Turning Overwatch’s Jeff kaplan into Smash Mouth: We interview dinoflask


If you play Overwatch you know who Jeff Kaplan is. If you know who Jeff Kaplan is, you’ve probably seen the parody videos of him created by YouTube channel dinoflask.

dinoflask has become famous this year for his videos which take the words of Overwatch’s game director and twists them into songs, skits, and wrestling smack talk.

The man behind the channel is a university student from the UK who agreed to speak to us for our ongoing series of interviews with YouTube’s content creators.

If you’ve ever wondered how long it takes to turn a developer update into a cover of All Star by Smash Mouth, read on.

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htxt.africa How did the dinoflask channel start and get where it is today?

dinoflask I started the channel late last year with a few ideas for some Rocket League videos. I made two and they were a lot of fun to work on (out of all my videos, the Rocket League Fashion Digest one is still one of my favourites), and I intended to continue making Rocket League content. I can’t remember the exact thought process behind starting to do Overwatch stuff. [I] uploaded the first parody developer update late last year and here we are. As for the name origin; I looked around, saw a flask with dinosaurs on it. Ta-dah! That’s how most channels are named I suppose.

htxt.africa How long does the average video take to make, from inception to upload?

dinoflask It’s hard to say really. I’ve gotten fairly quick at making the developer update style videos. Usually takes about two – three days. But more editing intensive things take much longer, at least a week. Occasionally I won’t be happy with how a video is coming together and will rework it, which obviously adds to the time. The longest I’ve ever worked on a video was the Shrek parody, which took about two weeks I think. It was a massive pain in the ass.

htxt.africa How much Overwatch do you personally play?

dinoflask I’m really enjoying deathmatch right now and tend to play a few games every day. I used to play ranked daily as well but I haven’t had that much free time recently, and deathmatch is much more fun anyway.

htxt.africa Like all the channels we’ve interviewed in the past, you’ve found a lot of success on Reddit, especially /r/Overwatch. What’s your experience with the site been like?

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dinoflask I’d say it’s been a positive experience. I’m not very active myself (I only really used the sub to self-promote initially) but I lurk a lot and read all the comments any time one of my videos is posted.

htxt.africa Have you had any problems with demonetisation recently?

dinoflask I’m aware of the demonetisation problem on YouTube, but I’m not very well informed on the issue. I’ve had no problems so far, although I get the feeling my channel isn’t really big enough to suffer with this sort of thing. I don’t make much from ad revenue.

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htxt.africa Okay, let’s get into the Jeff Kaplan questions. What was finally meeting him and the Overwatch team like?

dinoflask It was amazing! The whole thing took place so quickly that it still doesn’t feel entirely real to me (I flew to the US and back within three days). But it was great fun meeting the Overwatch team and getting a lot at their awesome office. Meeting Jeff in the flesh was an honour, slightly surreal but also familiar. Blizzard looks like an amazing place to work.

htxt.africa We know from editing videos in the past that you get a strange introspective feeling when you stare at someone’s face for long periods of time. When did that happen with Jeff and do you still get it now?

dinoflask I recall a few months back having to remind myself that Jeff is actually a real person. I still get that feeling now. When you’re deep into making a video and you’ve heard nothing but Jeff’s voice for a few hours, it’s easy to forget that you’re piecing together clips of another person and not just manipulating… some sort of tool. It’s hard to explain.

htxt.africa Have you ever thought about using all the Jeff clips you have to make something like Talk Obama To Me?

dinoflask Yeah, I’ve certainly thought about it! I think it’d be a fun side project. When trawling through the transcripts I have, I often come across words and phrases which I later use. If it was all automated, I’d probably miss a lot of those. So it would probably not benefit my videos much, but it would be a fun toy I guess.

htxt.africa Are you actually Jeff Kaplan?

dinoflask ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

htxt.africa Would you ever do a face reveal? We think the only real way to do it is for you to feature on an update video.

dinoflask I’ll do a face reveal once I’ve slipped back into irrelevance and lost all my subscribers. Maybe.

You can find dinoflask on YouTubeTwitter, and Discord. Consider supporting the channel through Patreon.

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