Julian Bass asked the internet for help. It delivered.
The 20-year-old TikTok star shot for the stars and hit them on Thursday as he showcased his talents as a visual effects artist, filmmaker and performer in a now-viral video. Viewed more than 6.3 million times on Thursday alone, the clip uses an impressive range of visual effects to transform Bass into his “favorite heroes,” evolving from a Jedi to Ben 10 to his ultimate fave, Spider-Man.
“If y’all can retweet this enough times that Disney calls, that’d be greatly appreciated,” he wrote.
Twitter users obliged. And within 12 hours, Bob Iger, executive chairman and former CEO of The Walt Disney Co., was in Bass’ Twitter replies ― and he sounded pretty enthusiastic:
And that’s not all. He also got a big thumbs up from Josh Gad, who voices Olaf in Disney’s hit “Frozen” franchise, Academy Award-winning director Matthew A. Cherry, “Guardians of the Galaxy” franchise director and screenwriter James Gunn, and thousands of new fans who threw their support behind him to become Disney’s next hero.
The ambitious star-in-the-making also caught the eye of Sony, which owns the rights to the “Spider-Man” character in movies and shares it in an agreement with the Marvel Cinematic Universe owned by Disney.
Bass, a theater major at Georgia State University, told HuffPost he’s been working on his filmmaking skills since he was 11 years old.
“I started out doing Lego stop motion videos and grew up reading a lot of comic books, so when I first started editing I was heavy into visual effects. I wanted to give myself every super power in the book,” he said.
Buoyed by his filmmaking accomplishments in high school ― he scooped up two national awards for his videos ― Bass said he continued to create shorts in college but felt discouraged when they didn’t break through. This changed when he started using TikTok, he said, where he’s accrued more than 680,000 followers since posting his first clips in late 2019.
“I just wanted to have fun and learn some things along the way but clearly I’ve struck a chord and received such an overwhelming wave of support that I really can see my dreams right ahead of me,” he said. “I threw this tweet out today really as a joke, and to have the Disney chairman and all of these celebrities tell me that I’m doing it right and going in the right direction has never been more motivating!”
While Bass has worked to hone his prowess with digital effects, those skills were born “more so out of necessity in order to tell the wild stories I’ve got in my head,” he said. His true passion is his singing and acting, he said, and he’s not afraid to aim high. His dream role? Spider-Man.
“Just one shot to show ’em what I’ve got,” he said. “It was always something I used to joke about even as a little kid, but with Bob Iger in my replies, that might not be a joke anymore!”
His reply to Iger says it all: