Online Viewers Think Everything is Real

The LonelyGirl15 debate is really about the authenticity of online videos. For some reason people think that online videos are real, and don’t understand that they’re allowed to be fiction.

I present two examples.

  • America’s Funniest Bloopers” was a spoof we did of America’s Funniest Videos. I never imagined people would debate its authenticity… one comment even pointed out that the electricity effect (a standard iMovie effect which is about as fake as they come) was the telltale sign.  It was, you see, pointing the wrong way.
  • Computer Falls from Car” is a bit different. It was a stunt that is supposed to look real. You’ll see some 56 comments debating the authenticity of it. Nobody picked up on the continuity error where the computer is facing two different directions in different cuts. It fell the first time and we weren’t rolling tape.

So maybe I needed a big disclaimer on the AFB one that says “THIS IS PARODY.” What about the second? That would kinda kill the humor of it, wouldn’t it? In LonelyGirl15’s case a disclaimer would have ruined it.
Story telling or a dupe? You decide. At a reference conference the panelists were split down the middle on this one.

P.S. Keep in mind that most television shows don’t exactly start with “this is fiction” disclaimers. Even the faux reality television shows.

13 Replies to “Online Viewers Think Everything is Real”

  1. Yesterday at work, just for fun, I moderated anyone’s comment that suggested it was fake as -1 boring. Any commenter that said it looked real got a +1 insightful.

  2. Nalts: “at a reference conference”? What’s a reference conference and how can I get one?

    Zack: what is this moderating of comments thing you speak of? Where is it done and how?

    I feel like an outsider today.

  3. P.S. I swear to Yahweh’s beard that Americans are getting dumber than a bucket of rocks. I think television broadcasts SHOULD put “fiction” disclaimers on their programming.

  4. Especially on news broadcasts…

    Anyways truth and television makes me think of this little known story of the evolution of one famous sitcom from the 60’s, did you know that when they filmed the original episodes of Gomer Pyle they actually filmed them at an actual Marine Base and that they had culled Jim Nabors and the guy who played the Sargeant from the actual ranks of the Marines. It was going to be an early example of “reality TV” before the term even existed, but then the cast, who’d grown up in the vaudevillian days, despite being hardcore Marines, naturally fell into the old rhythms of vaudeville-type humor and instead of representing reality as they had planned, they just followed in the paths of the current sitcoms of the day. Then, you know, Nabors started singing old time classics, and the producers decided their reality show was a failure and cancelled the show. They later cashed in when it was syndicated as a comedy. But it was really going to be an inside look into the military. True story. I don’t need to remind you of the real truth behind Get Smart’s Control and Kaos, do I? Like, the creator of Cellular Phones got his idea from Max’s shoe phone…Oh yes…

  5. Star Trek was also supposed to be a reality show. Then realized the astronauts they recrtuited couldn’t act. And the aliens weren’t frequenting the set so they had to make some using the ears of GrumpyBird.

  6. Well I heard “Gunsmoke” was supposed to be a reality show based on Tonopah, Arizona after a bad Sam Peckinpah movie “Junior Bonner” (1972) starring Steve McQueen, featured the town.

    (McQueen plays a rodeo star who, while on the circuit, returns to his
    hometown of Prescott, Arizona. His ne’er-do-well pop is played by Robert Preston. His Mother is played by Ida Lupino.)

    Well, the story goes, twice in the movie dialogue (mentioned by both
    parents), TONOPAH was mentioned. It must’ve beeen the first time in Hollywoodland that TONOPAH was showcased before the masses and it attracted the attention of two unemployed Hollywoodland screenwriters who were enthralled at the idea of a place called ‘Arizona’.

    Of course, my own personal trials and tribulations in TONOPAH, Arizona, the city that never bathes (low water table), made me more interested in THIS story of an early failed TV reality show concept.

    For those who’ve never visited TONOPAH and its gas stations along Highway 10, I recommend it as an alternative vacation site if tickets to hell become sold out. You can see where “Gunsmoke” originated!

  7. BTW, TONOPAH is currently being featured as the set location of certain Japanese automobile commercials, says my P.A. pal, Right Angle Al. So once again, TONOPAH, the town that never bathes, has gone Hollywood.

  8. Marquis, on MetaCafe you can moderate anyone’s comments, and if they manage to get 3 negative marks, then that comment is hidden.

    ZeFrank, how did you know the name of the bird is GrumpyBird?!

  9. I can vouch for you if you’re interested in a membership. It’s rather exclusive. If the AVI thing bothers you, send them a CD-ROM of your best stuff via fed ex to Israel. That’s what I did. Some dude made $20K on a video of him doing flips like Matrox.

  10. Actually, they allow WMV and MPG too if you can ever figure out EXACTLY what format. I seriously have tried different WMVs encoded the same way, and some work, some don’t.

  11. Interesting story…

    I’m a deputy at which means I get a little deputy blog on his page and I’m supposed to promote the website. Well, I did a video of me passing out flyers, and we did one scene where we found this “random kid” and took him to the computer lab without his parents permission. The kid was actually my friend’s kid, but it caused him to state specifically on the site:

    “Don’t video tape kids who are not with their parents. Make sure that the people you talk to on camera are old enough to make a decision about being on video.”

    It was hilarious. Anyway, the video got aired on Tom Green Live with the kid part edited out. Again, funny.

    By the way, this post inspired me to make this video last night. I decided to do a video about fake technology.
    (feel free to change that to whatever affiliate number you wish)

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