An Interview with ravenhpltc24, the Best Bo Burnham Compilation Editor
Updated: Aug 26
Before I began actively watching every video about Bo that I could get my hands on, I would always return to two of my favorites online—the Eighth Grade stand-up compilation and the unofficial Inside trailer (the latter being the second-best Inside content online in my opinion).
Imagine my surprise when I realized both fantastic videos were edited by the SAME person!
Naturally, I reached out to the creator, whose real name is Alicia but she's known as ravenhpltc24 on YouTube and Reddit, and she and I have chatted many times over the past year.
We have even collaborated on two different videos: Bo Burnham: One Year In(side) and Bo Burnham watches Inside (Ed. note: You can read more about the second video here).
UPDATE: Alicia's incredible trailer was chosen to represent Bo's masterpiece for an AV Club article. You go, girl...I'm SO proud of my collaborator!
Since Alicia is such a talented and professional editor, I wanted to learn more about how she creates these compilations and what compels her to make her videos. Luckily, she is an absolute gem and was more than willing to answer my questions!
Here is my interview with Alicia, which has been edited and condensed for clarity purposes.
Bo Burnham Historian: Hey, Alicia! Thanks for participating in this interview.
Alicia (AKA ravenhpltc24): It's my pleasure!
First, please provide some basic information about yourself and where you live.
Alicia: No problem! I'm 31 years old, and I live in New Hampshire with my husband and two cats.
I got my Bachelor's at Ithaca College in New York, and I have a Master's degree from the University of Edinburgh. I currently work as a data engineer.
BBH: Wow, good for you for getting your Master's!
So, what compelled you to create your first video? When did you get started? What software/tools do you use for editing?
Alicia: Oh boy, here we go!
In 2007, I got a laptop for my 16th birthday. At the time I was a huge fan of the show Avatar: The Last Airbender, which was airing its second season on Nickelodeon. I was captivated by the worldbuilding, characters, and action. I’d look up videos of my favorite moments on YouTube and noticed most were in the form of “AMVs”—anime music videos. The offerings were… lacking. Nothing was on beat with the music, the same clips were used more than once, the sound and video quality was inconsistent! And I thought “I bet I could make these, and I could do it my way.”
I bought a copy of Sony Vegas 7.0 and got to work. Over the next two years, I amassed something like 10K subscribers and 5M+ views. This was back in the wild west of YouTube, so videos were occasionally deleted without warning (I was using all copyrighted material, of course), and in 2009, just a week after I graduated high school, my entire channel was suspended.
It hurt, but the show had ended, and I was now off to college. I got into other shows and wanted to edit with those too. I made a new channel, illyrium24, which is still up! I completely lost access to it with the YouTube/Google merger, but the videos are available for people to enjoy. My last video on that channel was created in 2014, just a month after I started my first “real” job.
[Aside: This was a trip—someone has been painstakingly re-creating my old Avatar videos in 4K. When I was first sent these, it was the definition of “see I’m very confused, because I’m looking at myself and I don’t understand what I’m looking at.” This Tumblr post about my work is also incredibly kind!]
Fast forward seven years—I thought I didn’t have time to edit as a real actual adult, with pets and a husband and friends and responsibilities.
The pandemic was the perfect time for my brain to pick another obsession, and somehow it landed on actor Dylan O’Brien (my husband and I, connoisseurs of prestige TV, loved to hate-watch Teen Wolf and the Maze Runner trilogy). Once again I was disappointed at the offerings on YouTube, so I made my own video about what I liked about his acting. At this point, Sony Vegas editing software was up to version 17. I realized I still loved to edit.
Alicia's inner demon (and mine! haha)
BBH: When did you first discover Bo and his works? Are you a long-time fan or a newer one because of Inside?
Alicia: A bit of both! As someone who lived on YouTube from 2006 to 2009, I vividly remember Bo being on the front page whenever he came out with a new song (back when the front page was the same for everyone)!
