Candid Camera, Amateur Style

spencer.jpgWhen my Bored at Mall” was featured on I was reminded how much people like real reactions to staged situations. It’s what made Candid Camera, Punked and “Trigger Happy TV.”

This weekend we did two similar videos, which are currently topping the list of most discussed and highest rated comedies on YouTube (see image below). It began when my nephew’s friend, Spencer, showed up at our house eager to make a video. He’s been watching my videos, and volunteered to do practically anything.

So on Saturday, we took Spencer to the library with a fart machine (see “Farting in Public” on YouTube, Revver or Metacafe). Thanks to Brad Aronson for inspiring this prank. If you select “more” below you’ll see the dozens of honors it has at the moment, including top-rated comedy of the day today (as decided by viewers).

Hundreds of viewers fell for Spencer immediately, so he showed up for more on Sunday. My patient wife watched the kids while we took Spencer to the center of town — where he posed as a talentless caricature artist. (see “Ugly Caricature” on YouTube, Revver or Metacafe). It was fun watching people react to receiving a stick-figure caricature from the hopeless illustrator.

most.jpgWhat’s even more fun is watching how different people respond. For instance, most kids reacted immediately to Spencer’s fake farts. But adults tried diplomacy. And few wanted to insult Spencer’s art skills, so they mostly pretended to like his drawings. A few even gave him tips. I just sat there giggling behind the camera because I’m a grown-up adolescent.

If Spencer’s parents permit, we have more plans for the guy that reminds many of a G-rated version of the “Man Show” kid. I’m hoping he’ll wear a chicken suit and reluctantly hand out fliers for his dad’s new fast-food chicken restaurant. Pipistrello has already volunteered to play his angry dad, who gazes from a distance as Spencer quietely tells people the chicken has simonella.

P.S. I try to provide posts to YouTube, as well as to sites that share advertising revenue with me (Revver and Metacafe). YouTube is fun because you can read the crowd reactions. But if you’re going to post a link to these, I’d obviously prefer Metacafe or Revver… since YouTube still doesn’t pay.

Honors for “Farting in Public” as of 3/26/07
#43 – Most Viewed (Today) – All
#4 – Most Viewed (Today) – Comedy – All
#34 – Most Viewed (Today) – English
#3 – Most Viewed (Today) – Comedy – English
#57 – Most Viewed (This Week) – Comedy – All
#7 – Top Rated (Today) – All
#1 – Top Rated (Today) – Comedy – All
#7 – Top Rated (Today) – English
#1 – Top Rated (Today) – Comedy – English
#56 – Top Rated (This Week) – All
#17 – Top Rated (This Week) – Comedy – All
#17 – Top Rated (This Week) – Comedy – English
#12 – Most Discussed (Today) – All
#1 – Most Discussed (Today) – Comedy – All
#12 – Most Discussed (Today) – English
#1 – Most Discussed (Today) – Comedy – English
#77 – Most Discussed (This Week) – All
#15 – Most Discussed (This Week) – Comedy – All
#15 – Most Discussed (This Week) – Comedy – English
#12 – Top Favorites (Today) – All
#4 – Top Favorites (Today) – Comedy – All
#11 – Top Favorites (Today) – English
#3 – Top Favorites (Today) – Comedy – English
#28 – Top Favorites (This Week) – Comedy – All
#16 – Most Linked (Today) – Comedy – All
#82 – Most Responded (Today) – All

39 Replies to “Candid Camera, Amateur Style”

  1. LOL It was fantastic, I’m glad you’re moving into this area. Can’t wait to get home and watch his drawings! Do you tape from a distance to avoid the subjects seeing you?

  2. Spencer just showed up at your house eager to make videos?? and you agreed??

    I’m on my way over.:)

  3. Sukatra- come on over. 🙂

    Tripple- the audio and image was horrible from a distance, so I just decided to pretend I was a tourist and walk around with the camera. I was only spotted by a couple people. I need to get a wireless mike and two cameras to make these work better.

  4. Like I’ve said on comments on youtube, this kid is pure gold. The fact that he just showed up willing to do anything gives him a ton of cool points. The Man Show kid was exactly what I thought of when I watched the drawing video. Not sure his parents would want him hitting on college girls but the chicken suit idea is hilarious.

  5. The Ugly caricature is priceless! I almost lost it when he stormed off and threw the clipboard down!! Can’t wait to see more.

  6. What really made me laugh was you trying not to laugh in the background, very infectious.

    Are these kids related to you? Whether or not they are going to have some funny stories to tell their kids when they grow up.

    I agree with TH and I think you found a fertile nitch, this could be the one! I’m ready for a new candid camera and Nalts as host/provocateur … I’d watch. You need an agent man!!!

  7. It’s my cousin’s friends- so no relation sadly. I’d adopt ’em though.

    Yeah- I don’t know what agents do or how to find one or how to pay ’em, though.

  8. sounds like something youtube hasn’t explored yet, video interviews for hiring an independent agent, with disclaimer of course

    agents take a % of the paying jobs they get for you. No jobs, no pay. Probably why some of them work so hard.

  9. Wow, look at all those honors! If I would have known that farting in public is held in such high esteem, I would have done more of it years ago. How about taking the show on the road? Farting in New York. Farting in Boston. Farting in L.A. Hey! International farting! Farts Gone Wild in Paris!

    jischinger is right. You need an agent.

  10. Nalts, if you’re serious about agents, let me know. There are a ton in the area, but not a lot I trust. I’ve worked with a lot of them – could give you suggestions.

