Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men

STEAL THIS INTERVIEW: “Sight of the Sound” and “I Will Steal Your Heart” Director Arvin Bautista

The cast of "I Will Steal Your Heart," along with director Arvin Bautista and guitarist/music producer Taiwo Heard. Photo courtesy of Arvin Bautista.
The cast of “I Will Steal Your Heart,” along with director Arvin Bautista and guitarist/music producer Taiwo Heard. Photo courtesy of Arvin Bautista.


We’ve been raving for ages about director Arvin Bautista’s spectacular X-Men fan films: the Dazzler music video that first made the rounds back in 2014; and the follow-up, featuring Lila Cheney, which dropped last week. This weekend, we finally got sat down with Bautista himself to talk about adaptation anxiety, straddling the fan/pro divide, and what it took to bring Alison Blaire and Lila Cheney to life.

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Jasper and Kestrel X-Plain the X-Men

Best fan video ever?

Best. Fan. Video. Ever.

We’ve written a bit about Jasper and Kestrel (they switched names for the video, for reasons that remain a mystery) over here. They belong to our very good friends Katie and Dave, and they’re pretty much the best kids ever. They’re also super into X-Men: we’re already counting the days until they’re old enough to take over the podcast.

As for the origins of the video, Katie writes:

Jasper and Kestrel have listened to the podcast in bits and pieces (they don’t have the attention span for the whole thing). Every morning this week we’ve put on music, mostly a Tune-Yards album, over breakfast– but today they asked if they could learn about the X-Men instead. Sure! As I went to put it on, I asked them if they thought they could do a show like your show.

“Yes, but at a different age than now,” said Kes.

“How do they even know so much?” asked Jasper. So we talked about how one way to know a lot about a thing is to read it from when you were a little kid, but that you guys also had to study and do research (what’s that?) to make the show. Kestrel said that she was gonna learn all about the X-Men for when she was bigger.

I put on the show, and they listened to the first few minutes of Ep 3. After the cold open & intro, Jasper asked me to stop it, and then we started playing with saying the lines to introduce the show. They asked me to make a video explicitly to send to you & M “because it would make them laugh so so much.” So. That happened.

ETA: It occurs to me that there are enough parents of young X-fans here that it might be worth setting up an open thread or something for discussion/resource pooling. Is that something people would find useful?