I watched his videos and enjoyed them. Because I lived near where he grew up and we’re the same age, everyone seemed to have a friend or relative that knew him at St. John’s Prep.
Bo at his alma mater during the press tour for his film
I saw Eighth Grade in 2018, but the obsession didn’t take me until March 2022 (great timing, eh?).
Dylan O’Brien is a huge fan and would frequently credit Bo as one of his favorite performers, so I decided to check out Bo’s work in more detail. And that’s how I ditched Dylan for Bo.
Dylan's glowing endorsement of Eighth Grade and him hanging out with fans at the premiere party
BBH: Yeah, Dylan seems to definitely be a fan of Bo haha.
Back to your compilations. What is your process for editing videos? How long do they typically take to make from concept to uploading on YouTube?
Alicia: It varies quite a bit. Editing a video tends to be an all-consuming process, as in, I’ll struggle to focus on work or other tasks when I have one in progress. So, sometimes I’ll have an idea but I’ll decide to wait a few weeks until a major work deadline has passed and I have more time to dedicate to a new project. It usually starts with a single moment or clip that I want to include, which I test out first. If that’s working, I build it out from there. For the Bo videos, the time from start to finish has ranged from about a month (Eighth Grade stand-up) down to two days (Outtakes trailer).
BBH: TWO days? Wow, that's really fast!
Me fangirling over Alicia's video on the Bo sub
Alicia: Once again, I was motivated to be the change I want to see in the world, hah! There are so many Bo compilations using the same clips and the same jokes over and over.
The well of Eighth Grade promo is truly bottomless, and there are great moments in interviews with 2K views that I wanted to highlight. Truthfully, I struggled with the morality of this one, as I generally hate that “funny compilations” dominate YouTube recommendations. But, I set it to music and made sure the timing was right, so I was proud of how it turned out. I’m happy so many people have seen it and liked it. The algorithm is predictable—funny compilations get picked up right away!
BBH: I never thought about it that way, but compilations really ARE popular!
Your Unofficial Inside trailer is one of my favorite things on the Internet—it's incredibly professional! How do you match the music with the imagery so well? Why did you choose that song for the ending ("Ugly Ending" by Best Frenz)?
Alicia: Thank you, glad you like it! I don’t really have good answers for these questions, hah!
For matching music with imagery, I’ll try a couple things out and pick what seems to work best. The “flow” of clips needs to match the music—for example in this trailer, I use a lot of fades from one clip to the next, and in the Outtakes trailer, everything is a blunt cut, because that better matches the feel of “The Future.”
“Ugly Ending” was actually the original idea for the trailer. In my head I heard “I promise” from Goodbye lining up perfectly with the chorus. I put that part together first, and built out the rest afterwards. The first half, which actually explains what Inside is about, was the most difficult and took the longest to finish.
BBH: That makes sense, but it's seamlessly put together, so you'd never know it was 2 separate ideas. I also adore the official quotes and the terms being changed/scratched out—so cool!
One Year In(side) is also very special to me since it was our first collaboration of sorts (plus there's a photo of my son and me...thank you for including us!). How did you come up with this idea? Where did you find all of that footage?
Alicia: As the one-year anniversary date approached, I considered making a new video but decided against it. Work was busy, and I didn’t have a specific idea for what I wanted to do.
And then the idea for mashing up Phoebe Bridger’s version of “That Funny Feeling” with Bo’s vocals popped into my head. You’ll notice a pattern here, most video ideas start with a specific musical moment!
Bo and Phoebe Bridgers performing That Funny Feeling together at the Largo in 2021
Since that initial audio test worked so well, I scrambled to put the full video together in a week—this video had a deadline.
Where did I find the footage? I figured I was in a unique position to create this since I was someone that both lived on Bo’s subreddit in 2021, and someone that liked to edit. There were some standout pieces of fanart I wanted to include, along with the rare Bo sightings throughout the year. The artists/musicians/parodists are the stars of this one. I love that Bo inspired so many creative people with Inside.
