We talk to Lucas Cruikshank aka Fred. After reading this interview check out our review of Fred: The Movie.
Where did the idea for Fred come from?
I’ve been doing videos for as long as I can remember. I’ve always been messing around with cameras where ever I could find them. Whether it was my mom’s camera or friends camera. Finally I got a digital video camera for my 13th birthday so I started making up these random characters. I just loved writing and acting. So I recorded a few videos with this camera and Fred was one of them. I guess he was based on the video that I made. YouTube was just being created when I was 13 and back then it was mostly just vloggers and I thought it was so weird how people did that so Fred was kind of poking fun at that. Also I thought kids around that age were funny like around the age of 6-7 with their temper tantrums and stuff.
It took some time before Fred’s videos took off. Did you do anything to help them go viral?
I never really did anything to make them go viral. Some of my friends saw it and some other kids around I guess the country saw it. I guess they just liked what they saw as they probably told all their friends.
How has Fred evolved over the years?
I guess as I grew up Fred grew up a little. He still has that six year old mentality, but I don’t think he has changed too much of the years.
What was it like when Fred first took off and your classmates saw it? Did they support you or think that you were crazy?
All my classmates really thought it was awesome. They were really supportive of the videos and help support me through it all. I’ve always wanted to be an actor and a writer so I think the videos give me an opportunity to do more traditional media like I’ve been on iCarly, Hannah Montana. Then I got the chance to do the Fred movie. I mean it has just been so awesome and I’m so thankful for all the fans of the videos because without them obviously they would have never taken off.
Do you enjoy having a crew on these videos or do you prefer to make them by yourself?
I think both of them have pros and cons. Working with a crew is fun because then you don’t have to worry about editing. I think I like it when on YouTube I get to do everything myself because I’m kind of a control freak.
Creatively speaking how involved were you with Fred the Movie?
I was really involved because I knew that if I was going to do a movie I wanted to have creative input. Whenever the writer David Goodman got a new draft done he would send all of us a draft of the script and we would all give him notes.
What was it like to see other actors playing your characters?
It was awesome. I imagined those characters for so long and so it was cool getting to see them actually in a physical form. The actors and actresses that played for example Kevin, Judy, Mom, and Dad I couldn’t be happier with the casting. They’re all so talented.
What’s the future outlook for you and Fred
I liked how Fred The Movie turned out so I think it would be cool if the first Fred movie does well if we could more. On YouTube I want to focus on making other characters because I feel like I’ve been doing Fred for so long on the Internet. I’ve been doing it since I was 13 and now I’m 17. So I think it’s time for me to start making new characters.
You and a few friends created a channel called jklproductions. Do you still keep in contact with John and Katie?
Oh yeah definitely I mean we’re cousins. I think a lot of the JKL fans took the whole entire thing of my moving the Fred series to its own channel totally wrong. But there was no fighting and we’re all still really good friends. I know that they haven’t made a video on JKL for a really long time. I think they’re focusing on school and stuff.
After graduating high school, what are you plans?
I guess I’ll see what happens. I definitely want to live in LA at some point. I might be soon because I got signed onto this show for Nickelodeon a sitcom called Marvin, Marvin.
Do you have any recommendations for people who are interested in starting their own YouTube channel?
Mostly the key thing is to have fun with it and stay true to your idea. Don’t take what the haters say personally. When I first started making videos on YouTube I got a bunch of haters who tried to discourage me by saying to stop making videos. If I would have stopped then none of this would have ever happened. You have to focus on the positive and have fun with it. I think a lot of people get caught up in how many subscribers they have and how many views they have. I think you have to focus on the creative side more than the fan base side.