The blog of a person....yeah that sounds good.

Friday, November 06, 2009

bursting your bubble like a hubba bubba nightmare

Everyone wants to be viral now. Its the only way to be popular unfortunately. Talent usually doesn't seem to apply. If you can make something, even just one thing, that for some unexplained reason catches on, you are now an internet celebrity.
And if you manage to keep milking whatever it was that got viral, and keep people interested, you can make quite a bit of money.

Everyone loved Chocolate Rain, didnt they? A drum machine and a young guy with a deep voice singing a bizarre but catchy chant. He tried to keep it going. But when was the last time anyone cared about him? Not for a while. Because they only ever wanted Chocolate Rain. But even if you aren't a fan, the man had some talent. He had a nice voice and was, for all intents and purposes, somewhat of a musician.

On the complete other side of the spectrum we have Fred. Fred is a diminutive lad who looks like he's 14 but I wouldn't be surprised to hear he's older and has some sort of 'problem'
He has a shrill high pitched voice like as if Mickey Mouse were a chain smoker, and then proceeded to dive inside the throat of Alvin the chipmunk. His videos have no merit. And this is ME, saying this. The guy who makes spam cartoons. He basically sits in front of a webcam (like alot of youtube starz tend to) and proceeds to buzz about things which are pretty much incomprehensible due to his voice and the fact he appears to be on alot of medication.

Now you may wonder why I'm discussing the trash that comes out of youtube for a reason.
And its because I wish to illustrate my point. That everyone wants to be viral. Everyone wants to make something that is so weird/stupid/weird&stupid that the mindless wiggers and soccer moms of the internet will instantaneously fall in love with it, shell out money for it, etc. Its the new American Dream. And I'm not bashing it, oh no.
I share the dream as well, partly. God knows I wouldnt have put anything of mine up other than my demo reel if it weren't for the faint glimmer of hope that maybe people will suddenly care about cartoons they saw in 2005/06 from me again.

But that isnt the point.
The thing thats great about all this is that as many viral things as there are (I'm On a Boat, Puppet Rapist, Funny or Die, Hamster Dance) there are just as many if not MORE wannabe viral things that failed miserably.
Usually these are from movie studios and the head honchos at Hollywood, whom in their often lacking wisdom, thought that trying to advertise a film using 'alternate reality games' and such would do a better job than blaring loud obnoxious commercials on tv and in movie theaters and on the radio and on billboards and on popup ads and on dvd and in posters etc.

Some of these are so bad they are funny:

Shrek Babies. Because babies dancing is funny? It wasn't even funny when Ally McBeal did it a friggin decade ago. And why does the animation look like it was done in a half hour?

Chihuahua song. Why was this movie made? And why did Disney flood youtube with this song? VIRAL MARKETING.

Sony tried to do a similar thing with the PSP by having people on youtube pretend to like it (despite the PSP being pretty poor for anything other than emulators). So when it blew up in their face everyone had a laugh. Sony tend to embarrass themselves alot.

But why go through that much trouble?

Because they wanted it to be viral.

Now, the reason I bring this up is because EVERY NOW AND THEN, someone will do something viral or TRY to make something viral, and even if it's not successful, its still alot better than the horrors I linked up there.

For example, the clever Bungie made a viral website to promote the new Halo that actually got pretty popular.

Blah blah blah the POINT IS that there is a NEW viral thing swimming across the murky depths of shit that is the online world, desperately trying to gasp for air and fill its lungs with YOUR MONIES.

In this case it's a film. A film I actually want to see.
Its called THE BOX. Its by Richard Kelly, the man who made Donny Darko (a good trippy metaphysical scifi film that is a cult classic. he didnt make the shitty sequel.) and the movie Southland Tales which was a futuristic scifi movie that apparently only I liked.

The film is about a button and when the couple it is given to push it, someone dies, and they get a million dollars. Not a breathtaking concept, but simple enough to obviously enrage people who are now shrieking "i could have thought of that" all over internet message boards.

The first thing that popped into my head when I saw the trailer was "The Monkey's Paw" a short story made in the early 1900's which you should read if you havent. As a tot it was one of the first stories I read that actually scared me and fueled my imagination which would lead me down a path of bad cartoons.

Now this movie has actually been getting some good press and quite a few commercials on tv. So one would think it wouldn't need viral marketing to increase its popularity, but this is Hollywood after all.

Luckily, someone, somewhere, is a genius.
Because the 'viral' sites for this film are actually very well done sites that are disorientating, confusing, beautiful, and at the same time a bit scary.
This is the official website for the film, and as you can see its like some sort of hallucinogenic nightmare of memories from someone we dont know. Clicking around causes it to fly into other sections of the site which dont tell you anything but do show you some rather creepy film clips. None of which really shed much light on the film but DO make you interested in seeing more.
Eventually if one clicks around on the website enough, one winds up here. Its a fascinating site of 3 clips that seem to be a combination of old footage and new footage meant to look old. Something about unknown being tampering with government equipment at Nasa.
I assume this means aliens have something to do with the film, I dont know.

The whole point of this essay was basically to show you those two sites because I think are quite nifty in both design and function and even if this movie flops (which I hope it wont, because Frank Langella is an amazing actor), that at least the marketers behind the film made something cool to try and advertise online with it.

And looking around the net these days, its obvious we need alot more of that.

Now that I've given the impression that this blogs whole point is to subtly plug movies like the so-called bloggers on ign, yahoo, CNN, and Fox who are basically all lobbyist crustaceans trying to seem like human beings and all that shit.


And in today's climate: good news

I have gotten myself a job. An animation job. A freelance animation job!
The History Channel is doing some sort of animated information film about famous trains and interesting facts about them. And they needed illustrators. And guess what lucky chap got the job! I'll give you a hint: its me. Figured it out yet? It's me!
Yes indeed!
I am doing illustrations for something for the History Channel. :)
I am most overjoyed at this turn of events!
Plus I get to draw a place I've actually been to, in Georgia.

My employer Weebl of Weebls-Stuff showed me a neat gadget he got himself. This thing. Its a tiny device which records glorious sound which he's been taking everywhere.

It jostled my memory that I need to get myself a new microphone.
My mic is a bit of a piece of crap that makes my recordings all fuzzy.
I also need to buy myself a digital camcorder. Me and Mike and John and Jack are always coming up with good ideas for short films but can never make them because none of us have a nice camera.


In other news I put another old cartoon of mine up on Youtube. Part of me almost wanted to go back and add more to it. But then I remembered that I am lazy.
Enjoy a cartoon where the credits are twice as long as the cartoon:

Maybe one day I'll fix it so it's longer.
Prooooooobably wont happen though.

In other news I ordered Left 4 Dead 2 the other night for my friend Mike. I forgot to send it as a gift, so Valve thought I bought it for myself (it would NEVER run here on this terrible computer) so I asked Valve to fix it. They did. But apparently Mike is the one who gets the Bill hat. Which is good. Because its a lovely hat. Probably the best hat in the game. Makes all the characters except the sniper and soldier look like badass mercenaries.

I had it for a few hours the other night due to the mix-up. And now, now it's gone. Ah well! Goodbye, cool hat. You made me look far cooler than my meager skills as a Medic and Engineer ever could.

I feel I should say something interesting to end this very long post with.




Johnny Coolguy said...

Hey I live in Georgia.

Sir Thomas of Binkleshire. said...

I care Nathan. I care.

sparkpro said...

congratulations on getting the job.

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