Not-So-Stupid Vine Tricks
April 18, 2015 4:30 AM   Subscribe

If 4-year-old Ava is the Queen of Vine (previously), then 23-year-old Zach is the King. That's his name, Zach King, and he has gotten 2.9 million followers with his skillful use of practical and digital effects to cheerfully do the impossible in 6 seconds. Here's a five-minute compilation of his most popular Vine bits, and here, as part of a Red Bull promotion is "How He Makes a Vine", a Rube Goldberg process with several impossible transitions.

King first got onto YouTube making How-To videos for the video software Final Cut, but went viral with his "Jedi Kittens" 1, 2, 3, followed by others, including Searching for Pikachu (and finding him) and his latest "Indiana Bones and the Raiders of the Lost Bark".

But his biggest hits are his 'Vine Magic' tricks, from a 'quick change' to a visual recursion.

He shows unique ways to get around (some better than others), or get out of traffic, or just get off-the-ground.

He uses his friends (sometimes rather roughly) and his family in his Vines, but he's more likely to make himself the victim of a vacuum cleaner, a bed, a fan, an ice bucket or a wading pool.

He features animals in his Vines too, including cats and kittens, mice, dogs, birds, bunnies, gold-fish, and his least favorite - baby chicks.

He shows how Vines can make some real money (or use money - sometimes strangely).

One of his favorite props is the Rubik's Cube. But he also plays with his food: fruit, breakfast, pizza, popcorn, pie, and other edibles.

And sometimes he lets us see how his tricks are done (but not often enough).

But if you want to see it all, here's a 15-minute Vine marathon (that's 138 individual Vines. Whew.)
posted by oneswellfoop (18 comments total) 48 users marked this as a favorite
They're fun to watch, thanks for posting.

A lot of those effects are detailed by Film Riot, who's example videos have much the same comedic vibe. It is really remarkable how powerful and easy to use After Effects is.
posted by kisch mokusch at 4:58 AM on April 18, 2015

I thought you could only use the vine app to record video which limits you to practical effects--not upload video output from something like after effects. Is this not the case?
posted by sexymofo at 5:11 AM on April 18, 2015

I want to love this guy but I worry about kittens and other animals chucked about. I wish one of the animals could tell me that it's all cool, bro, settle down.
posted by angrycat at 5:57 AM on April 18, 2015

Note: if an animal ever tells you it's cool bro, and to settle down, it is unlikely to actually be a good idea to settle down, because something is almost certainly uncool bro
posted by DoctorFedora at 6:28 AM on April 18, 2015 [8 favorites]

I do love this guy.

Sorry little chick, but the peep-into-live-chick thing was totally worth your momentary discomfort. Love, Insensitive Human
posted by hwestiii at 6:42 AM on April 18, 2015 [2 favorites]

I'm impressed with both the technical cleverness needed to pull these off, and the sense of humor and showmanship.

Now that he's conquered the world of six-second clips, it'd be interesting to see to what Zach King can do with his skills in longer/different forms. The "Indiana Bones" video is fun, but "animals parodying human pop culture" seems like it's been done enough that it's practically a genre now, and so that doesn't seem quite as inventive as his shorter vids even though I'm sure it was a lot of work.

Also, when "Indiana" escapes the "cave," he leaves the golden bone behind! What kind of canine treasure hunter is that?
posted by Nat "King" Cole Porter Wagoner at 6:59 AM on April 18, 2015 [2 favorites]

If Georges Melies were alive today, he would be freaking out.
posted by Strange Interlude at 7:09 AM on April 18, 2015 [7 favorites]

So would everyone else.
posted by Ian A.T. at 7:14 AM on April 18, 2015 [14 favorites]

Dude would be 154 years young.
posted by maxsparber at 7:31 AM on April 18, 2015 [1 favorite]

He'd be on Periscope tho.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:48 AM on April 18, 2015

Can someone tell me what's going on in the "tricks" link? Is that a flatscreen monitor (can't be, right?) or a green screen or what?
posted by eugenen at 8:27 AM on April 18, 2015

Can someone tell me what's going on in the "tricks" link? Is that a flatscreen monitor (can't be, right?) or a green screen or what?

It's just really basic AfterEffects (or whatever the kids are using these days), I think. Just a picture-in-picture composite thing.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:01 AM on April 18, 2015

One of those cable prank type shows features these shorts at the end. Damned if I can remember the name, though.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:13 AM on April 18, 2015

Two of my teenage sons spend a lot of time editing Minecraft videos that, unfortunately, few people watch. When I showed this to boy number 3, he got exited that such videos were possible. Then I showed it to boy number 2. After he quietly watched the entire video, he said, "I'm really going to have to step up my game."
posted by double block and bleed at 10:42 AM on April 18, 2015 [11 favorites]

Kids toy unboxing videos (these are weird and my daughter loves them) and exotic spider unboxing videos > minecraft videos

For Vine layperson youtube seems to be a better venue for taking the best of it in. Funny to watch kid friendly best of streams and keep shushing them from one video to the next as they catch themselves recapping a clip verbally in the middle of the next. Ask your doctor about super ADHD; today's distractions are nothing like the distractions you indulged in during the 70s. People have been working nonstop increasing the potency of all forms of distraction and it's like a whole new drug.
posted by aydeejones at 4:11 PM on April 18, 2015 [1 favorite]

Sleight of edit.
posted by bz at 11:37 PM on April 19, 2015

Huh. I've never used vine as a content-donor, but I was under the impression that you had to use their app to record, or it wouldn't go up. Being able to do digital editing in post seems like a cheat, and I'm no longer as impressed by the things I've seen on there.
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 11:53 PM on April 21, 2015

rum-soaked space hobo: there's an app for that.
posted by bz at 9:49 PM on April 29, 2015

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