it was far too much to ask of one person and I simply could not go on that way.

I definitely would have been interested to continue the show with CineFix in some way but my "cries for help" and my ideas on how to do so were always met with "yeah just keep doing it the way you're doing it." So when my contract came to an end I chose to stop producing it entirely. CineFix owns the rights to the show so they decided to continue on their own without my involvement. I would have been absolutely happy to meet with them to discuss ways for me to be involved or continue directing episodes the way Ben does now. There is a huge difference between the way it is produced by CineFix now and the way the entire production used to be handled soleley by DustFilms. And I have to admit I'm a little sad that this amazing thing that I built from the ground up has now slipped away from me and other people are making it without me (and making it the way I would have liked to and kept asking to, not with the entire production on my shoulders but just as the person who gets to have use their talent and have fun creating it. The way producing and directing usually works.

Q: Will you please go back to Homemade Movies?

A: If you read the first question hopefully it's clear why I no longer do it which should answer this question too, but I currently have no plans to return in a full-time capacity. I have offered to be involved in any way since I stopped doing it full-time but they have never once reached out to me to have a discussion of what that might be. Ben has cast me in a few cameos in the episodes he's directed but that's it.
Q: How did you come up with the idea for the "literal music videos"?

A: I didn't come up with the concept on my own, it was basically an in-office joke that started at SuperNews, when writer Jonah Ray started playing silly 80s music videos on YouTube and commenting on how ridiculous they were. We would sing along to the videos and make fun of them. I believe it was lead animator Steve Olson who suggested that someone should record a full song like that and then put it back on YouTube. I was just the one who got around to writing a few of them, then I just performed and uploading the first one, which started it all. I had no idea it would be so popular!
Q: Did you create the "Total Eclipse Of The Heart: Literal Version"?

A: Nope. That was created by someone else (For a while it was the #1 most requested song for me to do, I just didn't feel like doing that one) All of my official literal music videos can be found here on the site!
Q: When will you make some more "literal videos"?/Do you take requests?

A: I don't make them anymore at all since they destroyed my old YouTube channel with copyright strikes. Be sure to subscribe to my new channel for all kinds of fun new spoofs and original stuff!
Q: Do you sing all of your "literal videos" and how do you sound like the original singers?

A: Yes, I do sing all of them myself. I don't how I do it, I just enjoy doing impressions of singers!
Q: Are you available for freelance animation or music?

A: Not really, I prefer to focus on directing live-action. But I'm always open to looking at a project to see if it interests me!
Q: Do you have a mailing list?

A: I sort of stopped sending it out so just follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to see what I'm up to!