I've spent the last few years in the comedy world making digital shorts that have accumulated a quarter of a billion views. Recently, I started a band called B Story -- we just released our first music video and single, BACK THEN, a couple days ago and are preparing to release our debut EP.

Check out the BACK THEN music video:

A few of my most popular digital shorts from the past couple years:


Techno Jeep:

Hot Kool Aid:

Comments: 1109 • Responses: 52  • Date: 

Michelangelo_Jenkins732 karma

Hey Julian! Great new video, I loved it. Are you going to be making any more songs and if so will you be making an album? Also, are you going to be making any more sketches? And it's me, Michelangelo, the kid you used to babysit in Nashville about ten years ago.

juliansmithtv614 karma

Wow! Blast from the past! So good to hear from you, say hey to your parents for me.

Michelangelo_Jenkins1025 karma

They said hi back. Hey, if I was never born, you would have never babysat me, so you would have never had money for you first video camera. So basically you owe your career to me. Your welcome.

juliansmithtv528 karma

you're right! :)

juliansmithtv623 karma

Wow, so many questions! Give me a sec to read. If you see a question similar to yours, up vote it so I can get to answering faster!

ZebulonN353 karma

Why did you take so many videos off your channel?

berntford186 karma

I loved the old, old videos! Julian, please bring back Jacquese!!

juliansmithtv252 karma

wow, there's a blast from the past!

sandely65220 karma

Hi Julian!! I'm a big fan! Jellyfish was the first video I ever saw from you and I was pretty much hooked. Watched it like a thousand times. Here are my questions!

  1. Which video would you say was the most fun to make? Or which was most challenging?

  2. Remember that vid you did about pizza, and in the last scene you were shown standing on the beach dressed in white with a voice over saying "I don't eat anything Johnny, I don't eat...anything." that one was funny. No question. Just wanted you to know i thoroughly enjoyed it.

  3. You did another video with RWJ. How was that? Is Ray as much of an ass in real life as he comes across in his own videos? I like to think he's a pretty cool guy.

  4. I understand you're married. Congratulations, btw. Will your wife ever make an appearance in your vids?

  5. Is your most recent music video, Back Then, an effort to move towards more serious projects? It was really well made. Awesome job.

I apologize for the lengthiness. You're just so awesome!!

EDIT: I oppsed a word.

juliansmithtv232 karma

Hey there, thanks for watching!

  1. Hot Kool Aid was a lot of fun to make, that one stands out. But they all were a lot of fun in their own way. Techno Jeep was the hardest. I've blocked that few months out of my memory.

  2. That wasn't my video but I helped write the ending. Glad you liked it!

  3. Ray is a great guy, hard worker and fun to be around.

  4. Thanks! We'll just have to wait and see!

  5. I've wanted to start a band for a while now. I was on the verge of starting a music career before my sketches started becoming so popular but decided to follow that road for a while because it was so much fun and I was learning so much. So yes, this is a new chapter for me but I still love laughing and making people laugh. I'm sure that will play a part in most things I make in the future.

jeremiahgreen96186 karma

Hey Julian! What happened to Jeffrey Dallas?! He went solo and then BOOM - nothing. Why?

juliansmithtv264 karma

Jeffery is doing his own thing now. He's a strange one. Fun to have around though.

harold1222161 karma

Are Rhett and Link cool guys? Were they fun to work with?

juliansmithtv178 karma

love those guys. they are good friends.

Mr_McGrouber108 karma

Who did you make this AMA for Julian?

juliansmithtv258 karma

you ;)

Farzaa99 karma

Hey Julian! What can we expect from you in the coming months? Are you going to be releasing more tracks by B Story or are you going to continue making sketches? Or even better yet, both?

juliansmithtv126 karma

Get ready for lots of new stuff from B Story. I tried making sketches on a schedule and it wasn't for me. The last couple years I've just made them as they came to me and recently I've been thinking more about music. I'm curious myself, how long I will go before I get the itch to make something funny again.

juliansmithtv96 karma

Well guys, it's time for me to go. Great chatting with you all. I'm indebted to you for your endless support.

