It’s all about brotherly bonding and preserving great moments in family history.
Those are two of the main reasons for “Kid History,” a series of short comedic videos that have become very popular on YouTube.
“My brothers are my best friends,” said Randy Roberts, one of the creators. “(Kid History) is another excuse to get together.”
The four youngest Roberts brothers — Brett, David, John and Randy — along with friend Richard Sharrah and the rest of the Roberts’ family have become part of a YouTube sensation since producing five episodes of “Kid History.” Four older siblings, Lisa, Mike, Mark and Leslie, have also participated in the filming fun.The whole family resides from Draper to Payson.
In each episode, a group of children tell an epic, true story from the brothers’ lives. Using the voices of the children, each story is acted out by the brothers and other adults.
The combination makes for some very humorous material, and it’s a creative way to engage in family history work, Randy said.
“Part of the genius is how we can tell our family stories in a funny way, and then they live forever,” Randy said. “It’s a fun way to keep memories in the family for future generations.”
The idea of using kids to tell family legends came about when Randy was attending dental school in New York and wanted to enter something in a multi-stake LDS film festival. He developed the concept and enlisted his family to helping make the first episode. In the video, children recount how John and Randy once had a road rage confrontation with another driver. The film won the festival by a landslide. After the festival, the video was posted to YouTube. Since then, more than 1.1 million have viewed the six-minute film.
In the months to follow, four more episodes have been produced to chronicle more adventures in Roberts family history. Episode two sets the record straight about a late night toilet-papering raid. Episode three tells how Randy used his bike to fend off a machete-toting troublemaker on his LDS mission in Santiago, Chile. Episode four shows what happened when the boys annoyed their father on a family outing. Each one took on a life of its own, averaging around 400,000 views on YouTube.
Each episode is carefully planned, with everyone contributing ideas. Countless hours are spent writing, filming both adults and kids, and editing. Despite the time and effort, the journey is fun and the final product is worth it, Brett said.
“It takes a lot of time because you don’t know when you are going to get the gold from the kids,” said Brett, who has done most of the filming and editing. “But it’s a bonding experience. Going through ‘Kid History’ has brought us closer together.”
Although everyone helps in some way, Randy says Brett is an editing master.
“He is the genius behind being able to match us up with the kid voices,” Randy said.
Brett takes satisfaction in each episode because it’s quality entertainment.
“There are so many messages out there, but we want to promote LDS family values. We feel like this is a way to counter some of those other messages,” Brett said. “We like making videos and being funny. We are putting a clean, family message out there.”
Some of the episodes were made with help from Amber Media, a media production company in Orem.
The brothers confirmed that a sixth episode is complete and likely slotted for release in early September. The first episode of a new series that is "musical in nature" and "teaches a lesson in a comedic manner" will be released. As they did with episode five, they are planning a premier event at a theater. Learn more about "Kid History" by visiting their Facebook page.
Beyond episode six, who knows? The brothers plan to continue as long as they have can bond and have fun.
“Each episode has received a bigger reaction. Episode five reached 100,000 views in a short time,” Randy said. “The goal is to keep coming up with new ideas to see if it's something we can get on TV. We’ll see if we just got lucky or if we really have talent.”
They’ve already received calls from a satellite-dish company interested in their videos, as well as from KBYU, the PBS station based at Brigham Young University.
But if nothing else, it’s an excuse to hang out and do some family history.
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