An amazing "Harry Potter" parody video doesn't happen in a day. In fact, it took closer to three months all told for Keith Allen, a.k.a. KFace, to put together "Dark Lord Funk," in which Voldemort gets down to Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars' "Uptown Funk."
The video just hit the web yesterday, but has already racked up thousands of views, a success that Allen told MTV News is "kind of nuts."
Allen, a 29-year-old Brigham Young University grad student and Pottermore-certified Gryffindor (though he also saw himself as having Ravenclaw leanings, but "I'm not like a Slytherin or anything, of course not"), credited the video's polished look and thorough details to collaboration between himself, several friends and a large contingent of Cosplay Utah, who showed up to play various side characters in the video.
"It was like a big collaborative effort," Allen said. "It wouldn't be what it is without the help of all these guys involved. It was just a vision and then they all kind of ran with it. Each one of us kind of pushed each other to make it even better. Let's do this, let's do that. Oh yeah, let's get a Harry Potter newspaper in there, we can get Harry Potter dancing on the front! All this stuff."
When it came to "Dark Lord Funk," there were some very specific friends who helped in big ways.
The friend whose mind generates "Harry Potter" puns at a mile a minute.YouTube
In Allen's case, this was himself. "In November, Andrew, who worked on this video too, showed me the 'Uptown Funk' song. It hadn't really blown up then as much as it has now, but we really liked the song, we could see potential in it. I had the idea to do Hogwarts, like a Harry Potter parody on it, so when I went to write the lyrics for the song, it was the line, 'say my name, you know who I am' from the original one, I just thought put a 'don't' in front of that, 'don't say my name, you know who I am,' and it's Voldemort. Just like that. In one afternoon, I had all the lyrics written out."
The friend who looks like Bruno Mars (and isn't scared of snakes)YouTube
"Elijah and I had done shows together and I knew he was a talented singer, and he kind of sounds and looks like Bruno Mars, so I was like, 'dude, I need you to be in this parody video, come be Voldemort.' And he was like, 'yeah, dude, I'm there!'" Allen said. And when the live python came into the picture, Elijah Thomas was game. "I was scared of [the snake] at first and I told him like, 'hey, FYI, we're getting a live python for this, are you cool to hold a snake?' And he was like, 'yeah, man, whatever it takes. Let's do it.' He ran with it. When he was holding that snake's face up to his face, I was like, oh my gosh, I wouldn't even do that. He was so gutsy with it, like screaming at it, singing it the lyrics. It was like, geez, man."
The friend who's a composition wiz.YouTube
"I got connected with another friend named Marcus [Joseph] and told him about what we were working on and he wanted to get in on it too and thought it was awesome," Allen said. "He does a lot of music production too. He's like, 'dude, give me the track and we'll make it awesome.' He and I sat down one night, going over the instrumental track, and we decided it would be kind of cool if we, like, Harry Pottered it up more. So it's not just like the original...so instead of the normal guitar riff it's the 'Harry Potter' one. And then he's like yeah, I'll see what I can do. About 3 a.m. he texted me, he's a night owl, so he was up working on it after I went home and went to bed. He texted me like, dude, the things my brain has been doing! Come hear the horns!" The result is, of course, magical.
The friend who just has a bunch of snakes.YouTube
Allen knew the owner of Creature Encounters, a business that provides snakes, tarantulas and their ilk to events. That's where his Nagini (whose real name is Snape, confusingly enough, all of Creature Encounters' snakes are named after "Harry Potter" characters) came from. "I actually know the guy that has the snake. It was a total weird thing," he said. "Once we were getting locations we were like, it would be pretty cool if we could get a python for Voldemort, an actual python, a live Nagini, to flare it up even more...I was like, hey, I'm doing this parody, we're doing a 'Harry Potter' one, it's with Voldemort, so it would be really cool if we could have one of your darkest, scariest pythons in it. He was like, 'yeah, you just let me know when and I'll bring him.'"
The artistically inclined friend with a sense of humor.YouTube
"Nate [Bonham], my roommate...he's a great artist. I asked him if he could whip up banners for the houses, with a symbol for each house," Allen said. "He was like yeah, totally. What kind of creative license do I have? I was like, just do something awesome. So he did these awesome things, like a lion head and a snake and a golden bird with the house names. You'll see these banners hanging up in the background of the band scene. Well, for Hufflepuff, he just took a sharpie and wrote 'Hufflepuff,' but misspelled it, and then he ironed in creases so that it would look even worse. If you watch, it's like these beautiful banners in the back, and then Hufflepuff."