Film: A Series of (You)Tubes

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(NOTE: There are many links to many different sites and videos on this post. Some of them may include disagreeable content or language. But you should come to expect that. This is the internet.)

In this day and age, it’s very well known that visual entertainment can be found not only on televisions and in movie theaters, but also abundantly online.

There’s Myspace Video , Vimeo, and the like, but the reigning champion of online video is now and probably forever Youtube.

The thing about Youtube is that anybody can post whatever they want on there. So there are some really good videos, and a lot more awful videos.

Many people are already aware of stuff like “Will It Blend?“, “Ask A Ninja,” and “Chocolate Rain,” but I want to bring to attention a close-knit group of filmmakers that are creating a staggering amount of great videos (and, yes, some actual movies) on Youtube.

A group of friends in schoolmates in Boston and Kingston, Massachusetts, seemingly do nothing but make funny videos with eachother.

The most prominent (or at least my favorite) three filmmakers of the crew would have to be Neil Cicierega (NeilCicierega), Ryan Murphy (Vicious516), and Max Pacheco (MarcoBat16).

Max Pacheco is the Youtube director I have most recently become a fan of. Studying at Emmanuel College, he’s active in the school’s theater, and is accomplished enough an actor to have been invited to a few prestigious acting competitions in Massachusetts.

Max’s videos are often a lot of fun. They often carry the same dry cynicism that Max himself possesses onscreen. He is currently entrenched in a project he is calling “Video-A-Day,” which consists of him uploading a new video to Youtube every single day for the month of February. Some have been really great, and some were obviously put up just so he’d get a video up that day. It’s a fun project, nonetheless, and it’s spawned some great stuff, such as his lambasting of the common usage of the word “Random,” and his recreation of the “Dark Knight” trailer.

Other Pacheco highlights include “Kyle,” the surreal case of mistaken identities, “Intercourse,” an almost too-close-to-life recreation of dating, “MarcoBat16 is Home Alone,” in which the film “Home Alone” and reality come to a crossroads, and a video in which he plays a new Dance Dance Revolution game for the Wii, with disturbing results.

Ryan Murphy goes to Emmanuel College along with Pacheco. Along with doing a lot of live-action filmmaking, Murphy also dabbles quite heavily in stop-motion animation and claymation. Some of his best videos come off of a common theme that he keeps riffing off of: “Jazz” and its sequels “The New Elevator,” “The Patient,” and “He Wants Butt“; “Wacky Blasters” and three of the sequels (the other being directed by Max Pacheco, and quite different from the others); and his difficult-roommate story “This Union Forever,” in two parts. He has some great one-off videos as well, like “Ryan Murphy’s Beowulf” and “12 Steps to Getting a Kitten.” Ryan Murphy is also the director of the 40-minute short film retelling of “The Wizard of Oz” he championed with Cicierega and others, “No Place Like Home,”which was completely written, filmed, scored, edited, and sold (on Cicierega’s website), by Murphy, Cicierega, and company. Ryan Murphy also has extremely nice hair.

Finally is Neil Cicierega, a friend of Murphy’s from their hometown of Kingston. Cicierega first gained notoriety in 2001, when he, 14 years old at the time, created “Hyakugojyuuichi,” and a new genre of animation, known as Animutation. A musician as well, he has self-released nine albums, including “Dinosaurchestra,” which featured “The Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny,” which was made into a hugely popular music video by another flash animator.

The work that’s really made him huge with the Youtube crowd is “Potter Puppet Pals.” It started out as cartoons of a puppet show starring the main characters of the “Harry Potter” books, until Cicierega’s parents made him actual puppets, which he’s used to make the majority of the “PPP” videos.

Cicierega’s Youtube channel is one of the most popular on the site. Besides the “Potter Puppet Pals” videos, Neil has created a number of absurdist short films like “Filed Away,” “Umbrellas,” and “A Short Film About Toast.” He has also made a great video for one of his songs, “Word Disassociation,” and for other people’s songs as well. Some of his newer highlights include “My Benjamin Franklin,” “Celebrity Party,” and the sublimely insane “Rugrats.”

So, don’t come complaining to me about there not being any decent movies in theaters, because firstly, I know, and secondly, I just gave you about a day’s worth of entertainment.

–Brad Canze, the CM Life Movie Dude

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