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Kajetokun Interview

kajetokun.jpg

With the Youtube Poop Tribute video riding high in the charts I decided to speak to someone who already knows what it’s like up there. In October 2006, (a month or two YouTube Poop was known by any more than a handful of people) a certain remix video was gathering a lot of momentum. It would only be a matter of time before it would receive over 9000 comments and countless other derivative videos – but almost a year later can we claim Over 9000 for ourselves? I asked its author.


So before we start talking about Over 9000 can we have some background information about you? Have you come from a come a any kind of music or video remix background – or do you just consider yourself/your stuff as part of internet culture.

over1.jpgI don’t really have much a background in video making or video remixing, really. Over 9000 thousand was my first. I guess I photoshop quite well.

From what I’ve read Over 9000 started on 4chan. Are you a big 4chan user? Are there any other forums, website communities you belong to?

I am a big 4chan user. I generally hang around /m/, /a/, and /v/. Over 9000 was indeed an old obscure meme from 4chan. I didn’’t really belong to any other website community or forum at the time except one. That was AdvanceWarsNet.com, and they didn’t have anything with this, so no use going into detail about that.

Now, have I got this right? Before your video “It’s Over 9000….” was a popular quote from the 4chan message boards; and this inspired you to use it for your remix video.

vegeta.jpg No. To tell you the truth, that’s WAY OFF despite what most people think. First of all, although it is true that attention to that phrase was started in 4chan, Over 9000 was something that would pop-up here and there maybe twice a week in only a couple of 4chan threads. But it wasn’t as popular as, say, “Mudkips.”My inspiration for this movie all started at an anime convention; Mikomicon, Northridge California. In fact, I just got back from Mikomicon the other day. Anyways, at any convention, there is always a phrase that my friends seem to say A LOT. Last year that phrase was “THIS IS OVER NINETHOUSAAANDD,” and that’s all. We didn’t really know anything about the actual scene. In fact, we thought the scouter blew up on Vegeta’’s eye rather than him crushing it. So after a weekend of saying that phrase, it was added to my list of things to say a certain moments, it’s just I didn’t quite know what it meant.mikomicon.jpgAbout a week after Mikomicon, I was hanging out with my friend Jarrod at the mall. That’’s when I asked him what the hell “OVER NINETHOUSAAAAAND” meant. He told me that it was Vegeta’’s response to Goku’s power level and then his scouter blew up on his eye (at least that’s what he thought.) Actually, that was the part we found most funny; the scouter just BLOWING UP ON HIS EYE because of the number 9000. The thing we joked about wasn’t really the phrase itself. “Over 9000” was the premise to the funnier thought of the scouter just BLOWING UP ON HIS FACE all of a sudden. We joked about it all day. We’’d cut our sentence off and explode our eye. “”This credit card’s limit is- FFVVFFBOOOM!””over2.jpgEventually, I ended up finding the quote and episode number in a DBZ episode guide. Then all I did was search for that episode on YouTube. I was a bit disappointed that it wasn’’t exactly the scene I was expecting, but it was still kind of funny. I recorded the famous scene and was going to send it to my friend to show him what it really looked like, but he wasn’’t online. So I decided to play around with it in Windows Movie Maker. I started moving it around and placing it in random orders. Then I decided to add more stuff. The only videos I had in my folder were Gaogaigar punching a Zonder in the face, a slightly dubbed over PA-PA-PA-PAAANCH from the GBA game Rhythm Tengoku, and Master Roshi saying “PICCOLO’S GONE!!” The Bleep noise actually came from me taking the sound from a YTMND that so happened to have a bleep noise in it. I just cut down the file to only that sound using Mixcraft.

So in October 2006 (which in internet years is a long time ago) you then placed the video on youtube. Were just using youtube as place to upload to or were you targeting youtube users specifically too?

No, it was just a place to upload so I could show all my friends on any computer without having to send them the entire movie. After I finished, I sent it to my friend Jarrod and he died laughing. I remember his exact response over AIM.FDSFGDSDFAFGHIWEOFJSALKDJFXCVASDFASDFHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

So there was no deliberate scheme to create new meme (or indeed give new life to an old one) no viral masterplan?

Really No. Over 9000 was just for JARROD LULZ. There was no design. To summerize, Over 9000 was a running gag at the time and the reason I made this video was to make my friend Jarrod laugh. That’s all.

At the moment the video has 2 million views and 10k comments yet only 46 responses. However the idea of having a rule “to create a 1:50 video where I only used 15 seconds of footage” suggests you were encouraging people to make their own rather than just look and comment on yours.

I wanted someone to say, “Wow, that really WAS only 15 seconds of footage” and laugh. It wasn’’t really a rule. The quote came after the video was done. They say “the sincerest form of flattery is imitation.”

I’ve also heard that VGCats also played a major part in getting it seen.

4chan vanOh man, did it ever. I had like 20,000 views when I went to bed. I wake up the next morning and see 200,000. I must really thank Scott for putting my video on his front page. Those first 20,000 views came from the Internet Hate Machine and their destroyed yellow vans. They got it popular enough for Scott to see it, so of course I give them a lot of credit too.

