MEDA302 Wk1: Prank videos are trash, but Rickrolling is an art.

This week we looked into what constitutes art, craft, and research, and how these terms work together and what they can mean. The group I was in was made up of Shaun, myself and Nathan. Each of us has an interest in digital media, but we decided to look into other interest which may fall into our categories of art, craft and/or research. This included film making, Dungeons and Dragons, poker, 3D modelling, numbers and Pythagoras’s Theorem, and prank videos.
We decided to focus in on prank videos, as they were an interesting conflagration of craft (with there meticulous construction and detail in editing and set ups) and research (figuring out what will attract views, how to influence viewers into sharing, and what will attract attention in public), yet significantly lack in their art value.

It was an interesting medium, as many Youtube content creators (which is where most prank videos are found) would consider themselves artists or some degree of film maker, yet very rarely would a prank video be considered as such, despite the fact that there’s substantial evidence that they attract more views.

For example, here is a recent comedy sketch by Thomas “Tomska” Ridgewell. \

Here are the people involved:

-Written and Directed by Thomas ‘TomSka’ Ridgewell (http://youtube.com/tomska)
Produced by Rebecca Hewett (http://twitter.com/beckahewett)
Co-Written by Eddie ‘Eddache’ Bowley (http://youtube.com/eddache)
Cinematography and Colour Grading by Ciaran O’Brien (http://twitter.com/ciaranobrien)
Editing and Camera Assistance by Elliot Gough (http://youtube.com/elliotexplicit)
Music by Todd ‘LilDeuceDeuce’ Bryanton (http://youtube.com/lildeucedeuce)
Visual Effects by David ‘Hoolopee’ Post (http://youtube.com/hoolopee)
Sound Design by Dan Pugsley (http://danpugsley.co.uk)
Sound Recorded by Tommy Bartlett (http://twitter.com/bomtartlett)
Baby Painting by Chloe Dungate (http://youtube.com/scarfdemon)
Produced by Colour TV (http://colourtvlondon.com)
1st Assistant Direction by Matt Holt (https://mattholt.co.uk)
Focus Pulling by Matt Choules (http://mattchoules.co.uk)
Art Direction by Amelia Annfield
Production Assistance by Rebecca Day
Location Management by Rupert Bowkett
Assistant Production by Leah Draws
Gaffer & Camera Assistance by Rachael Hutchings (https://twitter.com/HutchRachael)
Sparking by Oren Locke and Dylan Gillah
Police uniforms & vehicles provided by Uniforms & Weapons Emporium UK

Featuring Matt Rook as The Chief (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm4092360/)
Lee Nicholas Harris and Chris Martin Hill as Policemen (http://www.imdb.com/company/co0468831…)
Eddie Bowley, Elliot Gough, and Dale Monie as SCO19s
with Chloe Dungate, Jack Gilmour, Astrid Clark, Matt Ley, and Kat Inglis as Hostages
and introducing Wynter-May as Baby With A Gun

This video has, in its two months since release, garnered 1.8 million views. Impressive!

However, this video, a sequel to the incredibly successful Chair Pulling Prank Part 1, has managed to get itself a whopping 3.4 million views in just one month!

 

As you can tell from watching, one clearly has more time, effort and professionalism put into it. So why has this simple prank video managed to outshine a polished piece of work?
That is exactly what I aim to discover over the next few weeks.

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