When Darcy Grivas was added to the Melbourne Bee Team on Facebook, he didn’t know what to make of it. The group sits at over 1,700 members and is a combination of beekeepers, bee enthusiasts and, of course, devoted fans of Jerry Seinfeld’s 2007 animated film, Bee Movie.
Grivas, a comedian and video editor, quickly saw the opportunity as a way to add his contribution to a longtime running meme on the internet surrounding Bee Movie. On Nov. 3, Grivas uploaded a video, “Bee movie trailer but every time they say bee it gets faster” to a secret YouTube account called Avoid At All Costs and forgot about it. Grivas said he wasn’t expecting anything to come out of it, but thought it was a funny idea and knew there was a bit if a cult fanbase surrounding the movie, so decided to give it a shot.
“When I looked at it a week later, it had blown up,” Grivas told Polygon via email. “So I made a couple new ones and they were generally well received.”
Generally well received is putting it lightly. Over the course of two weeks, Grivas has uploaded a total of 11 Bee Movie-related videos, each riffing on the same idea as the original. There are videos of the entire Bee Movie trailer slowed down each time someone says bee, and videos of different sounds overlapping each other every time the word is spoken. There are videos of sped up trailers within the sped up Bee Movie trailer, and for the most part, it seems like YouTube viewers are pretty on board with the idea.
Grivas’ most popular iteration of the meme, “The entire bee movie but every time they see bee it gets faster” has amassed more than 2.6 million views since it went live four days ago. Grivas said he had no idea it would become as successful as it has, and is still having trouble coming to terms with his newfound fame.
“This was originally a video for a small group of people and I never thought that it would become what it has,” Grivas said.
The Bee Movie meme took off a couple of years ago, when people started creating jokes based on the film’s script and the “Bee-stiality” romantic arc. The meme found an audience at Tumblr at first before becoming more mainstream on Reddit and other social media sites, but it was Tumblr that set in motion the various memes, which can be seen below.
Grivas was aware of the meme, and as a self-proclaimed fan of internet culture and disposable jokes, decided to hop on the bandwagon by creating a series of videos. When asked if he was a fan of Seinfeld’s film, Grivas didn’t have a strong opinion on it, but admitted that he appreciated any movie that leant itself to meme-making opportunities.
“Anything that can create memes like this deserves an award in a whole other category,” Grivas said. “They might not be the best of films, but the memey quality is very special.
“It’s truly inspiring, really.”
The more ridiculous the meme is, Grivas added, the more fun he can have with it creatively. It’s why his favorite version of the joke that he’s uploaded so far is a nine-second version that abruptly ends the first time the word bee is spoken. Grivas said that it’s one of the more ridiculous videos he’s ever created, even if it’s one of his least popular in the series.
Still, Grivas understands that what makes a meme so entertaining is the expiration date that comes with it. He knows that the Bee Movie video series isn’t going to be around forever, and is certain that he’s already begun to wear out his welcome from the YouTube community, but the level of success he’s found with this project has inspired him to create more. Today, Grivas started a new project that applies the same concept from his Bee Movie series to Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone; another film with a built-in fanbase.
“I feel like this will fade into obscurity like so many memes do, so why not milk it while I can?”
On the Melbourne Bee Team Facebook group, the place where Grivas began his journey, the editor has become somewhat of a legend. The group has posted messages congratulating Gravis on his success, and even though he’s not from Melbourne, Grivas said that he couldn’t have done any of it without them.
“Those guys are damn legends,” Grivas said.
The entire collection of Grivas’ Bee Movie videos can be seen over on his YouTube channel.