History of LoadingReadyRun
Graham and Paul first met in elementary school, although Paul would later move to a different school. Graham would meet James, Morgan, Matt, Bill and Jer among others at Oak Bay High School. During this time Graham and Paul worked together and separately on a few videos, mostly animated ones such as After Hours: Quest for the Grail. After winning a video camera in a national anti racism video contest Graham began to do more live action videos. Graham would meet Kathleen at a university newspaper conference at University of Alberta in Edmonton.
In early 2003 Graham and Paul talked about backpacking around Europe. They began to discuss a website that would feature videos of their travels. They then decided that a site showcasing videos they had made would be a good idea, as well. After several months of inactivity, Graham and Paul began work on the site, which was to be called Penrose Tiles and feature pastel colours, before settling on the Commodore 64-inspired theme of LoadingReadyRun. In October 2003 LoadingReadyRun went live with six videos. Since then, a new video has been posted, without fail, every week. Usually the updates have been posted on Friday afternoon or evening although some required more post production and been posted on Saturday morning or have been posted a day early.
In March 2004 the LoadingReadyRun forums began allowing LoadingReadyRun's growing fanbase to lavish praise on their favourite video and hold long conversations on geeky and non-geeky subjects. Alright, mostly geeky subjects. Quantum Documentary and Who Watches Movies? were early favourites. October 2004 saw the first appearance of 64K, LoadingReadyRun's resident rap group. Several comics were made available on the site. The site went through several updates changing the layout of the site, often on the anniversary of the sites launch.
In October 2005 1337 became a hit with over 84 000 views, and in September 2006 How to Talk like a Pirate became LoadingReadyRun's most successful video to-date with over 390 000 views. In April 2006, LoadingReadyRun began mostly-weekly podcasts, known as LRRcasts. September 2006 saw LoadingReadyRun begin to use Revver to serve some of its more popular video content. In August and September of 2006 LoadingReadyRun took to the stage at the Victoria Fringe Theatre Festival with LoadingReadyLIVE!. In October 2006 Morgan started The Whatever Thing, a weekly video podcast while the LoadingReadyWiki was begun.
In December 2006 Three PS3s became a hit on YouTube, and was even translated in Spanish, allowing Paul to be hated by peoples of many cultures, with many parodies posted to YouTube. May 2007 brought another major Internet phenomenon for LoadingReadyRun, with Rejected WiiPlay Games, a look at some of the more unsavory roles a wiimote can take on. At the end June 2007 a clip of iPhone Alternative was shown on CNN headline news. In early July 2007 Paul and Graham were interviewed on Torrent TV about LoadingReadyRun. In late July 2007 LoadingReadyRun drove down the West Coast in a short bus to attended ComicCon in San Diego where How to Talk Like a Pirate was screened as part of the ComicCon film festival. During the trip Bill left to fight ninjas. By this time Morgan had gave up doing the Whatever Thing. However a few infrequent The Whatever Things were produced mostly by Graham and Kathleen. At the end of September 2007 Halo: The Future of Gaming was another hit, passing Rejected WiiPlay Games in views after two weeks.
The next big accomplishment for LRR would come in the last week of November 2007. In the LRRcast for CSI: CSI, the crew announced the creation of two side projects. The first one, Iron Stomach Challenge would be an ongoing video series featuring the crew partaking in some rather unattractive and foul concoctions, submitted by fans.
The Launch of "Desert Bus For Hope"
The second project would become the new trademark of the crew's internet success. Desert Bus for Hope was created by the crew to make a donation to the Penny Arcade charity, Child's Play, by playing Desert Bus for as long as the donations came in. The first day of driving began on November 23rd.
Though, at the time of the LRRcast announcement, a goal of five thousand dollars seemed reasonable, the crew would see the goal reached before the first shift was completed. At the end of Desert Bus for Hope, four and a half days later, the crew raised over 22 thousand dollars for the charity, making them platinum level sponsors, which at the time was occupied only by Epic Games. A forum member, proudfoot, brought a cake to Desert Bus and started helping with videos.
In January 2008 the crew made the decision to begin updating on Mondays, announcing this on Super Secret Surprise. On the 1st of March 2008, Loading Ready Run was part of a Pure Pwnage episode screening. This served as the first sign of a partnership between the two Canadian comedy sites, and LRR began selling its merchandise through the Pure Pwnage Noob Store. Max Effect in January, Fun with Microwaves in March, GTA IV Trailer and Uwe Boll: Decision 2008 in April all became success in early 2008. In May, Graham interviewed Uwe Boll in An Interview with Uwe Boll.
