It turns out that lonelygirl15 is a fraud, like I suspected. The LA Times printed a follow-up story, and it seems that the goal was to exploit the Web as a new distribution method for entertainment. And why not? There aren’t a whole lot of interesting things happening on traditional TV. Letting the “non professionals” take a stab at it seems fair to me.
A couple of weeks ago, I had an email conversation with Michael Markman and he pointed me towards a video that he hand in creating called “Day of the Longtail”. The clip clearly praises self-produced content and the Web as a low-cost and efficient medium for distribution. RSS, low-cost/no-cost video editing software, inexpensive digital video cameras, and social networking sites like YouTube make it easy for amateurs to create and share. Hopefully you’re reading my blog via my RSS feed 😉
This got me thinking – damn, I wish this all existed back in 1991. For Mr. Clausi’s Advanced English class in grade 10, Stephan Peltier, Marc Seguin and myself decided to take a different route than the rest of class when it came to our Julius Caesar project. Instead of a skit or essay to be read in front of the class, we decided to spoof the Arsenio Hall Show while keeping the theme focused on the denizens of ancient Rome. Using Steph’s fancy (at the time) camcorder, we parodied Arsenio’s show complete with Greek gods as guests who came with movie clips to promote non-existant films. I remember that Steph portrayed Caesar and was promoting his film that was a send-up of T2: Judgment Day. I think he had another guest on the show executed too, if my memory serves me correctly. We used the camera’s ever-so-slick slow-motion feature to accentuate Steph’s running with a big knife. Get educated or we’ll kill ya! We even added our own commercials. I could never forget the split-screen (more special effects) zaniness of Portia‘s Pizza – be careful of the toppings…they’re hot hot hot! 😉 Of course, I was Arsenio. Yes, I know that I look nothing like him, but I imitated his mannerisms as best as I could, whoopin’ and all. We got an A+ and a standing ovation from the class.
For the class’ next project, which centred on Greek Mythology, other students in the class actually requested that we do another Arsenio Hall show video, and we obliged. The goal was to be bigger and better, like any good sequel should strive for. We added John Harvey and Ryan Harper to our group, extended the running time from 10 minutes to 30 minutes, and sorta had a budget. Steph, as the mighty Zeus, killed yet another guest with a lightning bolt. Hercules (John) reduced our musical guest, MC Hammer (Ryan), to nothing more than a pair of shoes and hat with a single swing of an over-sized hammer made from one of my baseball bats and an empty cardboard box. I’m not sure what I was thinking when I came up with this, but we spoofed Freddy Krueger with a Nightmare on Mount Olympus. Picture a dark room of soundly sleeping teenagers, while the quiet intro of Metallica’s “Fight Fire With Fire” plays in the background. Wait a sec, who or what goes there? A sinister spikey-haired figure (John) lurks in the room. As the gentle accoustic guitar of “Fight Fire With Fire” plucks its final chord before the drums and distored guitar kick in, the spectre begins killing all of the teenagers with violent stabs to the face and chest using its spiked scalp. I can’t remember what we were portraying or how it fit into Greek Mythology, but it was freakin’ cool! We used a mixture of cherry Jello, flour and water for the blood. Again, we were awarded an A+ for the film and it was the hit of the class again. I’ve starred in a few other video productions for projects in high school, but none could compare to those Arsenio videos. If anybody has a copy of those, I’d love to get my hands on one since the whereabouts of my copy has long been a mystery. I could totally see them landing on YouTube or Blip.tv 😉