Felicia Day Talks YouTube’s GEEK WEEK, What She Most Geeks Out Over, Whether She Might Show Up on AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D., and More

     July 26, 2013


Fans know her as a Whedonverse mainstay, a woman deep into the world of RPG on The Guild, and from her guest spots on the popular CW show Supernatural, but Felicia Day really, at heart, is just a geek.  With the recent announcement of YouTube’s second week long outing, Geek Week, coming up in August, Day’s company Geek and Sundry is set to take over on Friday August 9.  Geek Week is set to showcase the best in geek culture and content on YouTube, handing the task over to a different channel every day of the week from August 4-10.  Geek and Sundry’s theme for the day will be Fan Friday, showcasing the outrageous and awesome fandoms that run rampant throughout YouTube and all of online media.

While winding down from Comic-Con and prepping for the upcoming VidCon, Day shared some more information about just how Geek Week came about, what to expect from Fan Friday, and her chances of popping on frequent collaborator Joss Whedon’s new show, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.   Hit the jump for the interview and more info on Geek Week. 

felicia-day-geek-and-sundryCollider: Let’s talk about Geek Week. How did that come about? How did you get involved with that?

FELICIA DAY:  YouTube threw another event like this earlier in the year, Comedy Week, and now it’s our turn to take center stage.  They’ve reached out to a lot of YouTube channels, the YouTube creators at large, and heads of the studios, encouraging them to collaborate, encouraging people to feature special editions of their shows all week.  Just highlight all of their content on YouTube.  I’m excited to be a part of it not only because we’re doing special editions of our shows, but we’re doing a series premiere of a new show, and we’re doing a lot of new videos showing the new talent on our channel.  We’re looking to bring what we’re already doing to a new audience, but also create new things out of it.

How did you guys gets approached about this by YouTube?  Did you reach out to them or did they reach out to you first?

DAY:  This is definitely a YouTube spearheaded effort.  I think it’s really good to create pockets and events throughout the year that highlight certain things that are really popular on YouTube.  Obviously geek culture is super influential, the web kind of started from a very geeky point of view because geeks are all about technology.  How I got here was The Guild, the show that I created.  I think it’s really smart, and I’m really excited to get the opportunity to work with other artists creatively and just highlight the week.

How did Geek and Sundry decide on Fan Friday as your theme?

DAY:  When I came up with the concept for the channel, it always came from a point of view of fandom and my show The Guild was one of the first web series out there that was crowd-funded through PayPal buttons because Kickstarter hadn’t been invented yet.  The support of my fans is something I treasure more than anything, and I wouldn’t be here today without their support, their involvement in my shows.  Geek and Sundry was created so that there was a larger umbrella that transcended one show and would always be a destination for our fans.  During Comic-Con this year we created an off-site event where thousands of people came through and fans met each other face-to-face.  Hopefully that’ll pay off in how they interact online with each other.  That spirit is the thing I most love about my kind of geekdom, and so Fan Friday is a perfect fit for us to be able to shape our content around the theme and also highlight the creators who create things and curate content around that theme.

felicia-day-comic-conCan you give us any specifics about what we can expect from Fan Friday?  What kind of content and programming you guys have coming our way?

DAY:  We have a great edition of “TableTop” for the week that has Seth Green on it, and with a Star Wars themed game as well.  The trifecta: Wil Wheaton, Seth Green, and Star Wars.  We’re premiering a new eleven minute animated show by the creator of “Code Monkey”, Adam de la Pena, called “Outlands,” which is an 8 bit animated style show about a group of misfits who travel to space and try to colonize planets and transform them with WalMart and Starbucks.  We’re premiering one of our tent pole shows during the week as well as doing an epic show about geeky food art.  It’s a spoof of a Chopped or Cupcake Wars type competition food show, where contestants, me, Harley Morenstein from “Epic Meal Time,” and Hannah Hart from “My Drunk Kitchen” are competing to create the geekiest food sculpture.  There will also be some special guest judges, so that’ll be exciting.  Lastly, we have a separate vlogging network that we started earlier this year and handpicked eight vloggers, and all summer have been running a community outreach program to find ten more vloggers for the channel.  We’re excited to premiere our new vloggers during that week.  We’ll have new faces joining our channel and our community as well as premiering new shows and highlighting special editions of our current shows.  We’re certainly not holding back, but like I said it’s a great time to be doing these crazy things that YouTube allowed us to be a part of and feature our channel.

