The road to a championship football season is littered with bad parodies and amateur fan videos.
But standing out from the crowd are the music videos created by UW-Madison student Logan Cascia — who directed both “Teach Me How to Bucky” for UW Badgers fans and “Feelin’ So Fly Like a Cheesehead” for devotees to the Green Bay Packers.
Together, the two videos have generated more than 2 million views on YouTube.
“The intent was to go widespread, but I don’t think any of us thought it would hit over a million-and-a-half views,” Cascia said, referring to “Teach Me How to Bucky.”
Cascia — working with producer Greg Ellis under the name Cascia Films — made the videos last year in his free time.
“I’m impressed with the amount of work Logan’s done,” said Erik Gunneson, Cascia’s professor of cinematography at UW-Madison. “This is all outside of class.”
The 20-year-old got his start as a high school student in Glenview, Ill. He took an advanced television production course and created a documentary about Tommy Carroll, a boy who didn’t let his blindness stop him from pursuits such as skateboarding and running.
Cascia made the jump into music videos when he filmed a follow-up about Carroll called “Believe.” It won first place at the My Hero film festival in California last year.
After the success of “Believe,” local music group Zooniversity approached Cascia to shoot the video for “Teach Me How to Bucky.”
The video featured campus notables such as UW-Madison Chancellor Biddy Martin and UW Marching Band Director Mike Leckrone in a parody of Cali Swag District’s “Teach Me How to Dougie.”
It played on the Jumbotron in Camp Randall at the UW Badgers Homecoming game in October and almost immediately gained cult-like status among Badger fans, spawning “Teach Me How to Bucky” T-shirts.
The song made little money for Cascia — he didn’t get a cut of the T-shirt sales — but it helped him gain name recognition. Next, he collaborated with Madison singer and songwriter Anthony Lamarr Brown to celebrate the Badgers run to the Rose Bowl, filming a video called “We’re Smelling Roses.”
Most recently, he filmed “Feelin’ So Fly Like a Cheesehead” for Higher Education music, parodying the Far East Movement’s “Like a G6.” The video is nearing 800,000 hits and counting.
“I’m actually a Bears fan,” he said. “But I didn’t mind shooting it.”
Cascia, who is spending the semester in Florence, Italy, hopes to ultimately get into feature filmmaking.
Part of the success is tied to fairy tale seasons for both the UW Badgers — who went to the Rose Bowl — and the Packers — who will play in the Super Bowl today.
But Cascia and Ellis also believe that the high quality of their productions are a reason for the popularity. Cascia works out of his apartment or “wherever I am at the time,” he said, but he uses a high-definition camera, a green screen, and is willing to do multiple takes.
His videos all share a style of high color saturation and contrast.
“It’s because of the quality that we’re a little obsessed about,” Ellis said. “That’s one reason why our videos have emerged from the rest.”