Monomania: The Viral Video Debate
1. (no longer in technical use) a psychosis characterised by thoughts confined to one idea or group of ideas.
2. an inordinate or obsessive zeal for or interest in a single thing, idea, subject, or the like.
Each week I will share with you my latest obsession. This will usually centre on little pockets of the interweb you may not come across. I'll take you down some dark alleyways, the kind you usually just briskly walk past for fear of getting mugged. Don't worry, I've got your back. Follow me...
THIS WEEK'S MONOMANIA:
THE VIRAL VIDEO DEBATE
Recently the Today show released a rather amazing viral video. It's a 5 minute single take set to the Black-Eyed Peas song, 'I Gotta Feelin'. Despite the frequent cheesiness of the video it is an absolutely amazing piece of staging. The cameraman does a mind blowing job hitting all the marks that he does over the duration.
Watch the video below and then keep reading to see how original the idea actually is....
Pretty impressive piece of work don't you think? I hate the song and am not a fan of the show but can admit when I have seen something impressive.
The impression quickly wore off though when I heard that a bunch of students in Montreal did the exact same thing about 1 year prior to the Today show. The similarity between the two videos is way too suspicious for me to leave alone. Today have spoken of their video being a homage to the original and all the references in their version are basically just 'hat-tips' to the original but I don't buy it. In today's day and age viral videos bounce around the web with absolutely no context whatsoever so most people will be seeing the Today video and treating it like an original. If you really wanted to tip your hat to the original then fly all those students to NY and get them to reenact it for you, don't just take someone else's idea and redo it with a big budget.
Impressively enough, the student version of the video is VERY good and eclipses the Today version in many ways with what is most likely 1/100th the budget. From the camerawork to the scale and staging, the student version matches the today version and im my opinion has more geniune energy that watching a bunch of upper-class, rich, new yorkers jumping around like goons....
Watch the original below and make up your own mind....
EDIT: I have been made aware that I should qualify the above comments with some extra information. The Today show made the video as part of a series they are doing where they re-enact other viral videos so yes, the whole project is a homage and a recreation so what is my objection? Well, again I restate that the Today video is floating around the web not as a homage but as a simple viral video in its own right. I shouldn't have to spend 20 minutes googling the context to understand its a recreation. In fact many other web-sites are posting the Today video as a simple, cool video in it's own right with no mention of the original source. So sure, my original words may have been inflammatory but I still think its a weak way of cashing in on the coolness of other people's ideas.