Reimagined Viral Videos
May 29, 2012 1:42 PM   Subscribe

The upcoming Worldwide Short Film Fest in Toronto has taken a few of the web's most viral videos and re-imagined them: Leeroy Jenkins, David After Dentist and Charlie Bit My Finger have all been updated for the big screen. (Some videos not for the faint of heart)
posted by krunk (24 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
There’s no shortage of amateur videos circulating online, garnering millions of views worldwide. But for the most part, there is something lacking in those videos: quality. That’s why we asked two directors to re-imagine two popular viral videos as short films - to prove that great talent makes all the difference.

"Look at all this shitty-ass shit."

"I know, right? It's sooooo shitty."


"Let's rip it off."
posted by Sys Rq at 1:51 PM on May 29, 2012 [2 favorites]

Ya know, I didn't really sense that anyone "re-imagined" the charlie video, other than the concept of "bite".....
posted by HuronBob at 1:55 PM on May 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

Leroy Jenkins is about a guy who doesn't give a fuck because he recognizes he's playing a game. That Leroy Jenkins movie was about something different, dumber, and still slavishly retained the dialogue. Like it was by someone who didn't understand what made the original so satisfying and awesome - anarchy, not ineptitude or a comedy of errors.
posted by abulafa at 2:04 PM on May 29, 2012 [2 favorites]

Like it was by someone who didn't understand what made the original so satisfying and awesome - anarchy, not ineptitude or a comedy of errors.

Or it's applying the Leeroy Jenkins meme to another genre entirely.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 2:05 PM on May 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

This is a pretty clever project, and I support it happening more and more.

Imagine a world in which amateur viral clips are then remade in various genres by others, amateur and professional alike.

I don't know if that's a nightmare or a paradise, but I'd be willing to find out.
posted by hippybear at 2:14 PM on May 29, 2012

My biggest complaint with the Jenkins video is that it omitted the final line from Leeroy, "at least I have chicken." I fully expected a cut to Jenkins in prison, enjoying a piece of fried chicken. I think that was a blown opportunity.
posted by jedicus at 2:16 PM on May 29, 2012 [5 favorites]

I enjoyed David After Dentist, as I felt like it remained true to the original, while still re-imagining it in a different genre. The other two went too far away, and lost me somewhat in the process.
posted by Joh at 2:21 PM on May 29, 2012

Worse than I could possibly imagine... but an accurate assessment of the state of English-Canadian cinema.

Terrible. Terrible, terrible, terrible.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 2:24 PM on May 29, 2012

Ugh. Sorry to be so negative.

Carry on...
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 2:25 PM on May 29, 2012

Their "Anybody can upload, few can write" tagline feels like a massive chip on the filmmakers' shoulders about the fact that a bunch of really-entertaining amateurs are getting more views than their polished-but-kinda-boring short films. It makes the whole thing come off more like jealousy than homage.
posted by Greg Nog at 2:32 PM on May 29, 2012 [4 favorites]

Volkswagen has done something similar with Jaws, Taxi Driver, and Silence of the Lambs.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 2:36 PM on May 29, 2012

Aw man. The best part of the Leeroy Jenkins video is the fact that he gets his entire party annihilated through his own brash, I-don't-give-a-fuck ballsery charging into the fray. His bravado pulled the rug out from under their careful planning and got his whole party destroyed. That's what made it so great! This imagines Leeroy as someone who went charging in based on a misunderstanding, and gets himself alone in trouble. Next they'll re-make the WoW funeral griefing as a bunch of drunk fratboys accidentally stumbling into a funeral reception thinking it's a kegger, and embarrassingly backing out the door seconds later.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:11 PM on May 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

David After Dentist

I like this version.
posted by cmoj at 3:41 PM on May 29, 2012 [3 favorites]

only watched the Leeroy Jenkins one, which was all right but felt like it totally missed the point of the original... Which was faked (ie not the actual prep for an actual raid) and therefore just as written as the update version.

The update was slick and competent (and interesting choice of genre to bring Leeroy into the "real world") but dull, poorly paced, and lacking any of the humor of the original.

Though, maybe you had to watch one of your pallies auto-run into a wing of Naxx while he was AFK pretending to be in bed so his mother wouldn't kick his ass to get the humor in the first place.
posted by davros42 at 3:51 PM on May 29, 2012

Like it was by someone who didn't understand what made the original so satisfying and awesome - anarchy, not ineptitude or a comedy of errors.

Maybe they are targeting non-gamers who are only vaguely aware of Leeroy Jenkins. As a non-gamer myself, I thought it vastly improved on the original which I find pretty much impenetrable. I was only able to follow the original video after reading up on the incident on Wikipedia. This was by far my favorite of the three video remakes. The other two are just too far removed from their original source material to hold my interest.

