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May 03, 2017

Trailer Lark

Honest Trailers finds fun in puns and a winning formula.

Bob Makela
  • Defy Media

Andy Signore knew he was on to something when he had the students at Germantown Academy in stitches from the ER spoof he’d made, starring the school cafeteria staff.

That was some two decades and 1.3 billion views ago. Thanks to YouTube and his knack for making hilarious content, the Pennsylvania native has been serving a delicious mash-up of pop culture for the past 15 years, most recently from his new home base in Los Angeles.

Signore’s signature production is the weekly YouTube series Honest Trailers. Since its premiere in 2012 with Phantom Menace 3D, it’s been streaming smart, snarky satires of movie trailers that capture, on average, 6.8 million views. Last year marked an important milestone: an Emmy nomination for outstanding short-form variety series.

“Content is content,” Signore says. “It’s important that serialized content can all get rewarded. Hopefully it helps more people find us.”

Ryan Reynolds found Signore and contacted him on Twitter about collaborating on a Deadpool trailer — it turned out to be one of Signore’s favorites of the nearly 200 he’s written, directed and produced.

“It’s really close to my heart, because it was the culmination of all this working together in the best way possible,” says Signore, who’s also senior vice-president of content at Defy Media, a millennial-focused producer and programmer. “And [Ryan Reynolds] was so fun to work with.”

For Signore, high school proved pivotal — that’s when he realized how much he thrives on audience reaction, a dynamic he loves about the internet.

“Part of the success of our shows has been interactivity,” he says. “[Viewers] suggest what they want to see. Being that close to our fans has definitely been instrumental in our success.

“To give so many people the opportunity to see us and laugh and chime in and tweet at us and thank us — it’s a dream come true.”

This article originally appeared in emmy magazine, issue No. 4, 2017

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