YouTube hosts more than 80 million viral videos. Of that number, a search for “Paducah, KY” brings up just over 8,000 entries. Most of those are videos of the 2008 ice storm, news bloopers and virtual tours of apartment complexes. It’s easy to see how a video could get lost.
“We were making so many videos at local events and stuff,” Curt Stewart of Emerging Media Productions said. “And we started to think about making a place where everyone could put their local stuff instead of YouTube.”
Stewart and his EMP team — including Aaron Severns, Kevil Klepeis and Jake Bell — created Paducah Underground for that reason. The website, which is also attached to a Facebook page, hosts more than 90 videos that are strictly Paducah products. The videos include local viral hits like the “Demon Baby” series and EMP’s infamous “Facebook Update Update.”
“We go to gallery openings and events around the city,” Stewart said. “Basically any time we have time we push ourselves and go out with our cameras. We’ve been busy lately, but we still find the time to do it.”
Those events include city-sponsored events, concerts around town and gallery openings. Paducah Underground welcomes all kinds of videos, from local bands that want to get their sound out to role-play “Dungeons and Dragons” clubs. Anyone can submit a video to the site, which only requires the content be done by someone from Paducah or based in the city.
Stewart and his team started EMP one year ago, basing it around work they did with one camera given them by Klepeis’ father.
Now, the group has its own building on North Fifth Street and owns five cameras. EMP does video spots for several Paducah organizations and businesses including Paducah Economic Development and the Chamber of Commerce. They run Paducah Underground as a pet project, fueled only by their love for the entertainment scene in the city.
“The group of us, we love the city,” Stewart said. “And we want to see it grow. We want to see the entertainment scene grow. The more it grows, the more there is for us to do.”
Call Corianne Egan, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8652 or follow @CoriEgan on Twitter.