Call and Response – Bubba Fish, writer/director of YouTube smash “Workout Buddies”

It’s been a wild ride for Bubba Fish these past few weeks. Since the online premiere of his short film “Workout Buddies”, a sort-of sequel to an earlier film–“Day and Night“, which accumulated over 150,000 views on YouTube–with the same cast, crew and themes, the ‘bro love story’ has accumulated over 50,000 views on YouTube, been posted on TotalFratMove.com and even featured on Wesleying. So the reveal of the film’s humble beginnings came as a surprise to me.

“We shot this a while ago. In twenty-four hours,” said Fish, the co-star, editor, producer, co-writer and director of “Workout Buddies”, “right before break.” About to return home for a break from classes, Fish and his buddy Michael Steves, who co-wrote and co-stars in the short, decided to embark on a ridiculous 24-hour shooting spree. The entirety of the film was shot in that time period. Fish remarked, “I was thinking I should probably pack”. With a little help from their friends—Joe Snell, Melanie Avalon and Drew Sampson—they were able to finish and Bubba made his flight home.

Following the sprint, however, the footage languished on Fish’s digital shelves as he focused on classwork and other projects. After a few months, Fish contacted his friend Eric Radloff, lead singer of the USC band Bear Attack (recently featured multiple times on the ABC Family hit “Pretty Little Liars”, and right here on LifeAfterNirvana), who had composed the song for the short’s sort-of prequel. Fish gave Radloff instructions to “make something poppy”. Radloff willfully disobeyed, and Fish now credits the acoustic, falsetto-filled song for creating the wonderfully bromantic atmosphere of the film. (You can download it here.)

The creative process on “Workout Buddies” was unique, in that Fish and Radloff collaborated throughout the editing process. “We sent it back and forth. I’d do an edit of the film, then he’d edit the song, I’d do another edit, he’d do another edit…” Fish recalls.

Fish is quick to credit the bromantic nature of the film for its success. “A lot of the recommended videos on the side [of the YouTube page] are gay videos,” Fish says. The top comment on the six-minute video at the moment is: “Hot makeout scene starts at 6:01”. It has 32 likes.

According to Fish, the film was inspired by “traditional romantic comedy structure”, subverting the tropes by focusing on bros who work out together. The over-dramatic nature of the execution of these emotional beats creates a comedy worth watching, and, according to Fish, “universally relatable”.

From personal experience, I’d say he ain’t lyin’. Check out Workout Buddies here, and revel in all its bromantic glory.

About Dylan Visvikis

Dylan Visvikis is a working screenwriter and director in Los Angeles. View all posts by Dylan Visvikis

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