‘Snacking with Homer Simpson’ — viral 10 seconds for Glenwood’s Van Wampler

Jessica Cabe
This screen shot from the video "Snacking with Homer Simpson" shows Caolan McArthur matched up with Homer Simpson's movements. The video was produced by CinemaRaven
CinemaRaven |

Former Glenwood Springs resident Van Wampler was watching “The Simpsons” one night with two co-workers from his Boulder production company, CinemaRaven. When a scene of Homer Simpson snacking in zombie mode came on, they decided to re-create a live-action version.

They posted the video on YouTube at around 5 p.m. March 30. The next morning, their little for-fun project was going viral.

“The next morning when we woke up, we had thousands of views on YouTube, and someone had made the video into a GIF image that already had over 1 million views,” said Wampler, a 2008 graduate of Glenwood Springs High School. “It just took off from there. At this point it’s well over 10 million views worldwide.”

The video is short — only 10 seconds — which probably has contributed to its success, Wampler said. It’s been picked up by Fox News, the Huffington Post, Mashable, Buzzfeed, People, The A.V. Club, Us, the New York Daily News and countless smaller outlets.

“We weren’t really expecting it to go viral like this, but we knew there was a chance,” Wampler said. “There are a lot of ‘Simpsons’ fans out there, so that definitely contributed to the success.”

The video took a few hours to make. First, they built the set by putting all the furniture together with the signature Simpson’s sailboat picture to make it look as close to the show as possible. Then they set up their real-life Homer Simpson, Caolan McArthur, and went frame-by-frame with the cartoon.

“Technically it’s stop-motion — we didn’t even use a video camera,” Wampler said. “We just took a still of Caolan matching up to each individual frame of the show.”

While still a teenager in Glenwood Springs, Wampler won first place in the 2007 Kiwanis Stars of Tomorrow talent show and had one of his short films shown in Aspen Film’s Local Filmmaker’s Showcase. He graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder in 2011 and started CinemaRaven right after, but it didn’t take off until his business partner, Parker Rice, joined him in 2013, he said.

They made a video of a real-life Homer Simpson snacking. Now, Wampler and his CinemaRaven co-workers are snacking on sweet, sweet viral victory.

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