Keep helping me spread the word about B Story and the BACK THEN music video! You can expect a lot more from us very soon. You can keep up with me almost daily on my blog, and can ask me questions anytime at -- thanks again for all the great questions!


AaroniusH95 karma

Hey Julian. Thanks for doing this AMA. I love the variety of videos that you produce from music videos to comedies to whatever the heck you feel like producing at the time.

I have a few questions for you:

  1. What was running through your mind as you watched the view count soar on your first truly viral video "25 Things I hate about Facebook"?

  2. Where do you draw your inspiration for the videos you produce.

  3. What's the craziest encounter that you've had with a fan?

  4. Do the jokes people make that reference previous videos you make ever get old?

Thanks for your time. Hope you have a good AMA!

juliansmithtv154 karma

Great questions!

  1. I was shooting a sketch with a bunch of friends when 25 Things got featured on the front page of YouTube (this was back when the editors hand selected them) and to this day I have never received as many emails at once. It felt weird, like a dream, but I had to pull myself back down to Earth because I had a bunch of people at my house and we were in the middle of a take.

  2. My surroundings :)

  3. I didn't encounter this particular fan in person, but one time I was about to move into a new apartment here in LA, and I went to take some measurements for furniture (my lease hadn't even started yet but I had a key) and there was a Pre-Blessed Food sticker on my front door.

  4. Old is a strong word. I'm glad people enjoy them but I do tend to hear the same things a lot. :)

CatalinaCorvette68 karma

The woman in Granny Games is fantastic. Who is she?

juliansmithtv204 karma

she was my great grandmother, and passed about a year ago. she was an amazing woman -- sharp as a tack at 96!

readdy19254 karma

Hey Julian! What on earth in inspired you to make "Rendezvous with you" and "Eat Randy"? They make me die laughing, and I have no idea why.

Also, nice work with the B Story video. I really enjoyed it....keep doing what you're doing!!!

juliansmithtv107 karma

no idea where half this stuff comes from. sometimes i'll just be sitting there staring off to space and something will pop into my head and i'll just start laughing. usually i check to make sure i'm alone after that.

Thatmyname52 karma

I would love to see you make a feature film.

juliansmithtv90 karma

i will someday!

Theatre_of_Dreams49 karma

What's with the bagpipes at the end of I'm reading a book?

juliansmithtv91 karma

haha, not really sure. just heard it in my head and thought it would be funny.

Singer_of_all_Songs48 karma

Maybe it's a state secret...but how did you create the arm-wrestling scene in You in Five Minutes? My friend's guess is you used a program to simulate the look of a handheld camera. I'd love to hear how you did it, if you're willing to share!

If not, hi, I LOVE your work, and I talked to you [very briefly] on the phone a couple years ago in the contest to get an exclusive link to Techno Jeep! I'll always remember it. :)

juliansmithtv51 karma

great to hear from you! yes, the camera move was simulated.

d8iopo34 karma

How long does it normally take to make one of your videos? They are always so unique.

juliansmithtv44 karma

depends on the video! back then took several months. but i've turned around a sketch as quickly as a day before.

Killerchicken1531 karma

I don't know if this was asked yet, but what was your inspiration behind "Back Then," and will there be any sort of sequel to that video, seeing as it left on a sort of cliffhanger ending?

juliansmithtv52 karma

Great question!

I made a lot of sketches, and for a long time! Before I knew it, I had created this machine that was ordering me around, instead of vice versa. I felt some kind of a demand to keep making people laugh because of how long I had been doing it, and realized the stuff I was writing wasn't coming from that place of inspiration it used too. That's around the time I started planning B Story. I figured love was a more interesting symbol, so I decided to wrap my experiences around that for Back Then.

cereal_bawks28 karma

What made you decide to make a two hour video of you and your friend watching your videos?

This is the video I'm referring to, for anyone who's confused:

I really love your stuff, by the way!

juliansmithtv60 karma

i don't have logical reasons for most of my decisions.

Steellatch26 karma

When Malk went viral, what was your reaction? citing that it was close to a year later

juliansmithtv73 karma

I had a feeling Malk would be my most popular short even though it had a slow start. I think it's probably my best sketch as a whole.

sophie33star23 karma

Hey Julian! Let me start by saying that I love your videos. I admire the quality of your work greatly, and appreciate your AMA! What advice do you have for young filmmakers?

juliansmithtv69 karma

follow through! today! now!

what are you still doing on your computer!?

