When we last spoke with YouTube-sensation Double Rainbow Guy, he was still reeling from his epic sky-gasm. He’d yet to feel the full-on rush of viral fame or really understand just how far it would propel him.
All the way.
“Yosemite Bear Mountain Giant” Paul Vasquez, talked to us again today, a follow-up to our earlier interview with him, about his new commercial for Microsoft that touts the Windows Live photo gallery, Bill Gates, his agent, his new television show, and turning Internet fame into a bona fide brand.
Now if he could just get paid.
As expected, Microsoft’s advertisement features Double Rainbow guy, double rainbows, and a few choice lines from the original clip (namely: “Whoaaaaa,” “All the way,” and a potent sense of bliss). But Microsoft isn’t the only company gunning to take advantage of his viral buzz.
“I’ve been busy,” says Bear, chuckling. “Everyone’s been real top-secret! Everyone’s like, Don’t tell anybody!”
While Bear was rather tight-lipped about his other projects, he had lots to say about Microsoft, a company he’s apparently very fond of.
“It all fit: I’m a photographer, a videographer, the software is something I’d use, and it’s free,” he explains. “And then the whole humanity of wanting to connect with spirituality nowadays. These guys who put the commercial together saw that, so they knew I was a natural for this thing. It was obvious that I should be a spokesman for Windows photo gallery.” And that’s not to mention his love for the company. “Microsoft is amazing–I love the stuff that Bill Gates does. He’s an amazing philanthropist and he’s a great guy,” Bear says. “And when I saw how they wanted to do it, I was like, Wow, this is wonderful–this is fantastic.”
Certainly, we’re all happy for Bear’s success–no doubt there’s no more a jovial and big-hearted soul as his, and it’s great to see him earn money from a product he actually will use–that is, when he buys a new computer. Bear tells me he’s been holding off from purchasing one until he can afford it. Maybe not-so-surprisingly, the Double Rainbow fame has yet to earn him big cash.
“I’ve been actually been living on less than $5,000 a year for the last six years, and almost no money has come from this rainbow video,” he says. Why? According to Bear, he’s only earned $1,000 so far from the viral clip–and only through appearances on Jimmy Kimmel and Tosh.0. “I’m severely restricted as to the things I can make money on,” he explains. “I turned down the ads from the rainbow videos–Spirit told me not to put ads on the rainbow videos because that’s God’s eye.”
“That’s the spirit of God that I was looking at, and that’s why it’s so popular. How could you put an ad on the spirit of God?”
To further his financial woes, not even Microsoft has paid him yet. Bear says he’s still waiting on the check, and until then, unfortunately, he’s unable to use the Windows photo gallery.
“They had a small budget, because it was just going to be on the Internet,” Bear says of his payment. “But it’s enough to buy a computer, so that’s what I’m going to do–but it’s got to go through my agent.”
“I’m getting so many offers, and I got a really big agent, UTA,” he says. “This guy that I trained with in martial arts for years called me up and said, My brother is here, he’s a filmmaker, would you meet with us? So he came up here, and we hit it off really good.” His karate buddy’s brother then introduced him to entertainment lawyers, who helped Bear sign with UTA, one of the largest talent agencies in the world.
Bear and UTA have since been hard at work on a TV pilot, which will start shooting soon. Taking place in Yosemite, the show will be based on Bear’s life and will follow his adventures in martial arts, vegan eating, losing weight, building his home using alternative building methods and alternative energy, and organic farming, Bear says. And he’s already pitched the idea to at least one network.
“We went in there, and it was like, We love you!” Bear says. “And we had to go back to meet with the president, and he’s like, I love this guy!”
In the meantime, are there any other companies he wants to team with, beside Microsoft?
“I love Sony, and I love Subaru,” answers Bear. “I totally love Sony cameras–the rainbow video was shot on a Sony camera! And on my hill I have a 1987 or 1989 Subaru that people just love to ride around in–it’s four-wheel drive. And of course Microsoft, because they’ve been so good to me, and they’re a big backer, and I love their politics.”
But not all big companies are on Bear’s good-list. He was upset that some big retailers such as Hot Topic were selling clothing featuring his face and words, without even asking. “I’m trying to reign that in,” he says. And it’s not that he’s looking for a piece of the action.
“There are so many people that are ripping me off,” Bear says, pointing out how Ben & Jerry’s put up a website devoted to him. “So I got on my Facebook, and was telling my fans, That’s not cool–they should’ve just asked me. And I didn’t tell them to take it down. And then they took it down without asking me! And you know what? I really liked the website–I just wish they had talked to me! They didn’t ask me to put it up, and they didn’t ask me to take it down. It was like, Come on, have a little bit of consideration.”
Not to mention the missed opportunity in partnering with Bear for “Double Rainbow Sherbet.”
“And that’s what everyone is doing–they’re just running all over me like I don’t matter–like I’m nobody.”
Still, Bear’s found some success, which he’s apparently been anticipating for years–it’s only other companies like Microsoft that are now catching up. “Everything is just a part of a massive plan put out by Creator,” he says. “This whole rainbow thing is just a small way for the universe or humanity to be introduced to me, but I’ve been planning and preparing my family for this for years.”
So will Microsoft’s ad find success in God’s master plan, as Bear puts it? Or since Microsoft is a “full-on” month late to the meme, will the campaign not translate to audiences?
Regardless, for Bear, the commercial breathes new potential into the shelf-life of a one-hit viral star and suggests he may have a chance to spread his message of love and spirituality beyond YouTube.
And when I thanked the Yosemite Mountain Bear for his generous time, he had but one thing to say to me.
“Wait, who are you?”