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tv   Caught on Camera  MSNBC  March 12, 2012 12:00am-1:00am PDT

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who wouldn't want to believe you couldn't walk on water. it's sort of goofy and its sort of silly but what's that makes it funny. >> how do they do it? >> a good magician doesn't give away his tricks. >> but we do. "caught on camera" viral videos, how, what, why?
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i'm contessa brewer, when i look at the web's most popular videos, the ones that go viral, they have me going back and looking at them again and again to try to figure out the method to their madness. we all want to know what on earth made them try that and how did they catch it all on camera? >> a few people have tried it. but no one has done it near to what we did it today. >> have you ever witnessed a miracle? >> it's like impossible. me, my boots and i, we're going to make it. in april 2010, an incredible
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video hits the web making millions believe in the impossible. a new sport is introduced called liquid mountaineering, essentially walking on water. could it ever happen? >> who doesn't want to believe that you can actually run on water? >> and you see that image of somebody actually doing it and it's exciting. >> you're going one step, going two steps, going three steps? >> we're discovering it as we go along. >> it feels like any other documentary you see about any other extreme sport. >> it shows the background of the athletes and their training and their preparation. >> it's not straying into the water.
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any curve and by that bend, you're actually not allowing yourself to sink into the water and you want to keep that feeling sensation going as long as you can. >> i think if you don't actually believe you can actually walk on that water, it's not going to happen for you. >> belief maybe, but also some magic shoes. >> liquid mountaineering is actually a clever advertising for the high-tech shoe company. >> the original equipment, it first all started was equipment that would help repel water. >> the moment i realized that i was watching the ad, when they sort of close in on the shoe. and they say this shoe is how we were able to do it. >> it's like water repellent. >> if this was right when we would achieve a lot of our goals which is to make people feel cool and look at our product differently.
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>> you actually see the athletes failing again and again. >> that lent some real credibility to the video. and most people that saw this video thought it was real. it's definitely a fake. >> wait, not real? if it isn't real, how did they do that? the it features three extreme sports enthusiasts. >> we needed them to be believable, we needed them to be athletic and we needed them to be a good bit of fun. >> being able to walk on water is not a requirement for the cast. so what went into that biblical special effect? >> they created a wooden
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platform underneath the water that the guy actually ran on. weights are used to hold it in place. >> it was a flexibility, bendable platform, and when you see it tip back and forth, it actually looks really, really real. >> i think the worry was that these people thought it was fake straight away, then it wouldn't have worked. >> with the effect complete, high-tech launches the video online. >> we wanted a real conversation starter. whether people loved it or hated it, whether they believed it or didn't. we wanted everybody to talk about it and that's what happened. >> it created a splash, racking
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up millions of hits in just a few days. >> it's so unbelievable that that's what makes it funny. >> i think every little boy as a dream of wanting to be able to do this and it brings back memories. >> there's videos of copy cats for whom liquid mountaineering is -- >> high-tech creates a safer method for budding liquid mountaineers, an online video game. >> we have got sharks in it, lairs popping up, and it's just great fun. >> whooo! >> believe it. >> go! go! go! >> there's an element of something real in it too.
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>> walking on water may be impossible for us mortals, but you can still take away important life lessons for many of us. >> believe in it, don't think of it as a miracle, just do it. >> you fall down, you try again. coming up, a couple of guys and a pair of sunglasses play stump the experts. when you ask yourself when did this stop being real? >> you start with a trick and then do a harder and harder trick.
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>> maybe you can figure it out. >> a good magician doesn't give away his tricks. >> when "caught on camera: viral videos, how, what, why" continues.
