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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Viral Video-Makers Hit Vegas

Fun piece from the LA Times last Sunday: They conquered the 'Net in two original minutes: HBO's "Viral Videos Live" brings Internet acts worth millions and millions of hits together in Las Vegas.

From Richard Rushfield's story:

    In December 2004, before the dawn of YouTube, the then-18-year-old [Gary] Brolsma sat in front of his computer in his parents' home in Saddlebrook, N.J., and whiled a few moments by performing an energetic lip-sync into his webcam to an obscure song by the Romanian pop band O-Zone. He then posted the video to a user-generated site called Newgrounds so he could share his creation with a few friends. Two weeks later, his grandmother awoke him one morning saying there was a TV news crew at the front door and his answering machine was filled with messages from reporters demanding interviews. What followed was one of the first viral video explosions in Web history, as the "Numa Numa Dance" video was forwarded, linked to, imitated and parodied.

    And nearly two years later, he found himself at Caesars Palace, flown in by HBO's TheComedy Festival for "Viral Videos Live," a night of onstage video reenactments of the groundbreaking works of the new medium. Assembled together on one stage in a rejiggered conference room would be the stars of the new era, headlined by the young man who just a week later was to be awarded a lifetime achievement award at age 20, Mr. Numa Numa Dance himself. About 200 people were in the audience.