With a lot of people in the industry talking about how there’s going to be a big move to digital coming up soon, how do you feel about the future of YouTube and online content providing for fans out there?

DAY:  I’ve been in this business for six years now, and when I told people about web series they had a blank look in their eye, even up until last year.  I am excited for the future of the industry, because we’re at that point now where digital is becoming pertinent to release and distribution strategy versus releasing on cable or anywhere else.  I think the lines are going to be blurred quite a bit, with House of Cards getting so many Emmy nominations.  YouTube is such a strong platform, and we’re 600,000 subscribers strong and growing at a very high rate every day.  We have a platform now where we can directly reach an audience with a sensibility like the the things that I like to make.  I’m super to excited to keep going the way that we’re going with spontaneous content, but also bigger and more event oriented programming in the future. 

felicia-day-supernaturalIn that same vein, beyond Fan Friday and Geek Week on YouTube, what are you big plans for Geek and Sundry for the rest of the year?

DAY:  We had some really cool announcements at our panel at Comic-Con.  Like I said, we’re premiering a new show by Adam de la Pena, an animated show premiering during Geek Week.  For the rest of the year, we have a partnership with Magic: The Gathering.  We’ll be doing an official show hosted by Sean Plott, in the Magic: The Gathering universe, which I’m a huge fan, obvious, of that game.  We have other scripted shows we announced.  We have “GamE.R.” with Josh Gad, a show about a fictional game character hospital and the characters who work in it. We’re doing another fun comedy about superheroes created by Amy Berg.  I worked with her on Eureka, and she’s worked on Leverage.  It’s going to be a really fun comedy that mixes motion graphics, live action, and it’s something I’ve never seen before.  We made a deal with Brian Singer’s company Bad Hat Harry to a show called “Spooked,” a paranormal investigative comedy.  It’ll be six 22 minute episodes.  It’s definitely in the vein of The Guild, which is a character based comedy.  That’ll be what we’re investing our time into for the rest of the year.  At the same time, I’ll be doing that shows I do now, which are “Co-Optitude” with my brother, I play retro games with him, and “TableTop,” and other existing shows.  Always got something going on over at Geek and Sundry, as well as going back to Supernatural as an actress.  I do not sleep, but it’s totally fine, because I love what I do.

With the new vloggers that you’re adding to your channel in addition to the eight that you already have, what would your advice be to someone who’s interested in becoming a part of the new media craze online?

felicia-day-2DAY:  All summer we’ve run a community input with the vlogging, and we had over 450 entries.  People submitting vlogs of various experience levels.  I have to tell you, I’ve been blown away by the talent and the individuality out there.  It’s very hard to narrow it down.  We narrowed it down to thirty, and then we’re going to be announcing at VidCon next weekend the ten people we picked to actually add to the vlogging channel.  It’s very hard, because when you see the talent and the perspective of so many people from around the world and different areas.  We had bubble blowers and cosplay experts and chefs and puppet makers and people  interpreting mythology.  It really makes you think about geek in a different way, which is my goal.  Yes, TV and comics and movies are what you think about when you think about geek, but people can be a geek about anything, and that’s what I want to represent on the channel.  My advice to people, even though we’re going to have our vlogging personalities set for the year, I would encourage everyone to just pick up a camera and start talking honestly about something you love and become a part of our community.  Even the people who didn’t make the next round, they’re still vlogging, still making a show, and they’re still part of our community.  Meeting us at Comic-Con, talking to people on the forums, and it really can be an amazing experience. It’s brave to upload your creativity, but it is fulfilling.  It makes you realize that everyone has a different voice and it’s almost imperative that you share it. 

I know this is going to be a tough question for you, considering that you are a geek about many things, but if you had to pick the geekiest thing you geek out for, what would that geeky thing be?

