Danny DeVito and Awkwafina are the stars of a new brand "movie" from Discord, the online chat platform. But so too are the Discord community's users, whose ideas helped to co-create it and some of whom are represented in the film.
"Discord-The Movie," created by AKQA and directed by Finn Keenan at Riff Raff, starts with Awkwafina attempting to explain to DeVito what Discord is. But then different real-life users of the platform come in and explain what it means to them, and the celebrity pair are dragged into different worlds, as animated and claymation characters and more. Along the way, they meet other celebrities such as Bretman Rock, J. Balvin and Grimes. There are also sock puppets, flying cows, nods to the platform's culture and more as we hear from various other users about their relationship with Discord.
The creation of the film began with with an Instagram post asking the platform's users "what does Discord mean to you?" (Among the answers was simply "sandwich"—which explains why DeVito is depicted munching one one in the film.)
Users voted on DeVito as the best representative for Discord and helped dictate the look and feel of the film, including set design, scene selection and casting choices. Several were selected to be represented in the piece, including Lucie Winterwolf, leader of the Helpful Pirate Society, a group formed around the sandbox building game Cubic Castle (pictured as the pirate in the film), and KevDog, owner of the Oceanside Pokemon server, a partner to the platform.
Earlier this year, chief marketing officer Tesa Aragones led a rebrand of Discord, including its first ad campaign, "Imagine a Place." The Discord "movie" is an extension of this campaign. It's airing on online video outlets, including on NBC as part of the Olympic Games, and will run through the fall across social and digital platforms, with takeovers on Hulu and YouTube and the MTV Video Music Awards.