Hilly and Hannah Hindi bounced up the stage steps, waving to their eager turn out of Hillywood fans at MCM London Comic Con. Hilly was dressed as Dean Winchester, right down to the realistic stubble, and Hannah was dressed as Castiel – the perfect cosplay duo for two perfectly in sync sisters. They opened the panel by asking the crowd to vote for which parody they wanted to see first. The audience chose Doctor Who over the Walking Dead, and Hilly laughed, “Really? Wow, you know, for a second I forgot where I was. In Alabama they’re all like, ‘yeah, man, the Walking Dead, whooo!’”
The Doctor dancing to the Time Warp was followed by showing their Lord of the Rings parody, once again out voting the Walking Dead. After these spectacular examples of the movie-like videos they produce, the panel immediately opened to questions. “We love getting the chance to speak to you,” said Hannah, “you can ask us anything, just not…everything.”
As creators of brilliant content on such a small budget and often dressing as the opposite sex, questions dived straight into asking the secrets behind Hilly’s costumes. For instance, how does someone with such long hair stuff all of it into a short haired wig? “When you go on eBay,” Hilly replied, “you have to make sure you type in ‘comes from Gallifrey’ because they’re made by Time Lords. They’re really TARDIS wigs.” At this, Hannah chimed in with, “They’re bigger on the inside.”
“All we can say,” said Hilly seriously, “is if you got wavy hair, you gotta make it straight, then stuff it all up in there like a clam trap. It takes, like, forty minutes.” They went on to explain that only a few videos have their actual voices, such as the Twilight parodies, but for characters like Sam in the Lord of the Rings, that’s not Hilly. That really would have been beyond impressive. With parodies featuring male characters, the voices are dubbed over the top by actor sound-alikes.
Hannah explained that Hilly’s tendency to be on camera more is just the way they started out, and then felt more naturally inclined to do. Hannah loves to direct and organize, Hilly loves to act, and that’s the routine they’ve gotten into. When they do swap, they felt it’s an obvious change in style, one in which both of them are a little hesitant.
Hilly wasn’t inclined to share her secrets on creating amazingly realistic stubble, but she did have a funny story involving Rob Benedict (who plays Chuck in Supernatural) on the set of the Supernatural parody. As everyone got more and more tired at the end of the day, he misheard Hannah say that “Hilly slaps her face really hard, and out comes hair”. Rob took this literally, too. He started spreading the news with other cast, who strung him along until Osric Chau found out and, in fits of uncontrollable laughter, dragged Hilly over. “Come hear how stupid Rob is,” Chau said.
Other silly stories from the Supernatural set involve a lot of sleep deprivation. Hilly hadn’t realised the make-up would take so long, which meant she was only getting about an hour of sleep for two weeks. When they were shooting the impala stuff in Oregon, it took about five hours to shoot a scene with Rob sat on his knees praying, so Hilly kept thinking about him at night. “I guess she started dreaming about that,” Hannah recounted, because in the middle of the night, when her alarm went off a 2AM, “she sits up and sees Rob in the corner, like, praying. Why is Rob in the hotel room? Turns out … she mistakes him for a bush in the hotel room.”
For anyone working on projects that involve teaming up with people, they advise you to work with those who want to see you succeed, and those you’ve known for a long while. They’ve known the Hillywood crew for years, meaning they trust their team, “but sometimes, when you’re working with people who are new, they kind of flake out,” said Hilly. “It’s always best to work with a tight group of three to four people, because you don’t need a huge crew. Be with people who won’t hurt you. You all have to be in it together.”
Hilly teased that she has other Doctor Who parody ideas – and as someone other than David Tennant. But their next idea is looking like it will be Hocus Pocus. Also on the list is Sherlock, Thor, and Star Wars, but they aren’t working with Nerdist anymore and are raising the funds through Patreon – offering great perks to donors such as Skype calls with the sisters and 20% of their shop. Once they’ve raised enough to make the Sherlock parody, Hilly has an idea for a SuperWhoLock crossover… They don’t want to create it without giving Sherlock its own video first.
An audience member asked what kind of pranks they play on each other on set, but the girls explained that they don’t have time to goof around – plus, you can’t ruin those costumes. They laugh, but they’re too focused to go off target, since “time is money,” Hannah said. “And, you know, we have about one million subscribers now, so that’s a lot of money.”
There was time to squeeze in a showing of their latest release: the Supernatural parody, which featured almost all the leading actors from the show. It’s no wonder they synonymously stated it’s their favourite production so far. The effort gone into it is worthy of its eight million views in just over a week, both amusing and visually fantastic. The cast involved came up with their own dances, and Hilly mentioned she had a hell of a job trying to keep the spoons on her eyes.
A speedy round of questions followed to sum up the panel. Hannah advised aspiring directors to be encouraging, organized, and to take control. Hilly expressed that the whole purpose of the Hillywood Show, when she founded it, was to make people smile no matter how bad their day was. The audience melted with admiration for a good minute and shouted out that she’s successfully achieved her goal. Finally, Hannah’s favourite costume is Frodo, and Hilly’s is Dean Winchester simply because it’s really comfy!
So remember! If you want to see more Hillywood parodies, be sure to donate even as little as $1 a month at pateron.com/hillywood Even if one hundred people donated just $1, that’s $100 a month. We look forward to seeing Hannah and Hilly at MCM London Comic Con again, and all the potential parodies mentioned at their panel.