The Typhoo Video Project Developer Diary 5: Social Video

The biker cinema prank set up by Carlsberg is perhaps my favourite social video. Something simple, yet very much effective. If I walked into a cinema full of huge beefy guys in bikers gear I’d be close to wetting myself, but I think I’d make it there. I’m not sure a cinema would give you a refund on their extortionate ticket prices for being scared of the other people. Imagine if an actual biker couple turned up? My Typhoo Tea video is going to be a social one and I’ve been looking at the different types to research how mine should go. Browsing Youtube = Research. Awesome.

The next video which grabbed my attention was this little supermarket stunt. The planted flash mob freeze to cause much confusion to the regular shoppers, though unfortunately most just carry on as if nothing has happened. If everyone froze before me I’d think I was going nuts, then proceed to high tail it out of the store. Unless you are forcing the victims to become involved with the concept, like the biker stunt, you’ll just end up gaining unsatisfactory results. I’ve considered maybe having a few planted victims to make sure at least some of the results work when filming. Maybe artificial, but bound to make more entertaining viewing. If I had no shame I’d rip the freezing concept right off though. No movement beats lots of movement. Creepier.

Now we witness something I’m going to be steering clear of. Dancing groups make up the vast majority of flash mobs and they all seem to blend into the same end product. Public area, people dancing together and happy times are had. I’d do full on dancing if I could have more control. Public interaction outside of the script scares me a lot. Having a few people witnessing the mob like the biker prank feels much more focussed and gives clear results. I wish I had a big scary group for my video! Oh wait, I think I do. I know some scary students, indeed.

Besides, the best use of dancing in public has already been done as seen above. Small location, one result and a million times more satisfying than the large-scale flash mobs I’ve seen. I’d love to ‘borrow’ this advert and replace it with a gentleman’s tea party inside the lift instead. Maybe that can be an extra… This video doesn’t promote anything and is a prank rather than a flash mob, but it is definitely brilliant. Pretty much everything Remi does is. Menace to the public, hero to the internet.

But now I’m slipping away from flash mob videos and going elsewhere for my inspirations. This scene in The Shining will hopefully captivate what I’m aiming to do with my own video. There won’t be animal suits, but can you imaging walking into a small area and have every single person turning to watch you?

It seems flash mobs are a series of people acting weird in public to push people out of their comfort zones, but mostly just have people walking past with disgruntled looks. The only social result tends to be from the group united rather than the outside world jumping on in. Gain some control over events though and things work a lot better though it stops being a flash mob and more a controlled prank. I think the freezing would have worked more on a train perhaps, keep the victim stuck with all the frozen people. So I’m going for small, controlled and focussed. And inspired by The Shining. Going to be a bit strange isn’t it? A social prank/flash mob hybrid.

Wouldn’t have it any other way.

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