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check it. >> whoa, check it is right. two characters get ready to roll south only pretty wild tricks. >> it looks like two slackers playing around and it looks like a stupid human trick. you can see somebody who practices all day long because they don't have a job. >> the tricks escalated from a very simple trick to an increasingly harder trick and harder trick. >> and it gets more and more unbelievable. and when you watch it, you ask, when did this stop being real? >> a lot of viral videos are really meant to pitch a brand without really looking like it. >> i was approached by -- i
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spent a lot of time just sitting on the couch with a pair of sunglasses and had them in my hands and was thinking, what would be a good trick. >> why settle on just one trick? mark benzo and his partner start performing some stunts. >> according to the laws of physics and gravity, it's possible in theory. i just kind of wrote that line of theoretically possible, which is good. >> certainly theories abound on the internet, all kinds of viewers have all kinds of explanations for how the boys do it. but the filmmakers are not talking. >> got it. >> i like to keep the mystique a
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good magician doesn't give away his tricks. there was just a lot more planning that went into it than some people realize. >> there were hundreds of videos of kids trying to do the same thing, discussing whether in fact it was real or fake. >> i remember people commenting that he has magnets in his head, or steel plates in his head, and i started telling people, magnets. >> the most ambitious of the silver painted characters are character disillusion. >> it's two shots and the first -- pulled toward the hand by an incredible invention the string. so the video is played back in so the video is played back in reverse where there's a straight forward shot. in the moments he was on to us
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but he was never completely nailed. but he was very confident in his breaking down. >> the interstate board is the reverse shot using the string. hoarse a clue. listen to the sound of the skate boards were backwards. >> the skate board was definitely the hardest to figure out how it's done. >> that was the hardest to pull off. it took about 52 takes. something like that is really hard. >> as we get through the video, our rolling behind the scenes became more and more complicated. as someone's watching the video and think they know how we did the first 49 tricks, then the data is blown.
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>> i first saw the reaction that stephen has with his ice cream cone in his handmade me laugh for about 20 minutes. and that was kind of when we knew we had a hit. it was just the best thing ever. >> yeah, i had about 12 ice creams. and then the car one was, like, ridiculous. it was like, you know, how do we make it even harder? nail them into a moving window. >> and there's some pain involved in catching sunglasses. >> hard glasses being hit in the feet. . >> it's a real staple of viral videos on the web and brands have jumped into that concept completely. it's a great way to get discussion going around the video.
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>> once the video is ready, josh warner and his company take on the job of what they call feeding to help it go viral. >> we have a network of blog relationships that we have with hundreds of blogs all across the web. so we know the influences that will help propel a video to popularity. >> it's a different way to express the brand and it's a way that's more modern that traditional advertising. >> we have to never -- it's not a blatant in your face spot. >> that was a great catch. >> did you get that. >> but many do notice the ads, like the judges at the cannes film festival. >> i have been making videos for a lot of years and wanted to get into the cannes film festival. and this little video won an award at cannes.
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coming up, an earth shaking boy meets girl story. >> we shot about 2,355 photos. >> with a cool trick with one of the oldest camera tricks in the books. >> and speaking of so many photos. >> nobody knows if it's fake or if it's real, it has the same amount of work in it. >> when "caught on camera: viral videos, who, what, why" ter even after you take it off. neutrogena® healthy skin liquid makeup. 98% saw improved skin. does your makeup do that? neutrogena® cosmetics.
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perdue is the first and the only chicken company to have usda process verified programs for fresh, all natural chicken. our chickens are not fed steroids or hormones. [ jim ] we raise our chickens cage-free. we're trying to make a better chicken. hey, guys, thank you for checking on this latest video. this video is probably the craziest i have ever done. >> it's a simple boy meets girl story told in a really unusual way. >> this is sort of like when you have some magical fantasy of a
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photograph coming to life. and it's people playing with their cameras. so the story line is also about the sort of medium they're using with all those little photos. >> this is a great sample of stop motion photography. the filmmaker created a bank of frames and he's actually moving from one frame to the next. >> most motion videos are 30 seconds or a minute long and they kind of punch you in the face. the allure with this one is that it's four minutes long and it takes the time to tell the story and it moves at a fairly slow place. >> you shoot one frame at a time in rapid succession. >> i was shooting with a digital srl. and it's able to take about 50 frames a second. so we acted out the entire scene acting incredibly slowly. we had to mark down where the five photo frames would be, so
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when it jumped from friend to friend we would be able to gauge. >> when i saw the picture right above him and then you rales there's a system to it. >> we just decided to push it a little further and use stop motion inside of the frames and do stop motion again for the entire scene. >> kind of wonder how he set up the frames, what kind of techniques he used. it would be really interesting to know. >> the entire scene there at the george was actually made up of two photos. we started with brian walking on the right side of the frame and
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we shot a corresponding scene on the left. when you combine them together, it starts to kind of make the scene. we have got five photo frames along the top and five photo frames along the bottom. and as a final step, we dragged it into the sides of the photo flames that we needed and we exported the photos in a sequence one by one. you can see how something like that has turned into thousands and thousands of photos. we shot 2,353 photos, give or take. >> the shots inside those frames aren't digital, they're actual physical photographs. why bother? >> since they're a photo printing company, we wanted to use real photos. so we sent those off to boston for quick print to print. they sent them back to me, all these photos. >> they shot the whole scene
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itself in stop motion, one frame at a time for 11 hours. >> it's not in the millions just quite yet, but most importantly we have had the demographics that we wanted to be back, we want the photographers who are going to use quick pick. >> part of the magic is the fact that somebody actually did all of that. >> so many photos. >> you want to talk photos, meet israeli filmmaker iran amir. >> this idea popped into my head
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and from the moment i thought about this, i knew i would have to make it. >> amir calls his video 500 people in 100 seconds. and what is that, a movie in their hands? >> this is a great, great video. you've got all these people being photographed and then there's a whole scene going on within the photograph that they're holding and you're looking at the people, but you're also looking at the video that they're holding. >> this video was made in two parts. the first part making the music video was easy. when i heard the song, i knew immediately this is the song i'm going to use. it have a catchy tune and it's on for 90 seconds, which for me is the ideal length of a video. i used my sister and my brother and my friends.
