Devin Graham, a professional YouTube videographer known as Devin Supertramp (or devinsupertramp), shot a promotional video for Zing from April 6-8 with the help of young volunteers from BYU-Hawaii, University of Hawaii, and other colleges in Hawaii. More than 15 BYUH students participated over the course of the three-day shoot at Kualoa Ranch.
Zing is a company that produces bow and arrow toys similar to Nerf guns. The participants had a recreational battle while being filmed by Graham’s team.
Christopher Johnson, sophomore in entrepreneurship management from Utah, posted on the Facebook group “sell your stuff @ BYU-Hawaii” to ask for volunteers. He wrote “Hello BYUH students! You may have heard of Devin Supertramp before, he does YouTube videos that get millions of views. This weekend he will be filming near Kualoa ranch and would like to get some students to help out with a video on the set of [‘Kong: Skull Island’].”
Johnson said Graham asked him to help promote this event. “I work with the Media Production Center here on campus and am addicted to cameras, so a few months ago when my buddy Braden said he was going to be an extra in one of Devin's videos, I knew I had to go with.”
He said he ended up shooting the behind the scenes video for Graham’s “Jurassic Park Meets Parkour In Real Life” video. “I guess [Graham] liked it enough to keep in touch with me. He called me up for this [weekend’s] shoot and asked me to help do behind the scenes again and help organize some of the casting. I used Facebook as a tool to reach out to more BYUH students. I'm sure there will be more opportunities in the future for us all to help out.”
The shoot lasted from about 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Thursday, April 6 to Saturday, April 8. Students were asked to commit to at least six hours of participation on two of the days to claim their spots. No acting experience was required, but participants were expected to have a good attitude and patience for multiple takes and lots of running around.
The students all said they underestimated the amount of work that goes into a video as short as five minutes. Sam Merrill, a freshman in exercise and sports science from Alaska, said he almost felt like a real actor during the shoot. “We had to come out here really early. We left Laie at like 6 a.m. … We did this all day long just for a three-minute video. I can’t even imagine a two-hour movie, it’s crazy.”
Nathan Crowley, a freshman in healthcare administration from Colorado, said, “I was friends with Chris Johnson. Since I was an actor, he asked me to help out. I do mostly stage stuff in Denver and New York City, like ‘Les Misérables’ and ‘Thoroughly Modern Millie’… Acting has been a huge part of my life.”
Anita Olsen, a junior from Utah majoring in social sciences secondary education, said, “I found out about this because of Chris Johnson’s invite. We’ve just been shooting for one of [Graham’s] cool adventure videos. It’s been cool meeting all these people and shooting arrows, running around, putting war paint on. It’s been so fun. I’m excited for it to come out and see the finished product. It’s a lot different than I thought though–a lot of waiting around but still fun.”
Graham is a BYU alumni from Portland, Oregon with a YouTube channel with 4.4 million subscribers. Graham recently moved to Oahu and lives near Kualoa Ranch with access to 600 acres of movie sets.