We created "American Vandal" and are excited to answer all your questions about the show and how it was conceived -- and most importantly --- "who drew the dicks" so ask away

Proof: https://i.redd.it/3v5ed29j59rz.jpg

Hey guys, we have to step out for a second but we'll come back and answer more questions throughout the day.

Comments: 88 • Responses: 20  • Date: 

andersok31926 karma

How did you convey to Netflix in your pitch that you had something beyond just a fancy one-note dick joke?

AmericanVandals35 karma

First of all, we'd like to think it's a multi-faceted dick joke. But for Netflix, we walked them through the entire season. The twists and the character arcs... They could see it functioned as more of a mystery than a dick joke.

jkutasz17 karma

The general public rarely hears anything about the casting process. I'm sure it involves egos, money, availability, talent (both real and perceived), bankability, etc.... The casting in American Vandal was terrific, all-around. Can you tell us anything about how you went about finding such a great cast?

AmericanVandals17 karma

Well we wanted this to feel like a real documentary as much as possible. So from the start we knew we didn't want to cast any big name actors. We do have some cast members who have already done some great work, but for the most part we wanted to steer towards unknowns.

We had an excellent casting director, Wendy O'Brien, who gave us a great mix of young people - some of whom have never worked in TV before.

MickeyG4216 karma

I must know; who drew the dicks? The evidence presented at the end gives a strong case against Christa, and really I just don't trust her. You can tell me, I won't tell anyone.

AmericanVandals17 karma

Well we all know for sure who did it, but I don't want to steal Peter's thunder.

But he's about 95% sure. And I think he's a damn good investigator.

animatedintro14 karma

American Vandal is so incredibly good—hilarious and surprisingly cathartic. I was blown away by how complex the filming must have been—so many organic and chaotic scenes with clues carefully buried. So my question is:

What was the most difficult part of the series to film?

Edit: Is the guy who played Dylan that kinda guy, or just really good at playing that kinda guy?

AmericanVandals18 karma

Well. He was making skate videos as a kid, and he does know how to make a perfect bong out of a potato, but he's one of the most thoughtful, intelligent actors I've ever worked with. Dylan Maxwells brand of idiocy was very carefully crafted.

CROOKEDRHOMBUS13 karma

Will there be a second season? Also couldn't that have still been someone else dressed as Dylan that painted the dick on the driveway?

AmericanVandals16 karma

We certainly hope so! It's his car. Looks like him, but you're looking at the same evidence we are. Dylan has admitted to it though.

kingofthediamond11 karma

I just finished the show the other day. I really loved it!! It's killing me not to know officially who drew the dicks! My question is, how did you come up with the idea? Like why dicks?

AmericanVandals26 karma

We wanted to go with the silliest, most high school thing possible. We knew the comedy was going to come from how seriously we analyze something very, very stupid. So that's how the dicks were born.

CarrotStuff10 karma

What are the key requirements for a successful Baby Fart?

AmericanVandals11 karma

Running away as fast as you can. Make sure those moms can't catch up.

CarrotStuff3 karma

That’s it?

AmericanVandals9 karma

I guess beans too.

takeandbake10 karma

Just finished episode 6 of "American Vandal" and am enjoying it so far. What were auditions like for the primary cast of the show?

AmericanVandals17 karma

Just casting a wide net, to find actors that felt like real high school kids. Reading as many people as possible, just trying to find the best actors, regardless of previous credits.

AmericanVandals15 karma

We love our cast! The auditions were pretty extensive for most of these parts. For characters we knew would involve a lot of improv, like Kraz, we asked some open-ended questions. We asked the actors playing Kraz what their favorite teaching moment was. And Ryan O'Flanagan was awesome at that.

Casting Peter was particularly difficult - we needed to see how a kid could work in a scripted scene. But improv skills were important and so was their ability to do voice over. Tyler Alverez was excellent for all that.

cobainbc1510 karma

What was the funniest scene to recreate in a 'crime show' format?

I think the analysis of the different dicks was hilarious but really loved the CGI maps and interactive presentation of some things. Super well done!