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>> it's so perfect that it's really hard to understand how the picture on the inside could be so smooth and pretty when everything was flashing very quickly. >> people don't know if it's fake or if it's real, and if it's real, it had an insane amount of work in it. >> the first thought is that he must be using some kind of digital tricky to put his music video inside the picture. not this time. as he turned out, he shot the black and white movie, but then he had it divided up and turned into still frames. >> amir took his 96 ---a he then took to a printer for hard copy. >> i got a box weighing in at almost 20 kilograms, and almost 1,000. and not even knowing if this is going to work. and then i realized how many work i had ahead of them. >> then amir had to go out and find someone to hold up the picture in order. >> the first day i went out to
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the streets of jerusalem and i didn't have anything. i didn't have enough courage to ask anybody. and then after two days, i said to myself, well, i'm too deep in this, i spent thousands on it, i have no choice, i have to do it. >> part of the magic is knowing that there's actually 500 different faces there, that's 500 people different people there, and that's amazing. >> it gives us an analog feeling that you can't get in a different way. >> i break through on the second day of taking pictures, i put it back home, i put it all in the editing software and i only had to see four seconds of it and know that i have something really cool in my hands.
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>> what's even more amazing is nearly a million and a half views in the video's first 3 1/2 months. >> some of the youtube covers say it's not 500 people, it's 436 people, and to get that sort of attention and interest online, it's absolutely incredible. >> we knew this was going to be a viral video. i do have to admit i didn't expect a million views. coming up, a photography studio shows just how complicated taking one single portrait can be. >> we use almost every piece of equipment that anybody's ever owned. >> like some mad scientist's
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intricate system so you can take a picture? >> i thought this is fun, this is interesting. by the end i was like pulling my hair out. i actually had nightmares about it. the machine. >> when "caught on camera: viral video, how what why" continues.
