Author, humorist, and mommy-blogger Deva Dalporto found fame as a viral video star six months ago with “What Does The Kid Say,” a parody of Ylvis’ wildly-popular "The Fox." With millions of views, Dalporto's “What Does The Kid Say” continued to be shared across social media outlets when, in March, she struck viral-video gold again with her well-received parody of Disney's "Frozen", "Let It Go," which also garnered millions of views along with accolades that included praise from People Magazine.com, Huffington Post Parents, PopSugar Moms, and a number of other reviewers. Even Kristen Anderson-Lopez (one of the writers of the original number belted out by Idina Menzel in "Frozen"), reportedly shared Dalporto's take on the Disney hit via her personal Facebook page, noting that Deva had found the true subtext of the [original] song.
Now Deva, the hit blogging sensation at My LifeSuckers, is well on her way to winning the multi-million view, viral video hat trick with her most recent release, “I’m So Cranky,” a hilarious parody of Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy” that has racked up tens of thousands of views daily since it's release on Monday.
Want to know how she does it? We did, and appreciate Deva carving time from her busy schedule on Wednesday to grant Examiner.com an exclusive "behind-the-scenes production tour" of her latest hit video.
Examiner.com: How did you get the idea to parody this particular song? I see from your blog that you took a request?
Dalporto: My friend Jacquie Haggarty, who is clearly far more hip than I am, suggested the song to me. She thought I could do it since I had cred after rapping in my "Timber" parody. When she mentioned Iggy Azalea I said, “Who?” If it wasn’t for my parodies, I’d be so out of the loop! They keep me hip, yo!
Examiner.com: Can you touch on your process for crafting the script?
Dalporto: Typically I’ll get inspired with a main idea or hook for my “mommy” version of the song after listening to the original 4 billion times. For this one, it was actually my daughter who came up with “I’m so cranky.” We were on a long cranky car ride listening to “Fancy” on repeat and she started singing “I’m so cranky.” We thought it was hilarious and started coming up with lyrics on the spot. The kids wanted this one to be from their perspective so they pitched in on the writing. After they were in bed, my husband and I collapsed on our disgustingly stained sofa (note to self: don’t buy white furniture) and wrote the rest of the lyrics together. We used the original words and twisted them into our version. So “Drop it low and pick it up just like this” became “Drop a toy, mom’ll pick it up like this.” Writing the lyrics is the fastest part of the process for sure! It usually only takes a few hours.
Examiner.com: Did you use the services of a child wrangler in the making of this video or any of your past works? Seriously, how DO you juggle directing and keeping your kids happy between takes?
Dalporto: LOL! No, I don’t have a wrangler. Like every other mom on earth I’m always multitasking. So when we’re shooting I’m performing and directing and filming and lighting and wiping butts and making mac n’ cheese between takes (for real). The only times I’ve had “wranglers” are when my friends’ kids are in the videos. In the footage for the Timber video, you can hear my girlfriends in the background saying things like, “Stop touching your butt!” “C’mon guys, don’t lick the slide.” I was laughing hysterically when I watched the raw footage.
Examiner.com: So tell me about the shoot.
Dalporto: The shoot was fun. And crazy. We typically shoot a whole video in 2 or 3 hours, max. That’s about all we have the energy for. We only do 1 or 2 takes of each shot and hope for the best. It’s a very hectic, haphazard process. We’re running from room to room like, “OK, turn the camera on. OK! Jump on the bed! OK, next shot!” I’m always amazed we get anything useable at the end of it all.
Editing is my favorite part of the process, even though it takes a looooong time. I’m a little OCD, so I love piecing it all together. It’s very satisfying for me, but not without it’s challenges! After the first day of shooting, I started editing and realized I was missing footage of me singing. Doh! So while my husband was at work and the kids were at camp, I selfie shot all my solo stuff. Just turned on the camera and did my crazy thing. It was pretty comical trying to set up the car shot. I had to set up the camera and then climb through the passenger side to get into the car. The shooting itself is always a crazy riot!
Examiner.com: What were your biggest challenges? Was this time different from past productions?
Dalporto: Since my daughter wanted to be the star of the show and we decided this one was going to be from the kid’s perspective, she had to do some of the rapping and lip syncing for the first time. It’s a bit more challenging to have an 8-year-old lip sync and record than it is when I just do it myself. Although I must say, she was AMAZING at it. She got her takes down way faster than I did. Rapping is HARD! I was really impressed by her.
Oh, and my hair was also a huge challenge this time. Curly hair has a mind of it’s own and it just wouldn’t cooperate that day. So there I am in all my frizzy-haired glory.
Examiner.com: Any projects in the works you want to tell us about?
Dalporto: I’m working on a book, which I’m really excited about! It’s a collection of hilarious (hopefully) essays about motherhood. And I have a bunch of video ideas up my sleeve that I plan on producing over the summer. But first we’re going to sneak away and spend a week on the farm my husband grew up on. It’s been a crazy 6 months since I first launched my blog and we need a little downtime.
[Note: This won't be Dalporto's first book. The former senior editor at Nickelodeon recently contributed to the popular mommy-blogger anthology I Just Want to Be Alone with co-authors Jen of People I Want to Punch in the Throat, New York Times bestselling author Karen Alpert, (aka the Baby Sideburns blogger), and fellow NickMom contributors/bloggers Kim Bongiorno and Christine Burke.]
Examiner.com: It looks like your family is having so much fun making these videos. What advice would you give to parents who think they'd like to try their hand at turning out one of their own?
Dalporto: I say go for it! We made our first video as a fun family joke and we were shocked when it went viral. If you have an idea, do it! You never know where it will take you.
I’d also say keep the shoot very short and have fun. My kids love doing the videos because we’re very chill about it all and they get to do all kinds of things they don’t normally get to do. It’s not often your mom says, “OK, now pour milk on the floor!” I also let them do whatever they want when we’re shooting. I’ll gently guide them and say, “OK, now jump on the bed” or “Say this into the camera,” but that’s about as much direction as I give. I want the kids to just do their thing. I let them wear what they want to wear. I let them dance how they want to dance. My daughter came up with all of the choreography in all of our videos. If it ever stops being fun, we’ll stop doing them! I want it to be a fun, bonding experience for our family, not work.
Other video works by Dalporto include "BEDTIME" – a parody of the song Pitbull/Ke$ha song, “Timber,” videos she produced for WeAreTeachers and NickMom, as well as her interrupted Mother’s Day greeting.