Andy Signore is the Host and Online Personality at Screen Junkies (5.8+ MM subscribers, more than 1.5 billion lifetime views). He is also the creator of the Emmy-nominated Honest Trailers, which averages 2 million views per episode. Over the past year alone, he has collaborated with Ryan Reynolds to produce the first-ever Honest Trailer spoof for Deadpool, as well as The Russo Brothers, who tried to create an “Honest Trailer-proof” Captain America. We chatted at San Diego Comic Con
Tony Tellado: How did Honest Trailers originate ?
Andy Signore: We had the Phantom Menace coming out in 3D and it was just funny because we had seen it already and so it was very odd that Lucas Film was trying to just like pretend like we forgot that we didn’t like that movie. We’re like oh wait it’s 3-D now. So we know it’s good. So that was sort of the first movie that made the most sense. And then as we were doing it was the format was growing and I’m like “Yeah we need more of like the boring things sitting in circles council meetings like all the stuff that the movie really is filled with that you don’t really need.” And that really was where it was born.
Tony Tellado: So how did that how did it evolve over the years ?
Andy Signore: So we did that one as sort of on a lark. And then we I was like “Let’s try again with Twilight” because that was the big thing at the time and that felt like a fair one to sort of let’s hit that phenomenon because it was huge and that went even bigger.And after Twilight we’re like “Oh crap, all right we did two in a row and they seemed to work so let’s try that because the Phantom Menace for the longest time was always our lowest performer”. It wasn’t until we did Titanic ,Twilight ,Transformers, and then suddenly boom boom boom those got picked up everywhere and then over time they lifted up Phantom Menace too and it became sort of the behemoth that it was. So it just was trial and error is pushing it forward and keep going to make you know make them at that back in the time we weren’t doing it every week we were doing them every month and a half or so because they would be it was just myself and the co-creator Brett (Weiner).We would sort of take turns and we would be editing right , doing it and we had some writers that would help pitch that we would bring in to help us get faster. But it was a pretty big task.
Tony Tellado: Yeah, production always is. So tell me how did that evolve from there to where you are right now ?
Andy Signore: Oh it’s helped I mean build up this brand tremendously. I mean it’s a it’s just resonated with sand in such a way that I think just the whole idea of honesty and in marketing and things, it’s all key. I mean I just think that has created our tone that’s carried through a lot of our content because people are like all right, “I trust you”. “I like what you said about that so I’ll hear what you’re saying about this too”. And so it’s sort of a strategy of mine from the beginning. It’s you know they see that we’re actually film lovers and have a passion about this type these topics so creating that environment was key to sort of find our fan base and our audience is key to us. We it’s a community in my mind where I live. I talk to them I love them as so I get to meet them and talk to them and they’re so excited to see me and I’m excited to see them because it’s like we’re usually in an office at a computer.we the see the comments but we don’t actually meet the fans. So and I had a mom catch me. “I saw you six years ago with my daughter she’s now 15 now and I have a picture” and she shows me the picture and it blows my mind. And she’s like “I was there in the beginning and I’m so proud of you guys”. it’s like To see it all come to this level has been tremendous.
I mean the craziest one was when we were doing that when we heard that the Winter Soldier that the Russo brothers had were on set apparently trying to trailer proof their movie, which they’ve now said to us several times. I don’t think they were blowing smoke up you know anywhere. The fact that it became a thing of filmmakers out there who are fans of us who watched it and were like “Hey we got to bulk up our logic and let’s make sure this makes sense and not just trick everybody in the trailers”. The fact that they are right. Because I watched that movie and I was just blown away it was my favorite Marvel movie and they’re just wonderful and here that started to happen has been crazy for us when we meet more directors. We hear it all the time and all of those are the best. And then to get Ryan Reynolds to show up and. Michael Bolton singing on this it’s like it’s like it’s blows our minds still that we can get these sort of high level people to play with us. And Ryan gets it. It wasn’t the studio or his reps. “I love what you guys are doing” We were fans and he came and did it. It’s been wonderful to get those opportunities.
Tony Tellado: And then with that there’s growth in other things too.
Andy Signore: We’re at where we have more shows now we have two channels launching that we’re here streaming live news all week long we have a big event we’re throwing a Saturday at The House Of Blues (during SDCC 2017) that we’re so excited about we’re bringing some of our celebrity friends back. Elijah Wood and Kevin Smith are going to a movie fight together. Tim Miller director of Deadpool is coming to an honest reaction with us to the trailer. It’s so much fun stuff. Just it’s been so surreal to see it all happening and the fans to enjoy to that’s what it’s really all for is for the fans, really.
Tony Tellado: And what Comic-Con is all about.
