The wacky guys behind Streamy-winning You Suck at Photoshop at the Big Fat Institute, Matt Bledsoe and Troy Hitch, are at it again. This time they are expanding beyond their twisted photoshop tutorial featuring our favorite professor with serious personal problems, Donnie Hoyle, creating a whole “fake” online university, Big Fat University.
According to Matt Bledsoe, Big Fat University site just launched in “alpha beta kappa” mode September 24th, 2009. The site launches initially with three schools, a Design Institute, a Music Academy, and a School of Filmmaking, with hopes of launching more in the future.
The idea came to them when they had learned that actual design professors were using their web series as an alternative to the standard boring photoshop exercises, Bledsoe commented, “We began hearing stories about design professors using our videos as a way to keep students awake during class.” It’s a really interesting angle and could lead the way in a new form of “edutainment.” As the site progresses, they will be rolling out materials to go with each “course” and other bonus features, possibly for pay.
Make no bones about it though, they are not sacrificing the funny and are staying true to their fanbase. Take for instance their new Drawing From Life professor, Gerhard Schmerkle, an aloof German expressionist who in the first episode teaches about composition and the rule of thirds by drawing in gory detail a dead bunny he noticed on the side of the road.
Other courses include Guitar for Dicks, Music Juice, a music production course, and Int. Screenplay-NIGHT, featuring Matt Bledsoe playing a demented version of himself. An interesting departure from You Suck At Photoshop includes the addition of live action video. As the site continues to evolve, they expect to enlist other content creators to add courses based on their own skills, as well, “[we want to] look towards other content creators who can say, I know how to do crochet and i can make it funny.”
This is a truly innovating and refreshing way to package webseries. We can all commend the risks they are taking in trying to do something new, but as Hitch put it, “If people want to learn, they can learn. If not, they can just enjoy funny videos.” Hopefully, we can all learn from these two innovators to find new ways of both presenting and monetizing web video.