BBH: Absolutely—there are SO many talented fans out there!
I love the small videos you post on Bo's subreddit as well, especially the micro eye movements one.
Would you ever consider uploading them as shorts on YouTube? This is a slightly selfish request haha.
Alicia: Hah, I looked into it! The videos need to be certain dimensions (phone-oriented), which means I’d need to do a new edit to adjust. So I’ll never say never, but right now I’m not planning on uploading anything to Shorts.
BBH: That's too bad, but completely understandable. I wouldn't want you re-editing them either!
What made you want to work on the Hot Dogs and Peaches video? Did you like my concept, or was there something else that you found inspirational? You did a wonderful job executing my vision, by the way. I'm so proud to have been a part of it!
Alicia: It was such a great idea! As many have pointed out, what he says in that H3 segment matches Inside to an eerie degree. I also saw it as a bit of a technical challenge—cutting out the two windows but keeping everything consistent with layered audio and the background video was something I hadn’t done before. It’s also hard to try and make something funny! After you’ve seen a clip a hundred times, it is genuinely impossible to tell whether it’s still funny, or how it could be improved. I really empathize with Bo making Inside.
BBH: Yes, making things humorous with no audience feedback is such a challenge! I feel for Bo too.
Your newest trailer for the Inside Outtakes is incredible as always. I especially enjoy how you took the Google creator advice video and matched it with the perfect clips of real Bo and performer Bo. What was the inspiration for this video?
Alicia: It was exactly that moment—the initial idea was “Be yourself,” followed by quick clips of Bo doing exactly that. I didn’t settle on using “The Future” for longer than usual (mostly because a clean instrumental of that song doesn’t exist). Once I plugged in “The Future”, the video came together so quickly!
BBH: It's perfectly matched. I can't believe you finished editing it that quickly!
What's your favorite Bo song? Special? Feel free to name more than one if you like!
Alicia: Impossible to choose, and it changes from day to day! I will say that upon Dylan O’Brien’s recommendation, I first watched Make Happy in bed with a bag of popcorn.
“Can’t Handle This” stunned me into silence, but the gut-punch of “Are You Happy” moments after had me openly weeping. That was when I knew I had found something special. So I think “Are You Happy?” takes the cake for me. My favorite special is definitely Inside, although I love them all!
BBH: Have you ever met Bo in person? Have you seen him perform live?
Alicia: I have not, maybe someday! It stings a little because all my friends who went to the University of New Hampshire saw him perform there in 2009. He was also at the Edinburgh Fringe festival performing “what.” ten days before I moved there to begin my Master's degree—missed him by that much!
BBH: I hear you on that! I found out last year that he started his MH tour in Glenside, PA at a theater I've been to many times. Ugh, so close by (but I was pregnant with my second child at that time, so I probably wouldn't have attended even if I'd known who he was back then!).
Anyway, you met THE Scott Burnham at a Jerrod Carmichael show this year. What was that like? Does he enjoy 1985? I need all the details lol.
Alicia: Hah, it was quite a short exchange, most details of which I wrote about here! I think it’s safe to say that yes, he loves 1985, and he was totally in the dark about being named on Bo’s new album. He seems like a really cool guy™!
BBH: Glad to hear he enjoys the song!
What's up next for you? Any future projects in the works?
Alicia: Nothing yet! I like making those little videos for Reddit, those only take an hour or two and they can be about any small idea. So if something pops into my head, I’ll be sure to share!
BBH: Please do! Your videos are the definition of quality over quantity, so don't feel obligated unless you want to make new stuff!
How can people best support your work? Do you have any social media you'd like to plug?
Alicia: I love comments! Please comment on any of my videos or reddit posts if you have feedback you’d like to share, I love to know what people think.
BBH: Well, I will happily do that for ALL of your videos on YouTube haha.
Thanks so much for chatting with me, and best of luck with everything!
Alicia: Thanks for having me!
You can subscribe to Alicia's YouTube channel here.