Andy Signore: I get to travel around a little bit and meet fans all over. And it was just amazing like when I went to London for a junket. And then while I was there of course I made time to like let’s do a stranger meet-up and it’s just so wonderful we met in this pub and it was packed for Spencer (Gilbert) and I to show up. I was like oh we a few people in the corner and they literally closed the pub down because it was filled with people. And beyond that sort of cool moment of like wow like it was just very like sort of made a speech. “Guys we’re here for a couple hours and thank you going to talk to all of you. But like when we leave like you guys are screen junkies now like get each other’s info and talk to each other.”The fact that we’re like making these communities around the world who like me who are watching ,are consummate just talking movies together. I didn’t have that growing up. I didn’t have buddies who knew as geeky as stuff that I wanted to talk about. If we’re not there for the fans, engaging them and finding them other people to engage with then we’re failing.
Tony Tellado: Tell us more about the streaming channels.
So now we have Screen Junkies News on our stream. We’re not streaming a lot of stuff from which is we have a morning show in the morning now every live every morning at 10:00 and then we have breaking news throughout the day and then we’re streaming a couple of their live shows on the main channel. We have movie fights now will be live every Thursday at 4:00 p.m. which is a lot of fun watching that show live. It’s a debate forum. Watching it live a lot more fun as the audience is engaged and they get to talk to each other and tweet to each other during the show. “And that was a bad call or that was a great call. I want to pick this one.” And so that’s what the show’s really about is getting everyone who’s driving along listening or watching say you know saying “NO know they were right. NO that was wrong” because that’s what we all like to play you know, backseat driver. So that’s the key. And so I think that we’re we want to create that destination for people to come. Where to go when they want to hear reactions and talk about stuff or get some intel that they don’t if they aren’t familiar with some comics that are coming out are things like how do we help educate them and just entertain them.
Tony Tellado: Any interesting guests that might show up to which to do the morning show for example ?
Andy Signore: I mean we just had Michael Rooker dropped in on our first episode this week. It’s just crazy. And then we had Luc Besson come on which was an amazing conversation to talk to him because I’m a huge fan of all his work. There are people that are giving Valerian a lot of crap. But I thought that it was visually stunning. It was such a fun theater experience of like wow he took me to a place I haven’t seen before so it was amazing to talk to him and sort of get some of that. So yeah we were hoping to get more people to stopping and you never know.SGU. That’s what it’s called. The vibe of the show as we break the news down what’s fun but then people stop and then we sort of stay honest about it and have sort of our take on things versus just here’s what does happen and like we don’t want to. I want wanted to be more off the cuff. That’s it’s like us talking.
Tony Tellado: The Fifth Element is 20 years old.
Andy Signore: Yeah I know it’s crazy. We were we were debating about doing an Honest Trailer and this anniversary we were jockeying between that and Face Off. So I think we were still debating the 20th anniversary. 97′, there were some good ones we could do a time jump back.
Tony Tellado: You’ve been around the internet for awhile. It’s crazy how it’s blown up and evolved into social channels now. Twitter, Instagram. I mean how does it all kind of sit with you guys ?
Andy Signore: I was talking with a guy who sells ad units for a for a TV network but he does the digital side and he was the TV side is not….People don’t realize how many more eyeballs are watching these TV shows on the web vs actual cable anymore. I think people are slowly starting to realize that. And so I think for us to be sort of a pioneer and forefront digitally, really is a great opportunity for us to hopefully take advantage of and use to sort of do it because I think the lines are completely blurring of where do you get your content and how you injest your content. I think Netflix has proven that. You want to watch when want to watch and it’s all available. But now the backlash of Netflix has so much content. You’re like “Nah” The HBO model is like when HBO dropped a show you’re like “I’m tuning into this show whatever it is. I’m going to watch it.” I hope Netflix is more careful of not just boom,boom, boom, boom, throwing a million things out because it’s inundating mean you’re like “I’m paying for it. So who cares. ” That’s how I guess they care about. But there there’s a little bit of quality control that I think is the other thing is these brands of channels to really pay attention to. So yeah, I think the fact that there’s so many options to upload content is great but at the same time it’s a little tough because it’s like it’s harder to get found because it’s being spread out so much spread thin that it’s like, How do you we can’t keep doing it if people don’t tune in ? And there’s a lot of good stuff that’s not getting seen because there’s just too much competition. I think YouTube is our platform right now and is our main platform. You know we can’t control their algorithms and they don’t really seem to care.It’s really frustrating not just for us but for a lot of channels. We’re making content for you why are you taking away which they do adjusting their formats. It’s frustrating. It;s interesting to see where it’s going. I don’t know how reliable they’re going to make it for people to do it as regulary as they can. How do you succeed on Facebook video. Wild, Wild West. It’s exciting. Someone is going to crack it and I can’t wait to see what happens.
Special Thanks to Andy Signore and Metro Public Relations