Fixing films good and bad: We interview Nando v Movies
Movie essays and similar content have exploded on YouTube in the past few years, and one of our favourite channels making them is Nando v Movies.
What sets this channel apart in our minds is the fantastic recommendations to improve already good movies, and to make bad films better.
Similar channels on the platform seem to focus entirely on the bad and, while that’s always good for humour, it’s always better to pair up your criticisms with suggestions. Even if these amount to interesting thought experiments, this channel really makes us wish for an alternate reality where we get to see the films with these changes.
The channel also suggests some inventive twists that may occur in future movies. When YouTube’s suggestions were working as they should one day, we learned about this channel and the notion that maybe War Machine is a Skrull. We’ve been subscribed ever since.
In addition, Nando V Movies delves into some parts of the movie-making process, such as the odd love affair between 20th Century Fox and forests.
As part of our series of interviews with outstanding YouTube content creators, we got to talk to the man behind the channel to find out how it all works.
htxt.africa Who is Nando v Movies and how did he end up making YouTube videos?
Nando v Movies Very simply, I am a big fan of movies and television whose friends got tired of having the same conversations a million times, so I decided to use YouTube videos to have those conversations with everyone else.
htxt.africa Where does the name “Nando v Movies” come from?
Nando v Movies I wish I had a more interesting answer to this one.
In college, there were a lot of guys with my first name, so I was nicknamed Nando, and it really stuck. My teachers knew me as Nando. I managed to get the Nando school email address. And when I decided to start doing things like podcasting, I kept using Nando as a “stage name”.
And, once I decided to start a YouTube channel about movies, a friend suggested Nando v Movies and it worked. The funny thing is, people have described my style of videos as “v-ing movies” (like the short form for “vs” that Batman v Superman clunkily employs) since in my videos, I change movies. But when we came up with Nando v Movies, that wasn’t what I expected to do at all. It just happened on its own.
htxt.africa What’s your video making process from idea to final upload?
Nando v Movies It depends. Sometimes, I’ll see a movie and on the car ride home, I’ll have a conversation with my girlfriend where we nail down 75% of the video. Black Panther and Wonder Woman were like that. We left the theater and we immediately agreed on the issues a video could address and some of the ideas for changes.
I also like to watch a lot of reviews; guys like Red Letter Media, Moviebob, and Ralph the Movie Maker are some of my favorites. They give me some perspective on what other people, waaaaaay smarter than myself, thought about these movies.
Then I go home and whiteboard the video. Figure out what issues exist in the movie, what the solutions are. Then make a rough outline of what the video will look like. How it will flow.
After I have that sorted, I usually try to write up a script and then record everything. Then it’s editing and eventually uploading. Honestly, once it’s written, the process is pretty simple. The writing is the hard part.
htxt.africa When writing the scripts for your videos, where do the ideas mainly come from? Do you ever adapt and change popular fan theories?
Nando v Movies A lot of the time it comes from an expectation. Sharon Carter is a good example there. As I was watching Captain America: Civil War for the first time, I got the feeling that Sharon was some sort of double agent but it turned out…she wasn’t really anything. So, it got me thinking, “Could the movie have worked the same way if she was a spy?” And I went from there.
I haven’t adapted any existing fan theories. As far as I see it, there are plenty of videos on Darth Jar Jar or the Jason Todd Robin. My goal is to make videos that you can’t find anywhere else.
htxt.africa What’s your experience with YouTube’s demonetisation and copyright strikes? We know some movie channels have struggled with big studios not understanding fair use.
Nando v Movies You know it’s never really been an issue for me. So far, YouTube has been super easy to work with.
htxt.africa The movie-focused side of YouTube has really grown over the last few years. What’s your take on this and can we expect a collab in the future?
Nando v Movies I can’t really explain why the movie focused video essay has become such a big part of YouTube in the last few years. I love watching them. Some of my favorites are Lindsay Ellis and Patrick H. Willems. Their videos are incredibly well done and I think everyone should check them out if they haven’t already.
I don’t know how I would collab with another YouTuber. My style of video is pretty specific. I am always happy to go on other people’s shows and videos if I have the time. I also have a podcast called Mostly Nitpicking, where DJ and I talk movies to death. I would love to have other creators guest on that show.
htxt.africa Do you think you have an advantage over the original screenwriters when you’re suggesting changes? Hindsight is 20/20 and all that.
Nando v Movies Without a doubt. Sometimes, with a movie like Suicide Squad, you can see the issues from a mile away. But for 90% of the movies I talk about, it is absolutely a lot easier to do what I’m doing than look at a yet to be filmed script and figure out what will and won’t work.
I would love to have a look at a script before the movie is made and see if I can pick out the problems. A while back, Kevin Feige was asked to give notes on the Amazing Spiderman 2 script. You can find them online. And they are all right on. He nailed down every single problem with that movie.
Now, I’m not saying I’m Kevin Feige. But I really would like to see how easy it is to pick this stuff out beforehand.
htxt.africa Have there been any recent movies that greatly frustrated you with a certain plotline? (The casino planet in The Last Jedi, for example).
Nando v Movies Hmmmmmm. That’s a good question.
I’ve got a lot to say about the Justice League movie. Eventually, I will make a video on what I think that movie should have looked like, but I HATED the way Cyborg randomly kept getting new weapons and he couldn’t control them. That isn’t a Cyborg thing. That’s a Blue Beetle II thing. The whole second season of Young Justice is nothing but Jaime saying things like “That’s not me. It’s the scarab. It’s taking control! I can’t stop it!” I think it’s so strange that they grabbed that from Blue Beetle and stuck it onto movie Cyborg. It felt so unnecessary.
But, to be fair, Marvel isn’t perfect. In fact, the further I get from it, the less I like the Soul Stone bit from Avengers: Infinity War. Now there could be more to this that gets revealed in the next movie but in this movie, I don’t think it works. My friend Chris Diggins wrote a great essay about it in his blog, The Iron Tongue of Midnight. I think it’s an accurate criticism of that plotline.
htxt.africa What movie has the most squandered potential and could have been fixed with a few rewrites?
Nando v Movies I 100% believe Suicide Squad should have been amazing but I’ve already done the video on it, so let’s think of another one.
I’m sure I’ll eventually do a video on this, but I am a huge fan of the first Kingsman movie and I think that sequel should have been way better than it was. I think they made almost every wrong choice. The Kingsman organization should have been given some time to exist. Eggsy having a “secret identity” and dating the Princess from the first movie felt like unnecessary baggage. And bringing Harry back from the dead took the air out of the plot and severely undercut Eggsy’s growth in the first movie.
htxt.africa Could we ever see a movie written by you?
Nando v Movies We could see anything. I’ve thought about it but honestly, I don’t have a story to tell yet that compels me to write a full film. But I won’t count it out.
htxt.africa What’s your personal theory about how Avengers 4 will deal with the snap at the end of Infinity War?
Nando v Movies I honestly don’t know. I’ve heard some theories about a second gauntlet and time travel but honestly, I’ve got nothing.
The one thing I am pretty set on is that all of our original Avengers will die. They will sacrifice themselves to destroy the stones. Six Avengers. Six Stones. It fits too well.
Plus, they’re too powerful. Thor has the hammer that beats everything. Tony has invented the armor that he is currently using, in the comics. I can’t see this universe functioning with characters that can solve all of the problems. My one carveout is Hawkeye. He might survive. And then he can lead the New Avengers. That could be fun.