GotZah21 karma

Hey Julian! I don't have any questions for you, but I really love your cinematography, writing, and overall passion for your projects. I just want a hello from you :<

juliansmithtv35 karma


gtripp20 karma

The world wants to know... When are you gonna get a haircut?

Who is the younger version of you in the video? Is he related to you? When he cracks that smile at the end he looks just like you.

juliansmithtv46 karma

not sure on the hair cut, but my hair has been very polarizing hasn't it?

the boy in the video is my little brother. we put a fake gap in his teeth for the video.

daftTR0N17 karma


What were the things that helped you get recognition and publicity for your shorts and videos? As a budding filmmaker and film student, getting a short to go viral is almost the end-all be-all.

juliansmithtv17 karma

make things you like and others will too!

sandely6516 karma

When you interviewed James Cameron, were you actually as nervous as you looked? Or was that an act? Did you get to interact with him at all behind the camera? Did he ever call you back to be his camera man?

juliansmithtv29 karma

it was an act :) he was a nice guy and played along.

GenuinePersona15 karma

Hey Julian, first of all thanks for doing this AMA, you're the best! Firstly, do you and Marc Scibilia have any plans to do any sort of musical collaborations in the future? I know you've done a lot of videos for him, but has there ever been any talk of creating music with one another. I think that would be awesome; just one man's opinion. Secondly, does hot Kool-Aid actually taste any good?

Edit: Here is a link to a music video that Julian did for Marc Scibilia, for any who are wondering who Scibilia is and what they've been up to:

juliansmithtv19 karma

Marc is my closest friend -- we talk daily. He's got his thing going and I've got mine, but we are very closely involved with each other's work. I'm positive we will collaborate on something at some point.

Wezle15 karma

What's your favorite type of cereal?

juliansmithtv46 karma

eating a lot of mini-wheats these days...

Renegade_Meister11 karma

What is the weirdest thing that a person or a company has formally requested for you to make a video of?

juliansmithtv29 karma

brands typically try to steer away from "weird" in my experience. jeep wanted to fund a "techno jeep 2" but there was no way that was going to happen.

yosheek11 karma

I heard you mention once that what you really want to do is make a feature film. Are there any plans for this in the works?

juliansmithtv25 karma

My mind is really thinking musically right now so I'm trying to follow that. I don't make the rules here!

But yes, I will make a movie in the near future. :)

Turmateniri10 karma

What really inspired you to make videos that have ended up attaining such immense popularity? High School Video Class? etc?

juliansmithtv31 karma

Day jobs :)

TrickTrolld10 karma

What is your opinion of internet celebrities using Kickstarter for their projects?

juliansmithtv24 karma

i think kickstarter is great! i'll probably do one myself one of these days.

it can cost a lot of money to make something great. you don't even want to know what back then cost. there's a reason big movies and records cost millions and millions of dollars. very few successful people spend their own money on their projects -- it's just not a responsible way of doing things. kickstarter has taken some of the power out of record label's and movie studio's hands by letting fans buy stuff on the front end, if you will. so i think it's great!

WoodDRebal10 karma

When did you decide to learn to play the guitar and why? It was you song "naked in your shower" that made me start practicing, I greatly respect your music thus far.

juliansmithtv19 karma

thanks! i grew up in a musical house and picked up guitar at a pretty young age. music has been one of the most rewarding things in my life!

dannyrawk9 karma

Hi Julian! What was your day job before you went into making digital shorts? What would you be doing now if you hadn't reached the success you have now?

juliansmithtv18 karma

I was a freelance director/dp/editor -- I'd probably be doing that. Or maybe B Story would have happened sooner? ;)

ZebulonN9 karma

Music or film? If you absolutely HAD to choose?

juliansmithtv27 karma

what day is it?

kmck969 karma

Hey Julian! You're awesome. I got hooked with Jellyfish, been following you ever since. Just a couple questions about music:

When did you get started with guitar?

