Thumbs Up! Season 4
Adventure travel / Hitch Hiking Series
Director, Producer, Photographer
Not yet released.
24hr reddit video ama variety show
The AMA in Reddit AMA stands for "Ask Me Anything" — to me, it's the modern Johnny Carson show, when you are there, all eyes are on your and your responses. The public is watching. The main difference being that the interviewer is an amorphous blob of thousands of internet users. The subject of the interview posts an introduction, then anyone can log in and ask them a question.
Similar to The Carson Show (or Letterman, Leno, Fallon, Kimmel) — sometimes the "guest" is a noted celebrity, sometimes it's an expert in a particular field (like an animal trainer) and sometimes it's an every day guy or gal that had something remarkable happen to them.
The idea for an all-video Reddit AMA event came when I saw so many of the interviews were short, stale, and not very informative or revealing. There was no respect for the audience, or the venue. Reddit's slogan is "The Front Page of the Internet" — I would go a step further and say an AMA is like a combination of a Johnny Carson interview and the front page of The New York Times. With that kind of attention, why were people putting such little effort in?
I decided instead of 1 hour (a short, lame AMA), or even 4-5 hours (showing pretty good dedication), we would do a full 24 hours. A whole day, from 12:01AM until 11:59PM. What it ended up turning into was closer to a late night-style variety show than a simple interview. We had celebrity guests, comedy sketches, talking puppets, stunt performers, and musical acts.
During the 24 hours, 150 videos were uploaded, about one every 10 minutes.
The videos below are selected reposts of just a small portion of the videos that had up to 400,000 views each.
The day started at 12:01AM in bed with Asa Akira, and Dan the Automator (Gorillaz, Handsome Boy Modeling School, Deltron 3030) producing a live lullaby soundtrack.
Each question got it's own unique video response. Sometimes musical, sometimes a comedy sketch, sometimes a live-action stunt.
By morning, we were joined by Joseph Marcell, who we had invited to the warehouse to reprise his role as Geoffrey the Butler from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Apart from serving as David's butler, he co-hosted the middle part of the show, reading audience questions and bantering with David.
There were musical breaks throughout the day in the form of improvised music videos.
Here's one with rapper KRNDN freestyling, backed by David on drums, legendary musician and producer Money Mark on keyboard, and flanked by a tapdancer, a 60 year old free spirit, and Dave's accountant Bobby Tomato.
Here's one with Edison, who mashes on a 64 button Monome controller to create his beats while framed by two sculpted beauties.
In the middle of the day, it was decided that the show should spill into the outside world. We posted this video, inviting anyone who was watching the show from within 20 miles of Los Angeles to write in, and we would pick someone to have David and his graffiti artist friend Saber come to their house and destroy it with spray paint and sledgehammers.
After being awake for 36 hours, David was fizzling. Who better to give him a pep talk than Yuji Okumoto - AKA Yee Sook Ree, the drag racing obsessed Japanese immigrant who learned all of his English from watching Howard Cosell on TV, from the 1985 film Better Off Dead?
After his pep talk and news that a blind date had been arranged, David was reinvigorated.
At 9pm, he showed up at Aubrey Plaza's front door. The date was broadcast from an iPhone, on the fly, in 8 parts.
Aubrey and David had never met before we knocked on the door, on camera.
Before we left the warehouse, David grabbed an old nude portrait painting he had done in high school and presented it to her as a housewarming gift. It kind of looked like her. Aubrey was on Conan a few weeks later, you can see her version of the story here:
After the date, we went over to the contest winner's flower shop in Koreatown. David and Saber painted murals inside and on the storefront. Flowers were sent to Aubrey to thank her for a nice time.
The painting was nearly finished, and a group of 8 happy, well-dressed people show up at the flower shop. Are they having a funeral at midnight on a Friday?
"Hi, we're the singers."
I had forgotten that earlier in the day, I asked our producer that if there was any money left in the budget at 11:30pm, to send an 8 piece gospel choir to wherever we end up. And there they were.
"Can you sing a song of the beauty of life, but with an emotional sense of closure?"
The gospel performance was eventually remixed by Edison and included on "Into the Limelight" — The hip-hop album of David's accountant, Bobby.
This is eight seconds of painting, filmed on a high speed camera and interpolated to over two hours in length. The desired effect is that of a still image photograph where motion is only perceived if you stare at it for 30 seconds or more.
Air Munko I "High Flops"
THE CRITTER FACE TEE
DVDASA Video Podcast