Happy Birthday to us! We launched operations 15 long years ago today, and since our birthday is so closely aligned with Halloween, a fitting gift would be for you to watch our movie Dude Bro Party Massacre III from one of the many streaming services we’ve crash-landed on! Head to our Linktree to find your favorite option and have a goofy, spooky night.
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A Little Bit (But Still More Than 5 Seconds) About Us
Here’s the short version: We make videos that are exactly 5 seconds long, and we’ve been doing it for almost 20 years. We were Vine before Vine, and our clock started ticking way before TikTok. We’ve worked with guest stars as varied as Patton Oswalt, Weird Al Yankovic, Fred Armisen, Dave Koechner, Juliette Lewis, Andrew W.K. and Mark Hoppus. And we’re the brains behind the cult horror-comedy Dude Bro Party Massacre III.
For the long version, scroll onwards.
The germ for 5-Second Films began spreading in Spring of 2005 at USC, where Brian Firenzi (hey, that’s me, the douchebag writing this thing in third-person!) and his friend (who has chosen to remain anonymous!) devised the concept of a 5-second comedy video as a sort of writing / editing exercise. Was it even possible to be funny in exactly 5 seconds? Using Final Cut Pro’s default Lucida Grande font and whatever they could find in their dorm rooms, Brian and his friend created the first 5SFs. Here’s a shot-for-shot remake of the first 5SF ever, starring the same actors (the original being lost to time).
Eventually, the concept would evolve to include animation, meta humor, and serials. At USC’s student-led, 24-hour filmmaking competition (previously known as “Ed Wood,”) Team 5SF won the top prize with their entry based on the assigned phrase “My Eyes are Killing Me” and assigned object of a mirror.
Discussions of a website formed shortly thereafter, with a group that would come to encompass more than a few graduates from USC, our friends and roommates, even people who would become our life partners.
No list can truly encompass the sheer volume of creative, funny, talented gadabouts who swept through our Silverlake, CA home base, and not all of the people listed above were here from the start or even there for the end (of daily production in 2013). But! This lineup should just about take care of the core components. [This section will soon be updated with an abridged list of individual projects and credits from each of the team.]
From the site launch on October 30th, 2008 until December 31st, 2013, 5SF released a brand-new 5-second film every single weekday without fail. There were some close calls and feverish nights, and many long Sundays spent waiting for great ideas to come…but the group never missed an upload. We dipped our toes into 5-second long horror films and dramas. And little by little, our following grew.
It wasn’t until Cracked posted a small compilation of some of our biggest 5SFs that things really took off. That post caught the eye of Patton Oswalt, who then not only tweeted out our link, but even agreed to swing by and shoot several with the team. From there, more guest stars began showing up on our doorstep, and our following turned into a fanbase.
Our work has screened at South by Southwest and Comi-Con, and has aired on TV shows like Tosh.0, Late Night With Carson Daly and Attack of the Show! We’ve lectured on the art of micro-comedy at Pixar’s headquarters and even presented on the main stage at Vidcon in 2012, where we were greeted by a torrential downpour of boos.
We were even interviewed by broadcast journalism legend Larry King, who then negotiated a part for himself in our feature film mid-interview. We did him the honor of dispatching his character via javelin. More on all this later.
At our peak, we amassed nearly half a million followers and millions (upon millions) of views. But after five years of growth, laughs, beer and burritos, we could sense it was time to move on. Incidentally, Vine made its debut on Twitter around the time we wanted to hang up our dancing shoes, so some people credit the platform with “killing us off.” But it’s not the truth — honestly, it’s been fascinating to see just how quickly the short-form comedy video has evolved after we put our little stamp on the format. Anyway, we ended daily production just before the clocks turned to 2014, and went out with a bang — a two-parter finale that served as a love letter to our fans who have been there since the beginning.
It won’t make much sense to you unless you watch this playlist of all the 5SFs that are referenced in the finale. Or go ahead, just watch the finale, maybe you like being mildly confused! We’re not your parents.
Born out of a 5-Second Film, which then was expanded into a parody trailer, it seems like 5SF’s debut feature film couldn’t have been anything other than Dude Bro Party Massacre III. It unleashed the horror nerds and the alt-comedy nerds in our gang, it was cheap enough to make the absolute most of our budget, and it had a built-in excuse for so many parts going to a slew of white guys!
We’re not one to fluff ourselves up about what we attempted to achieve with Dude Bro, so we’ll let Matt Donato handle that in his excellent article for Polygon.
The knowing humor in Dude Bro Party Massacre III is a signal that the filmmakers are horror fans themselves…Assassination comedy is thoughtless, but this kind of compassionate comedy takes skill. Dude Bro Party Massacre III is the rare horror satire that’s both funny and intensely studied, with its slasher sendup filtered through buff brotherhood, beer bongs, and the lifesaving power of blatantly homoerotic friendships.
DBPM3 debuted to rave reviews at the LA Film Festival in 2015. It has toured across the country in all kinds of raucous midnight screenings and tasteful 8 PM fetes, and screened in England and Germany, where it won first place in the HARD:LINE International Film Festival.
Nowadays? What’s that supposed to mean? Well, some of us have kids, others have gotten married…oh, you mean nowadays with the site. This is a real conversation you and I are having and I misunderstood what you said.
While daily 5SFs ground to a halt in 2014, we have finally returned to semi-regular production, updating our format for TikTok, Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts (but who are we kidding, those last two are absolutely just following TikTok’s lead here). We’re posting a new 5SF every Tuesday across all our channels, including our original home on YouTube, in all its cozy 16x9 glory.
Follow us on TikTok…Follow us on Instagram…Follow us on Twitter…yes, that’s it, don’t ever stop following us…now follow us to our classic YouTube channel…and check out our Shorts there while you’re at it…
We love you and don’t you dare ever stop loving us,