Youtube is a regular Billy Crystal
Her breath hung in the sky, a stark contrast to the clear crisp air. The steel clouds held a constant threat of snow, hoping to join its brethren who had littered the ground the previous night. The woman was tired, her once good looks ravaged by age. Her face was a roadmap of lines, indicating the journey she had travelled in her previous 75 years. The first step on the stairs was unsure as she gripped the handrail tightly. The second step was more confident and her grip on the railing eased. With the third step she had grown cocky, her hand was removed from the railing entirely. This would prove to be her undoing.
The third step contained black ice and its initial meeting with her foot did not go well. Her limbs began to flail and in an instant she was airborne. She seemed to defy gravity, her feet occupying the space once reserved for her head. Her temporary ability to skirt the laws of physics was short lived and she cannon-balled to the pavement at maximum velocity. Someone thousands of miles away, at the other side of a computer screen, laughed. The old lady had become a Youtube sensation.
Youtube has solidified an idea already ingrained in us while watching Tom Bergeron and Bob Sagat poorly narrate “America’s Funniest Home Videos”. A person getting hurt is hilarious. Whether it’s grandma taking an unscheduled trip down the stairs courtesy of a patch of ice or a man getting hammered in the groin with a baseball bat, society’s heart smiles when people feel pain.
Youtube is lousy with videos like this but it is also overrun with lame videos of people ranting and raving about the most trivial things imaginable. It is also haven for poorly cut music videos based on their favourite television characters or their love of Japanese cartoons. Among the dreck there are some truly creative filmmakers who have embraced the medium in order for their work to reach the masses. One of these cats is Freddie Wong, a filmmaker who uses a blend of action films and video game visuals to create truly great short films. Here is a small sample of Mr. Wong’s work.