DAY:  I like to think of it, if I met somebody at a party, and I learned that they liked one thing and I would talk to them for the rest of the night.  My definite geek out… it’s pretty hard, but it would have to be either fantasy novels or fantasy role playing games.  I’m a sucker for a sword, I have to say. Especially for people who share my love for role playing games, gaming is what I love more than anything, and I could definitely talk all night about the games I’ve played throughout my life.  I just love to riff on the world that I know. That would be my geek out: fantasy video games.

felicia-dayI have to ask one last question as a personal huge fan of you and the Whedonverse: is there any chance we might see you in the upcoming S.H.I.E.L.D. series at all?

DAY:  I’m definitely missing out in this world.  There are plenty of TV shows I’d love to be on.  Like I said, I’m very very busy, but that would definitely be a show I would drop everything for.  At the same time, I know how busy and amazing that show is going to be. Regardless of whether I’m involved as an actor or not, I will  be watching.  I’m so excited for them, and I’m so excited for the show, because it looks badass.

Below is the press release for YouTube’s Geek Week, outlining all of the channels and what to look forward to.

YouTube Geeks Out With First-Ever Geek Week

August 4-10, 2013

Featuring All-New Programming From More Than 100 Top YouTube Channels

San Bruno, California (July 24, 2013): There’s never been a better time to be a geek. From Game of Thrones and The Big Bang Theory to Harry Potter and The Avengers, geek culture is everywhere, attracting and connecting ever-expanding audiences. Today’s obsession with all-things-geek has sparked a global community on YouTube, enabling fans around the world to express their love of superheroes, comics, gaming, science and sci-fi. On August 4-10, we’ll celebrate this content with a special programming event: our first-ever YouTube Geek Week (YouTube.com/GeekWeek).

“With more than half of our top 20 non-music channels dedicated to geek culture, YouTube has become a top destination for fans everywhere to create, share and watch geek content.” said Danielle Tiedt, Chief Marketing Officer, YouTube. “We’re excited to shine a spotlight on this global community during Geek Week and debut all-new videos and series created by some of our most popular channel partners.”

Produced in conjunction with geek powerhouse Nerdist, Geek Week will showcase more than 100 channels fans love, unveiling new videos, series premieres and creative collaborations – as well as highlighting some of the best geek videos and shows already on YouTube.

Each day is hosted by a different YouTube channel, who will introduce the highlights of the day in a special daily video, as well as launch exciting new content throughout the week.

  • Blockbuster Sunday: A celebration of the iconic characters, movies and shows that define geek culture – plus a spotlight on the best original YouTube sci-fi, fantasy and animation. Hosted by FreddieW.
  • Global Geekery Monday: Anime from Tokyo, comic-book heroes from Delhi and a celebration of Doctor Who. Explore geek culture from around the world. Hosted by YOMYOMF.
  • Brainiac Tuesday: Science, education and knowledge channels that make YouTube the world’s biggest platform for learning. Hosted by Veritasium and The Spangler Effect.
  • Super Wednesday: From hilarious parodies to real-life super-powers, explore superheroes, the supernatural and the super-weird. Plus, released exclusively for Geek Week, the trailer for Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World.Hosted by Stan Lee’s World of Heroes.
  • Gaming Thursday: A gamers paradise, with live play-throughs, videogames in real life, game-inspired original series and much more. Hosted by Machinima and Maker Studios’ Polaris
  • Fan Friday: Sci-fi-themed cooking, incredible cosplay and impassioned nerd debates as YouTube’s biggest fans take center-stage. Hosted by Geek and Sundry.

For more information on Geek Week, including a look at additional content being showcased in UK, please visit https://sites.google.com/site/geekweekpress/home. Follow the event at #GeekWeek.

About YouTube

YouTube is the world’s most popular online video community allowing more than a billion people to discover, watch and share originally created videos. YouTube provides a forum for people to connect, inform and inspire others across the globe and acts as a distribution platform for original content creators and advertisers large and small. YouTube, LLC is based in San Bruno, Calif., and is a subsidiary of Google Inc.

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