  11. hahah that lil boy is a quality actor! I don’t think I could have held a straight face!!!

    Ahhh the false innocence of children….. lol

    In the UK theres a TV show, Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway, and they have a ‘little Ant n Dec’ and basically the kids go aorund doing a similiar thing – shocking people when they say, or do, very adult type things that just go against the typical sweet innocent nature of kids lol

    This reminded me of that, especially the street artist one where he stormed off lol

  12. Hah, get Charlie, Patric, Greg or Katie to lie on the floor crying in the middle of a crowded area. Then have Spencer run up to him/her and scream ‘I want my money now, or you’re dead’ then maybe some fake violence… The on-lookers reactions would be fantastic.

    Ever seen ‘Wonder Showzen’? – That would be awesome to parody.

  13. I’m going to bring the fart channel to a major network. So maybe I do need an agent.

    Liam- I do have the caritcature but for some reason the fart one didn’t post. Will try again.

    Tripplehelix- you think wifeofnalts would go for htat “money or dead” concept. 🙂

    Marquis- you were doing enough farting, you just didn’t have a camera.

  14. Nalts, do you have your “victims” sign release forms to show their image online? You zoom right in on several faces, including several minors. Or are you banking on the fact that these individuals are in public spaces?

    I guess my question is, how do you qualify “fair use” of these individuals’ likenesses, especially when they appear on YouTube and Metacafe (who make money off of advertising) and it’s not newsworthy material.

    So, in the event that you don’t have release forms and this is not fair use, who does the parent of one of the punk’d children sue? I guess YouTube would hide behind safe harbor laws (afterall, you uploaded it), but YouTube is making money off of advertising surrounding the videos.

    Wow – it’s ponderous man….ponderous.

  15. TV shows have the publics reaction all the time, its only if they come to you and request to not be shown that their faces get blurred out, otherwise the assumed decision is that you may use their face.

    Thats UK law anyways, hency why there are sooo many ‘punk’d’ style shows on UK tv

  16. this is halarious… u inspired me to disturb public even more than i do

  17. “if you are in a public place I think you are fair game”

    See, that’s the thing, we all “think” it’s fair game, but it’s probably not – at least not in the US. You can only get away with this on the web, because WillVideoforFood is a YouTube or Metacafe “user” so it’s not the site’s fault that he’s using people’s likenesses without their permission. Anyone in those videos would have the right to send a take-down notice to the author because their likeness is being replicated and appears with advertising.

    If WillVideoforFood wanted to submit any of his videos to a program like “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” ABC would not and could not air it without clearance from the individuals featured in the video. From ABC’s site…

    […] 5. … All persons appearing in the clips must sign consent forms and/or releases (which shall, among other things, grant to Producer the right to use such person’s name, voice and likeness) before the submission can be eligible for prize awards. A custodial parent or legal guardian must sign the consent/release form for minors. Failure to provide requested releases and/or consents will result in disqualification of entrant. These release and/or consent forms will be provided by the Producer. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the submission of a videotape constitutes the submitter’s permission to use the videotape (and the name, voice and likeness of the submitter and all persons appearing in the videotape) in and in connection with the program and all exploitations thereof, including, without limitation, advertising and promotion, in all media, and, further, constitutes the submitter’s representation that all necessary consents and permissions therefor have been obtained. […]

    This is not unique to AFV, this is law in the US, which is muddied up online by the DMCA, giving safe harbor to anyone who enables the uploading of such content. However, it doesn’t necessarily protect the content creator. In all likelihood, this wouldn’t turn into a lawsuit, but it could, is what I’m getting at. In the case of Metacafe, WillVideoforFood is actually getting paid for punking these individuals, so that makes this extra ponderous because they may have qualify for damages, collecting on the $ made off their likeness. Just because all of this is *doubtful* to happen doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen. And the fact that these individuals were in a public place when you shot the video isn’t steady ground to make a rights case — less like ground, more like quicksand.

    The easiest way to avoid all this? Have some clearance forms in your backpack and make people sign them, blur the faces of minors unless their parents sign a release form. If you want to make money off of this online and be legitimate, then produce legitimately. The fact that your video appears online exonerates no one from that responsibility. Big advertisers aren’t staying away from the YouTube’s of the world simply because of all the copyrighted content. The fact that content is produced so wrecklessly (no matter how hilarious), often disregarding privacy and fair use laws, is another thorn in their side.

    So you’re a content creator and want to make a living online? Do the advertisers and your fellow content creators a favor and produce responsibly. When an agency approaches you to buy your video for a TV commercial and you don’t have clearance forms from adults or parents/guardians, you’ll be kicking yourself…hard.

    Just sayin, is all…

  18. I’ve never posted on anyone’s site before, but I have to say–I’ve also never watched a video so many times on YouTube as “Farting in Public,” and I’m glad there are plans for Spencer to be in future videos. Everything about him (right down to his name!) is absolutely perfect. If he doesn’t develop a cult following, something is wrong. My husband loved him, too.

    Give him a pat on the back for me, and tell him he has some big fans in Wichita, Kansas.

    Go Spencer!!!

  19. should do more farting videos… I can’t stop laughing when I see them… the most funny thing is to see ppl reactions and cry of laughter! Thank you. Laughing is healty (farting as well!).

  20. This stuff is almost like americans funniest video’s, but better.

    I’d imagine that you could collate all of the spener vids together at some pointand then release a DVD.

    LOL, made me wet myself.

    Thanks for the happiness

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