Then again, I do agree with jedicus' blown opportunity remark.
posted by marsha56 at 4:13 PM on May 29, 2012

Good lord, cmoj, that audition reel is a work of Pure Genius!

"Wooooooooaaaa! Unaccustomed as I am to public speaking..."
posted by Dreadnought at 5:15 PM on May 29, 2012

Amateurs 3, Professionals 0.

Here's a relevant anecdote from Polanski's memoir Roman by Polanski from the time when he was studying at the National Film School in Łódź in the mid-1950s.
There were constant wrangles over which directors allowed form to predominate over content and how hard it was to maintain a satisfactory balance between the two. Theses written by students in their graduation year were full of such aesthetico-ideological jargon, which I found fascinating but, at the same time, sterile and inconclusive. The relative importance of form and content was brought home to me in an unexpected way. One day Cybulski turned up in my room with a briefcase full of film and told me to get hold of a 16 mm projector. (...) I managed to extract one from a private source. We closed the shutters, hung a sheet on the wall, and the show began.
It was a collection of silent, scratched, and battered old porno films dating from World War II, almost certainly of German origin, which Cybulski had unearthed in Gdansk. All the porno cliches were there: the man peering through the keyhole watching a girl masturbate, the ugly seducer having sex in socks and suspenders, the couple surprised in mid-fornication and the lover hiding in a closet while the husband takes up where he left off. They were pathetic pieces of work, badly filmed, ill lit, and out of focus, but we watched them spellbound. Pathetic or not, they were sexually titillating. More than that — not that I ever dared produce them in evidence at a film school debate on the subject — they were proof that content could triumph over form!
posted by elgilito at 5:28 PM on May 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

It's weird that the tagline is "Anyone can upload. Few can [insert skill here]." but then the actual films themselves pale in comparison to the originals except for Charlie Bit My Finger, which bares pretty much no resemblance to the original anyways. In a straight comparison, it's the amateur videos that remain the most memorable, which basically says all that talent and production money is basically useless. In other words, anyone can make an awesome video, and you don't actually need any of the skills listed, but come see our short films anyways. Okay then?
posted by chrominance at 6:02 PM on May 29, 2012

Sometimes spontinateity is better than choreography.
posted by narcoleptic at 6:39 PM on May 29, 2012

The update was slick and competent (and interesting choice of genre to bring Leeroy into the "real world") but dull, poorly paced, and lacking any of the humor of the original.

I only watched the Leeroy Jenkins clip as well. It drew a spontaneous laugh when Leeroy said his name -- but that was because of how richly humorous the original film was. When it came to the creativity of the filmmakers behind this little enterprise -- sorry, but it was a sad, pale effigy of the original.

And here's another thing: I'm an old man. I don't play computer games. However, that didn't stop me from understanding and appreciating the context in which Leeroy's activities took place. I was interested to see how they were going to recreate the Warcraft world in a live action movie, and shifting the action to a supposed heist story was so disappointing. It was obviously done to keep costs down, added nothing at all to the story -- and that whole schtick with the dropped radio was just dumb, lowest common denominator slapstick, completely lacking the rich subtlety that made the original Leeroy film so great.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:00 AM on May 30, 2012

The original Leeroy Jenkins video is all about the triumph of fun/anarchy over elaborate planning. This show is all about how professionally-made films are better than Youtube videos. It seems like a strange choice, even before you get into the barely-rewritten dialogue juxtaposed with "few can write".

It's weird how their instinct is to remove the humanity and reality that made these videos so popular in the first place.
posted by Kaleidolia at 3:14 AM on May 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

Nthing the point that others have made better: they completely missed the point with the Leeroy Jenkins one.

And the director is clearly a lazy hack. His shorthand way of indicating that Leeroy was an incompetent goofball was to make him bald guy with his fat belly hanging out.

Anyone can direct. Only amateurs create spontaneous magic.
posted by barnacles at 3:53 AM on May 30, 2012

Only watched Charlie Bit My Finger, but really, a zombie movie is a great innovation that it took some rare individual to come up with?
posted by Clustercuss at 8:58 AM on May 30, 2012

I suspect it went down something like this:

A - Hey, just the man I wanted to see. I loved that movie you made with ... the ...
B - The sassy robot?
A - Yes! That film is so great. It had such a great sense of humour. And that's why you'd be perfect for this project. See, we're going to take these viral videos, and then remake them, only better. It's to promote the festival.
B - Better? How?
A - Well, whatever you come up with, I'm sure it'll be brilliant. Because you're brilliant.
B - ... So do I get paid? Because I sunk a bunch of money into the sassy robot movie and nobody's been screening it.
posted by RobotHero at 10:22 AM on May 30, 2012

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