Monday, December 18, 2006

First Wii Fatality - watching our video go viral

[Updated 17 January 2007: Please see note at the end of this blog post. Thanks.]

For the past couple of weeks Brian and Ross have been going on and on about the wonders of Wii, and how much they wanted to get hold of one. Soon after its release last week we started hearing about all the Wii accidents, where a player has accidentally let go of the Wiimote and it has smashed into the TV screen, shattering it.

The boys decided it would be quite fun to stage "The World's First Wii Fatality", film it, put it up on Revver, and hopefully earn a bit of cash with which to pay for their Wii. We did the filming on Friday night, after work, and Ross put it online straight away. Here it is:

For the first couple of days (over the weekend) nothing much happened, and when we arrived at work at 9am this morning the video had only had 5,000 views. Throughout the day we've watched it go viral. It's now 11pm and it's at over 45,000 views. The UK wakes up and goes to work in a couple of hours, and the US comes online a few hours after that. We shall see what happens next...

Here's the behind-the-scenes story of how we made the video...

Last week Ross spent a few hours making a couple of paper Wiimotes, with all the features printed on the paper, which he cut and shaped to match the real thing. He packed the three-dimensional shapes with tissue paper to give them a bit of strength so they wouldn't collapse when held, and put a coin in the end of the one he was going to use, to weight it. He attached the other one to the back of Brian's shaven head, and decorated Brian's skull with tomato sauce (which sadly didn't end up in shot because it was on the wrong side!).

We'd been playing on the Wii all day in our breaks, and so we had a pretty good idea of how the game worked when we came to the filming. Laura was in charge of the camera, and she and Ross practised a few dummy runs first to figure out what she should be aiming at, and when.

I'd been enthusiastically playing Wii tennis earlier, and they decided I should partner Ross in the game. I think it was just because I happened to be in the room when the filming started...

Ross and I were to play a couple of points of Wii tennis, then the "accident" would happen - all of which Laura would film.

Tom stood behind Ross and I, out of shot, with one of the real Wiimotes (I was holding the other one), and he played the shots for Ross, while Ross mimed the actions, holding his paper Wiimote as if it were the real one.

Ross and I were actually both standing on the wrong sides of the split-screen - I was controlling the player on the right while standing on the left, and vice-versa - but Ross/Tom needed to have the serve (which for the first game is given to the player on the left), so it was easier just to swap around, rather than have to play a full game with me serving before we got to Ross's service game.

After a couple of points had been played, Ross "served" again and this time he let go of the paper Wiimote, which flew out through the open door and out of shot. As the camera panned rapidly back towards the screen, Brian did his slo-mo face plant onto the ground, to reveal the Wiimote sticking out of the back of his head. Much screaming and appalling acting ensued, with the final words being given to Jon who yelled out "Somebody call 911" (we're mindful of our vast American audience, you see!)

We did three takes, with the last one being judged the best. No editing was necessary, we just got the timing right, and that was that.

What's interesting to me, (in addition to the fact that over 45,000 people have now watched me play Wii tennis badly and say "sh*t" on camera) is watching the thing go viral. We had good timing - it's the week following the Wii release madness and there's been quite a bit of interest in the "throwing the Wiimote at the TV" accidents - and we were also the first people to have the idea, film it, and get it up online. That's important. "The world's second Wii fatality" spoof video won't be quite so impressive.

This morning I googled around a bit and found a bunch of gaming and other blogs that had found the video and linked to it, but I get the feeling that this one's also been circulated by email - simply because I can't imagine 45,000 people reading those 15 or so blogs.

I think that's why we've had spikes throughout the day. This morning for example when Ross first looked we were at 5,000 views, then within a hour we were at 16,000. There were another couple of spikes this afternoon when the numbers seemed to go up really fast, and I'm guessing that was when someone else discovered it (or another country discovered it) and the email whizzed around another set of offices for an hour or two. By 6pm we were at 36,000. Europe's now at work, but the increase in numbers seems to be holding steady at between 1,500 and 2,000 an hour at the moment.

We shall see what happens tonight (NZ time) when America wakes up and heads off to work while we're safely tucked up in bed asleep. Ross and Jon reckoned we'd reach 50,000 by the end of the day, which I guess if we don't count again until 9am tomorrow, should be easily do-able.

Now I know that this is only a baby viral compared with, say, Where The Hell Is Matt? (currently at almost 5 million views) or the Free Hugs campaign (currently at almost 8 million views), but it's our video, and we had such fun making it (what an excellent team-building exercise!), and seeing as we didn't know if anyone would bother watching it, it's been a very fun few days indeed.

If you like it, I know Ross and Brian would be very happy if you clicked on the ad at the end of the video so they get their few cents from Revver - and I'll ask them if a bit of the money can go to homeless puppies and kittens or to saving the kiwi or something. They're nice guys. I'm sure they'll be up for that.

People who've linked to our video so far

[Updated 3 January 2007: I got one hell of a shock in the wee small hours of this morning, while idly checking my site stats. Instead of the normal 100-ish hits a day, the meter was showing over 2,500 hits yesterday and more than 1,300 in the last hour alone. Crikey! So welcome to visitors from The Inquirer - hope you like the video! Hope you like the rest of my blog too - have a look around! And leave a comment if you like... Comments are good...]

[Updated again 4 January 2007: A little over 24 hours later, and I've now had over 10,000 hits from The Inquirer, plus new links from a bunch of other forums that have picked up the link from there. Blimey! So now I really am blogging about blogging about blogging. Enjoy!]

[Updated 17 January 2007: It's hard for me to read this blog post in the light of the tragic death of Jennifer Lea Strange, who died of water intoxication after taking part in a radio station competition "Hold Your Wee for a Wii" in Sacramento, California. Our "Wii fatality" was a silly bit of over-acting, and none of us imagined that there would actually be a real Wii-related fatality - albeit one where someone was trying to win a Wii, as opposed to playing with one. I'd like to extend my sympathies to Jennifer Lea Strange's family and friends at this terrible time.]

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Anonymous said...

you're sick Wii puppies

You seen this cartoon?

Anonymous said...

Blogging about blogging about blogging.

Always enjoyable to read.

webweaver said...

heehee! thankyou anonymous! And thanks Zef for the great cartoon - vewwy funny! :)

el moco said...

that's crazy!! i actually posted this vid on my blog last year, but had no idea who made it. great job!!!

webweaver said...

Excellent, el moco! Thanks heaps for the link - and I'm glad you liked it


Artquest said...

Oh, look!!!! Webweaver is famous! I knew her when... And can I say how cool it is to see you in action again!

webweaver said...

Yaaay! Hello artquest! I'm so pleased you read my blog!

Long time no see... how's Clay? I'm so out of the loop.... Maybe I should go read the CH sometimes instead of DailyKos...


Frax said...

First of all i have to say, I got a wii and i love it. This video is too funny!... Well done guys! :D

webweaver said...

Heh. Thanks heaps Federico!