Steffie Hardy – Achievement Hunter
For any of our readers who might not be familiar with you, can you give a quick explanation of who you are and what you do for Rooster Teeth and Achievement Hunter?
Hello! I’m the Production Manager for Achievement Hunter! I handle the schedule, help assign videos to editors, and take care of any oddball requests. I also make most of the thumbnails for the Achievement Hunter and Let’s Play YouTube channels.
How exactly did you come to learn of RT, and how did you start working there?
I first heard of RT through my brother who showed me Red VS Blue. I didn’t know much about Halo but he thought I would love it anyways. He was right. I was so giddy to discover they were based in Austin, Texas. I joined a new group called RvBTX and hosted a few Red VS Blue marathon parties. Eventually, the group wanted to host their own convention. RvBTX did an amazing job and had two days worth of events planned. A little after things were coming together, RTX was announced and those plans went out the window. Some of the people who worked on the fan event were brought on as the first RTX Guardians, so I think it worked out for everyone.
I became a Guardian during the second RTX. I absolutely loved it. Sometime after, a call went out to Guardians to test DVDs. I answered and started helping out along with other local Guardians. (Some who are also a part of the company now). Long story short, I kept getting contracted to do various production assistant jobs. My first paid gig was the first season of The Gauntlet. I did contract work for about three years. At one point I needed an internship for school. The lovely and amazing producer, Doreen, took me on. I learned so much from her.
When my internship was over I was offered two positions. The first one that seemed an obvious fit to me was to continue helping Doreen with Lazer Team. The second offer really surprised me: Achievement Hunter needed an admin-minded person to help out. I immediately wanted that job. Unfortunately, it took me two weeks to finally talk to Geoff and discuss the position. After that, it was another two weeks before I was actually brought on because the hiring manager was out on vacation. While I waited for a month to know if AH would hire me, I worked as an office assistant on Lazer Team. Eventually I became the production manager of AH full-time.
What is it really like working with the guys at AH on a day to day basis?
Weird, yet fun. My job isn’t that unusual, except that it is. (If that makes sense.) I have a normal production job that deals with emails, paperwork, and meetings. I just get the added bonus of 6 screaming men in the next room. It is a lot of fun though. It will get so quiet in the support office and next thing I know, all the editors are arguing about Pokemon or food.
How often is there filming at the AH offices? How does this impact the work done by you and your coworkers behind-the-scenes?
Well, we film every day. The amount varies for various reasons due to other shows and meetings. Honestly, as long as I hear some sort of yelling from next door, I’m happy.
What is the planning process for collaborations for AH? What are the differences in planning cross-company collaborations as compared to collaborations with non-RT people?
This is another one of those “it varies” answers. If it’s cross-company, we usually talk back and forth what we should play. Sometimes a game comes up and they just do it because it looks fun. If it’s non-RT, we try to choose something that the guest will be comfortable with so they can talk and play at the same time. If there’s a game they like, we’ll go with that or something similar.
Can you tell us a little bit about the differences in the production processes for Let’s Plays and Things To Do In, pre-shot live action content such as AHWU, and live content such as Off Topic?
There really isn’t much of a difference. For let’s plays and stuff like that, usually someone will have an idea and they just do it. Matt Bragg will have a build and the guys just go in and play it. A new game comes out and they’ll jump in, record, and hope it works out. Live action stuff usually starts off with lines like, “You know what would be funny…” and then someone pulling out their smartphone to record it. Honestly, the guys are pros. Just turn the camera on and good things happen.
I also understand that in addition to the work you do for AH, you also have your own personal YouTube channel; could you tell us about that?
Ah, Space Cadet Stef. It’s just a small channel where my friends and I goof off. I met all these wonderful ladies because of the RT Community and we came together. We don’t know exactly where the channel is going but I know we’ll have fun on the way.
Who else appears on the channel and GCA, and how do you know them? What type of games do you normally play on the channel?
The main group is Carmen, Emily, Afiya, Sadie, Bre, and Alec. Carmen and I met through a mutual friend who does contract camera work for RT. Emily is RT’s Office Manager and we have to work together a lot. Afiya I met because I loved her AH fanart and I stalked her on Twitter. I also stalked Bre, come to think of it, because I liked the leggings she wore when she was an extra on Lazer Team and wanted to know where she got them. Sadie I met at an RT Sidequest event.
Alec and I met because we both did contract work together and now we live together. He still does contract work for RT. Until recently, we’ve just played whatever was on hand. Now all anyone wants to play is GTAV. For the next few months, videos will probably be a mixture of GTAV and live action shenanigans.
What inspired Space Cadet Stef and Galactic Crown Arcade, both in terms of content and their names?
I REALLY wish I came up with Galactic Crown Arcade before Space Cadet Stef. At first, the channel was just going to be me vlogging and occasionally have friends play games. After our first recording session, we knew that this is what the channel was meant to be. We just had so much fun together. Galactic Crown Arcade was only supposed to be a side part of the channel while Space Cadet Stef was all about me. As for the names, I’m a big space nerd. Space Cadet Stef is actually my gamertag. Galactic Crown Arcade comes from several things that all the ladies wanted. We wanted something that was a homage to Sailor Moon, Star Wars, and Space. Crown is the name of the arcade where the Sailor Scouts have their secret base. Galactic is from the Galactic Empire and also fulfills the “space” theme as well.
What is the upload schedule for the Space Cadet Stef channel?
Eh, that’s in a flux. Right now, we upload roughly once every week and a half. In the future, we plan to actually have a set day.
What insight and advice can you give to aspiring YouTubers based on what you have learned through both your experiences with your channel and from working at Achievement Hunter?
I can’t stress this enough; just do it. Just get it all out. When you start out, you don’t have to be great at editing or make things pretty. That stuff happens naturally over time. You get better and learn to fix things. Stick with your hobbies because you never know how those skills are going to translate in the future. I used to play around in Photoshop for fun and make dumb avatars for my livejournal. Now I’m using those skills today and getting paid for. If you enjoy something, you’re doing it right.