AmericanVandals18 karma

Watching Alex Trimboli walk us through Dylan's path in the parking lot was exciting. There are no real jokes in the scene, but Calum's absurd commitment to his interview still makes me laugh. And the show only works if you can still find humor in scenes with no jokes.

jsdorman10 karma

Did you draw inspiration for this from the scene in Superbad where Jonah Hill is obsessed with drawing dicks?

AmericanVandals8 karma

We love that theory. That Jimmy predicted the trend of true crime documentaries like Serial and Making a Murderer years before they happened. Wish it was true.

hey_sergio9 karma

Did you struggle with the decision to have Dylan draw the big dick on Shapiro's driveway?

I personally thought it was a genius way to separate the desire to deify Dylan and the protagonist's pursuit of the truth, wherever it may lead.

AmericanVandals17 karma

We wanted the finale to still feel like Dylan's story, not a whodunnit ending that was just about learning who drew the dicks. So that final dick on the driveway moment really brought it back to Dylan and re-established the effects of labeling people. Dylan was labeled as a deadbeat screw up to the point that he actually became one.

jsdorman6 karma

How much experience did you have creating documentaries prior to this?

AmericanVandals15 karma

Tony and I had written and produced a series of 30 for 30 sports mockumentaries in which we treated movies like Space Jam as if they actually happened.

They were all shorts, no longer than 7 minutes. But it was fairly helpful to be able to point to those as proof that we can handle genre parody.

cobainbc155 karma

Thanks for doing this!

What was the hardest part to end up getting rid of? I'm sure there were ideas that didn't get fleshed out in the show, and I'm curious what hit the cutting room floor or didn't make it past the writer's room. Any that stick out?

Hilarious show, keep up the good work!

AmericanVandals13 karma

Since we shot it like a documentary, we'd let the cameras run and the actors improvise, and ended up with just so much great stuff that just couldn't fit.

I could watch Mr. Kraz ramble for hours. Consistently hilarious. Picking those moments were tough.

Jimmy was automatic. His full interviews. The uncut school board hearing was consistently funny. Calum Worthy too... His Alex Trimboli consistently made us laugh.

It sucks cutting some of the funniest moments, but it's a great problem to have.

coryrenton5 karma

how much of the lines and material came from the actors -- is there a certain threshold to cross where they'd get writers credit?

AmericanVandals6 karma

We gave them a good deal of freedom. We wrote full scripts for every episode, but in production, we'd let the actors run with certain scenes and interviews.

For instance, the first thing we shot was an interview where we let Tyler (Peter) interview Jimmy (Dylan) for 30 minutes. A handful of those unwritten questions and responses ended up in the final product.

coryrenton3 karma

did you storyboard the CG recreation scenes, or do you just give the artists text and they imagine it from there?

AmericanVandals6 karma

We gave our graphic artist simple mock-ups. An illustration of the parking lot. A map of camp miniwaka. And then let him (the super talented Peter Poot) run with it.

NovaW23 karma

Hi!

I'm reaching the end of high school and I'm looking to hopefully work in the Film or TV Industry as a career. What should I look out for and what advice would you give to anyone who wants to get into this industry?

AmericanVandals11 karma

Tony and I first wrote and produced independent shorts for years. We didn't make any money on those shorts, we lost money. But that was a way of establishing ourselves and giving ourselves something we could point to when we were trying to sell bigger projects.

To pay rent in the meantime I was a kids party entertainer - I played Elmo, Spider-Man, Mickey Mouse, and Hello Kitty.

stillSUT1 karma

Was it deliberate to cast Peter and Dylan to look similar to the "Virgin vs. Chad" 0 meme?

AmericanVandals6 karma

Just looked up the Virgin vs Chad meme. I can't wait to show this response to Tyler: https://heavyeditorial.files.wordpress.com/2017/09/tyler_alvarez_02941.jpg?quality=65&strip=all&strip=all

LJHalfbreed0 karma

Fine. I'll ask.

Who drew the dicks?

AmericanVandals6 karma

Copy/pasting from another question:

Well we all know for sure who did it, but I don't want to steal Peter's thunder. But he's about 95% sure. And I think he's a damn good investigator.