Do you write your own music? If yes, how (I'm trying to get a band going with some friends just for fun)?

Got any tips for a new band?

Love the new music video, by the way, and looking forward to seeing what else your band puts out. Thanks for reading! Good luck with all your future videos; I'll be watching!

Edit: Maybe this is cheating, but one more vital question. Will B Story be on Spotify?

juliansmithtv14 karma

got started on guitar around age 7 i think. yep, i write the music and lyrics! just write what you feel, nobody can give you advice on that.

glad you're enjoying back then!

alboner8 karma

Hi Julian. I'm a big fan. How many times is too many times watching your "Never get naked in your shower" video on a loop?

juliansmithtv22 karma

this one made me laugh. i think one would be good enough for me, ha

Farzaa7 karma

Hey Julian! How closely do you treat your RED Scarlet camera to an actual infant?

juliansmithtv19 karma's not an infant?

Flemz6 karma

Was it difficult to transition from doing happy comedic music to doing Back Then? And can we expect to see more like it soon? I loved it!

juliansmithtv14 karma

The transition wasn't difficult but it definitely took some planning!

aquamarine_tangerine6 karma

Hi Julian, I just wanted to know where your musical influences stem from? Did you ever have any formal training, or did you just pick up instruments and decide to play them?

juliansmithtv16 karma

really love a lot of different kinds of music. the beatles, johnny cash, arcade fire, simon and garfunkel, ac newman, really loving this song by bobby bare called boll weevil right now.

no formal training!

Unbrown6 karma

What is your favorite video that you have made/directed/produced?

juliansmithtv11 karma

they have all been fun in their own way, i don't think i have a favorite per say.

ace45hipo6 karma

How do you take your coffee?

juliansmithtv24 karma


CrumbMuncher5 karma

Hey! Big fan for a long time now and I was going to see what makes you decide which videos to take off of your channel and which ones to leave on? Also, you seem to be a fan of secrecy, what attracts you to keeping your projects secret and let's say, not doing more behind-the scenes?

juliansmithtv9 karma

Good questions!

I get a lot of casual viewers on YouTube so I try to make sure everything on there is stuff that even people who don't know who I am will like. Most of my old sketches are still on my website.

And you're right, I used to do more behind the scenes stuff. But it started seeming pointless to me so that kind of faded out.

hammyme5 karma

What is your black brother Kyle up too these days

juliansmithtv19 karma


Greaseball014 karma

Have you ever had an idea for a video that you thought was too strange to make?

juliansmithtv18 karma

sure, that happened all the time. there are probably even a dozen sketches that I shot and edited before realizing how weird they were. they are all sitting on a hard drive somewhere

LeonardHenrick4 karma

Hi Julian. I just wanted to say that when I watched the Back Then music video, you blew me away with it. I think you have really reached a new level in your filmmaking. I hope you get to where you want to go soon, be it Hollywood, or just the rest of the internet.

juliansmithtv10 karma

thanks leonard!

tikphitia3 karma

What are your favorite cameras and lenses to work with?

juliansmithtv6 karma

right now i own a red scarlet and some leica r primes -- they're just tools though and i've used lots of different things over the years.

pijusp3 karma

Your videos look amazing. Could you share some tips on color grading?

juliansmithtv7 karma

It's all how you shoot it!

derpbread3 karma

Yo Julian, what's the name of that song that's played during the credits on most of your vids?

juliansmithtv10 karma

i've featured lots of different songs during the credits of my music. some of it is stuff i've made, some of it is stuff my friend marc scibilia scored for me.

LittleJujube3 karma

What was your inspiration to first start creating videos?

juliansmithtv13 karma

just having fun!

Wixby3 karma

Hey Julian, Any news about a full length album? I would buy the hell out of that.

juliansmithtv12 karma

More news coming very soon!

fransW3 karma

Are you thinking of posting more then just photos on your blog so we know a bit more whats going on? (btw like your blog)

juliansmithtv13 karma

yep! lots more than just photos in the works. glad you like it!

(have you moused over the globe yet? ;)

tractorlover3 karma

Would you rather fight one horse-sized duck or a thousand duck-sized horses?

juliansmithtv13 karma

a horse sized duck, for sure!