LRR at PAX in 2008
In late 2008, LRR celebrated its fifth year with the Fifth Anniversary Screening in Victoria. In addition to several fan favorite videos from the site's history, the screening included the official premiere of commodoreHustle, a long form series based loosely on the "as themselves" characters made popular by such videos as Son of a Bitch and Format War.
Desert Bus for Hope 2 built on the success of the previous marathon in November, raising $70,453. Penny Arcade drew additional attention to the fundraiser with Operation: Infinite Bus, doubling donations until the total hit 45k.
Unskippable was developed by Graham and Paul for the Escapist Film Festival in 2008. Each week, the duo would provide a running audio commentary on a video game cutscene, whether the game was good or horrible. Being huge fans of Mystery Science Theater 3000, this was easy for them to do. Their first entry, Lost Planet won first place in the EFF, earning them a contract with the Escapist to develop the series as a weekly feature, updating every Monday. This marks the beginning of LRR's relationship with the Escapist, which would provide Graham and Paul with an entirely new fanbase and the opportunity to try different kinds of content.
In 2009, the crew announced Operation: Viral Outbreak, and released CommodoreHUSTLE 06 - Viral. Each member of the LRR team started a Youtube account under a name that couldn't easily be traced back to the site, and released one or more videos with the deliberate intent to "go viral". Graham's "Epic Nunchuk Fail" was the most successful on the internet at large, and was shown on The Tonight Show.
LRR at PAX 2009
Coming off of the success of Unskippable, the Escapist gave the crew another opportunity to reach out to the growing fanbase. The Escapist News Network, or ENN, was written by Graham, Paul, Jer, and Kathleen. ENN went through many iterations, but the overarching premise was simple: reporting real games industry news with a comedic twist, then featuring a fully madeup story based on some aspect of gamer culture.
Graham and Paul go to GameX in Philadelphia.
Tim "proudfoot" Sevenhuysen was an active part of LRR behind the scenes following his appearance during DBFH. In addition to his status as a kind of fan liaison on the forums, he was the crew's official documentarian as the creator of Loading Time. His roles in video production expanded (including a part in HUSTLE as Geoff's incompetent minion) until he was made a full crew member.
Desert Bus for Hope 3 raised $139,450, more than doubling the event's lifetime total.
During the event, it was announced that in January of 2010 (on Blue Monday as some forumers called it), LoadingReadyRun's weekly videos would move to the Escapist, through a licensing agreement. In short, the Escapist would host and release the weekly update, in addition to the two series the site officially owned, ENN and Unskippable. All bonus content, such as On The Run, Loading Time, and Phailhaus, would remain on the LRR site. The nature of this deal allowed LRR to become financially self-sufficient, while the crew retained creative control. Graham and Paul in particular now made video content as a full time job.
2010 - Present
In April 2010, Alex and Graham began producing one minute sketches called CrapShots. The series went on indefinite hiatus in March of 2011, at 104 episodes.
In November, Desert Bus 4 became the most successful Desert Bus yet, raising $203,220.80 for Child's Play.
In September, Tim decided to step down as an official crewmember, get married, and earn a Master's degree. At around the same time, longtime contributor Alex Steacy formally joined the crew. This transition coincided with The Basement, and was parodied in It's Magic. The latter video also portrays the crew's rediscovery of Magic: The Gathering, and was well received by Wizards of the Coast.
Despite moderate popularity Escapist News Network was retired in early February 2011. However, Robert Khoo was a fan of the series, and it was reborn as CheckPoint on PATV on May 9, 2011. LoadingReadyRun returned to producing three videos a week for The Escapist with the launch of Feed Dump, a spiritual successor to The Whatever Thing and Phailhaüs, in late May 2011.
At PAX Prime, LoadingReadyRun announced a new upcoming show, Friday Nights, made in association with Wizards of the Coast. The show was a four episode spin-off of Commodore Hustle centering on the crew's adventures in Magic. It was well received, Wizards have not announced whether they will renew the series.
In November 2011 Desert Bus For Hope returns for Desert Bus 5.
Graham and James recently began streaming Magic: The Gathering Online drafts as bonus content on Thursdays. The shows are variously produced by Card Kingdom and MTGO Academy, and the latter variant is a biweekly "comedy draft" consisting of deliberately strange or untenable card picking strategies.