VideoViral Video

Three Types of Viral Video: 1. Did That Happen!?

By March 2, 2012 2 Comments
Johnny Bravo dropping his jaw to the floor

At The X Gene, we love researching video. One of the types we dissect is viral video. From our crazy experiments and field research, we’ve noticed there are three general categories of viral video. We try and direct our clients to these when discussing video productions, and now you can see what we’ve got to say.

The first viral video category is Did That Happen!?.

(See also: 2. Funny Bone Activation and 3. Sexy NSFW.)

These are the sorts of videos that make us doubt whether we’re seeing special effects or something incredible and real happening before our very eyes. They require heavy special effects, and are best accomplished through a shaky camera style or low resolution, faked ‘camera phone’ look. Making the video look like it was done with a camera phone adds to the illusion that the recorder just happened to be there at the exact time, or was running with a group to capture the amazing event. These videos require substantial planning, funnily enough, because the effects in post-production require a great deal of time and money. Compositing is hard enough, let alone compositing over the top of a poorly-lit jet that jitters and blurs in the frame.

Marc Ecko tags Air Force One… or does he!?!?!

The Did That Happen!? style of viral video is shared and passed around because people want to show one another this amazing thing they’ve seen. They feel the ‘wow’ in their gut, as if they were watching it live, or had seen something secretly amazing that no one else has yet witnessed. Passing it on to a friend or family member endows the sharer with a feeling that they found it first, and are exposing it to the world via their Facebook, Twitter or blog. They want their friends to feel that ‘wow’ as well, and love being the ones who gave them that ‘wow’.

OMG! Look at this squirrel. Real? Probably!