Often those that make hugely popular videos get anxious as their work seems to take on a life of its own – like fathering a prolific criminal that’s out of control. As the comments and replies started to roll in did it stop being fun?

Yeah. The original jump from Video from JARROD LULZ to NATIONWIDE MEME was quite exciting, but after a while you start to expect positive reaction and it doesn’t have that same effect unless I’m physically seeing someone laugh as their watching it. I still find it very rewarding when I’m at a convention and someone comes up and shakes my hand for making those videos and I never expected someone to ask for an autograph. It makes me feel good.

I would imagine there would also have been a lot of hate, jealousy plus attempts at shirt tailing and spamming. Are they any messages that came from it that are particularly memorable.

green.jpgFirst one that comes to mind is some guy who gave me this over the top psychological analysis of the effects of locking Over 9000’s comments at exactly 9000. The dude said crap like ““Your infidelity to your fans undermines the effort of their perseverance”” and I’’m just like ‘is this guy serious?’ I mean I told my friends and they laughed and loved the whole “IT WILL NEVER BE OVERNINETHOUSAND” in the video description. In fact, a lot of people thought it was hilarious. But then I got a huge-ass load of hate mail.’ I got tired of having 12 pages of “omfg you plz unlok da comenzt” in my PM box so I took off the lock after about a week and a half. The guy who really got the 9001st post was Johnnymushio.

Is Over 9000 on your resumé? I would imagine it could be worth professional kudos to some employers.

I haven’t even made my resume yet, but I am thinking about putting it on there. Maybe an engineering employer won’t be impressed with a repetitive video, but I’m sure its IMPACT on Internet culture has some merit.

I’d like to bring Youtube Poop into the conversation here. You’ve mentioned 4chan, Mikomicon and your fans but would you say there is a community behind you – surely with so many views and comment you must be considered some kind of leader.

I don’t really consider myself a father figure/leader to the Over 9000 community. Hell, I don’t even know that there is an Over 9000 community. Sure there are people who like my videos, but in all honesty, I never thought Over 9000 by itself was that big of a deal. I mean, I’ve popularize quote into a nationwide catchphrase, but I never knew there were groups of people all together just for the sake of Over 9000.

So www.itsoverninethousand.com and it’s forum (such as it is) has nothing to do with you? The blog is written in first person so one assumes it’s by someone in the know.

cock.jpgThe hell? Never heard of it, and if it was someone I know, I’d think he’d tell me about it first. To me, right now, and no offense of course, saying Over 9000 is a community sounds like saying Cock Mongler or Mudkips is a community!

With it’s dependance on trash culture and love of recycled annoying old memes, YouTube has been known to refer to Over 9000 yet it’s somehow probably the most controversial topic in the forum. In fact to avoid stepping on any toes we don’t list DragonBallZ remixes at all.

Yeah. I had no idea what YouTube Poop was at the time, so I guess you can say that this isn’’t YouTube Poop. But I don’t really consider other’s’ videos inspired by my videos in anyways related to me so if you want to call them Poops, that’’s fine.

I should actually ask if, in your opinion, Over 9000 has run it’s course.

Honestly, Over 9000 isn’’t even my favorite video. That was just for Jarrod LULZ. Over 9000 is actually my least favorite of all my videos, because its humor comes from an inside joke that was only funny at the time. It’s really no longer that funny to me. I still like the Balls are Inert. Even after all this time, I laugh at it. Feel free to do anything with Over 9000.

Yet you’ve received flak about your stuff, accusations of plagiarism – even though this may necessitate an element of time travel!

ninjainfo.jpg I don’t mean to offend anyone, but Youtube Poop hasn’’t effected me in anyway. The only exception I can think of would be KingNecroPope’s Ninja Info Cards video, but I’m not even sure if he makes YouTube Poop. I had no idea what YouTube Poop was until people started sending me PMs claiming that I ripped off you guys.

Finally, I’d like to discuss the aesthetics of our videos. It’s easy to forget that we are making videos that can legitimately be called stupid, annoying, deranged, nihilistic, irrelevant and ridiculous. Yet their popularity demonstrates that there is a massive demand for such things. Do you think, like me, that method and motive is more important than content?

gusman.jpgThat’s hard for me to answer. I don’t think about the method that much. My motive is awkward, though. I’ just get bored sometimes, and I find making other people laugh to be a great past time. My videos have been created from random sparks of ideas that just happen sometimes. I never try too hard, I just go with what comes to me. I guess you could say that this is the reason I haven’’t made any new videos. Well, I have made new videos, it’s just they’re only mildly funny and I decided not to post them on YouTube. Those unposted videos are examples of me trying too hard. No random spark triggered the creation of these videos, and they ended up being not that funny. So I guess you can I can say that the most important thing is my motive.

Do you intend to match or better yourself with something new or do you think that once is enough – or that lightning never strikes in the same place twice.

I always try to match or better myself, but that often times that becomes my downfall. Not to sound arrogant or anything, but my problem is that I’’ll make something so great, that I have a huge amount of trouble topping it. Right now I’’m living in the shadow of Gutsman’s Ass and I just can’’t think better than it.

Thank you very much for taking the time to do this interview.

It was a pleasure.

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