A couple of months ago, Best Buy employee Brian Maupin ended up in hot water for making a video about someone trying to buy an iPhone. He got in trouble (and was briefly suspended) because his video makes fun of obsessive iPhone fans. Here it is:
I find a couple of things interesting here:
1. The deadpan delivery of the actors is the main thing that makes it funny.
2. There are no actors.
This video, created on a site called Xtranormal, takes your script and turns it directly into a cartoon complete with computerized voices for the animated characters. It seems like a horribly cheesy effect, but I think they’re onto something big here. The animation compels you to watch and listen. If it were just a naked script, you would be unlikely to read the whole thing. So the animation places a critical role, BUT improving technology means the animation is essentially free.
Put it all together, and I’m guessing we’re going to see a lot more of these little movies, and others like it. And sure enough, just yesterday I came across this video about the lame efforts of a film maker to “hire” a sound man for free. The format is similar to the iPhone video above: clueless loser won’t listen to informed hipster. Ironical slacker sarcasm, it would seem, is a good fit for monotone mechanical deadpan. And it really is ironic that this ultra-cheap video is itself about a guy who is trying to make a movie on the cheap.