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>> welcome back to "caught on camera". i'm contessa brewer. the web has as many viral video s as there are people to make them. how rube, how go you take your portrait? ought to be pretty straight forward, right? not in this video, by a small photography company looking to get noticed. >> we decided to shoot a machine and just take a tote photo in as complicated a away possible. >> they created a photo machine that you can't take your eyes off. >> we used camera bodies, we used lenses, we used little
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tripods, large tripods. make stands. we used a conveyor belt which was kind of difficult to get your hands on. >> this is an amazing video. you have all sorts of actions causing other actions and you just can't believe that any one person could make all this happen as it's happening here. >> can you imagine like some mad scientist to put together this intricate system so he could take a picture. >> the term rube goldberg machine is a famous american who was known for -- >> getting from concept to reality takes more than six
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months, 25 people and many sleepless nights. >> it was trial and error. >> build an element, pray that it works, if it does, build the next element. and we had 253 elements. >> i thought this is fun, this is interesting, and at the end of it, i was pulling my hair out. i was actually having nightmares about the machine. >> i think one of the most complicated elements actually, a very painful thing to set up. >> i think my favorite elements in the machine is the little mario on the screen that jumps across. >> it doesn't like mario. >> they have hundreds of
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synchronized moving parts and every one has to work from beginning to end in sequence, without stopping. >> we decided not to edit the video and try to get it in one take, because i think as a viewer you would want to see it in one take, and not have transitions to different camera angles. so you definitely have to learn the timing and learn what's going to happen and i had to choreograph the movements with the camera so i had to learn dance moves, in and out and twisting and turning. >> it's an amazing amount of work. >> every time i would do a take, take 93, this is the one. and i was on the 99th track. >> i think people really relate to the amount of work that's required to put something like
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this together. >> from the very beginning, we knew that it was going to be go big or go home kind of deal. >> my parents called me up and said, oh, i saw the video, it's got 10,000 views. i was like just wait. >> it was a viral video smash hit. >> it was fun. i was happy i did it once. but to be frank, i never want to do another one of these machines ever again. >> coming up. 1,000. >> got 77 hours to spare? >> evidently this guy does. >> 4,000. >> they say the journey of a 1 --
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>> 10,000. >> clearly this guy has to get a day job. >> 13,000, 14,000. >> when caught on cameras, how, what why continues. ♪ [ female announcer ] gross -- i'll tell you what's really gross: used dishcloths. they can have a history that they drag around with them. for a cleaner way to clean try bounty extra soft. in this lab demo, one sheet of bounty extra soft leaves this surface 3 times cleaner than a dishcloth. it's super durable too. it's the cleaner way to clean. bring it with bounty extra soft. in the pink pack. and try bounty napkins. splenda® essentials™ no calorie sweetener with b vitamins,
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new york has never been cuter, the big apple as a little toy city in a video gone viral. >> it's sort of like toys brought to life. it reminded you when you used to play as a kid, you would make
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little towns and that's really where it came from. >> and look, someone else made a miniature chicago. >> it's just a different view of the city. and i was thinking, you know, i would love to get something people can relate to and enjoy. >> what's really fascinating about this is that you really can't tell if it's real or if it's military sets. when you first see the -- it's almost like it's back pedals. >> if you guessed model toys, you would be wrong. >> this is the tilt shift photography, it's a method of where you're actually shooting down at an angle and it really focuses your attention on certain scenes and the people in those scenes. >> people use actual tilt ship -- >> the things that makes it feel
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like toys is a combination of two things really. the first thing is when you see the focus is falling off, that immediately queues you to think that's small. and the second thing is the acceleration. >> instead of shooting,santsds of still images, tony created top motion in his video camera. >> we dpe sided to shoot video instead of still photography just because the process of is a little easier and quicker to do. each shot is like two seconds long.
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>> the strobe effect is what gives you the stop motion look. and the color correction, it's the saturation where it can look miniature and toy like. and the lower layer is the one that has the defocus or blur on it that really has you focus on the subject. >> tony's bosses at wgn loved the results. ary miniature chicago has become a youtube hit and their most popular on air promo. >> i think it's such a hit because people love their city, and chicago is a great town. >> i have seen the city look different, sort of charming and harmless in a way. >> sam called his new york video
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the -- it has 750,000 hits. >> it's something that i thought would maybe generate some interest to me. but i didn't expect it to go the way that it did. >> you almost get the feeling that every city wants to have it because when you're seeing your own city that way, it's familiar but different and it lets you see your own city in a different light. gee whiz i wonder how high i can count. let's find out, one, two, three, four, five, six. >> and so it will go for more than 70,000, no flash no tricks.
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he's going to keep counting all the way up to 100,000. >> 15, 16, 17, 18. >> 24, 25, 831, 832, 833, 834. >> this video is legend on youtube. the concept is so simple and absurd that you really want to see if he's actually going to make it to 100,000. >> 2,789, 2,790. 2,803. 2,804. 2,805. >> one of the comments on youtube was from a guy who said he went to stay for the weekend and came back and the video was
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still playing. clearly this guy has to get a day job. >> i shot the entire video on a little ipod touch. parts of it were at my school. i actually shot part of it at my sister's wedding. i was just a little bit bored so i left and counting. >> 80,012. >> how john does it certainly isn't very complicated. but the big question is why, for pete's sake. >> i went to college and our final class was to make an experiment film. the assignment was extremely open ended. i just wanted people to question what makes a video entertaining.
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>> the best part is that nobody's going to watch the whole thing. you almost wonder if he stuck in little jokes on the inside that nobody ever saw. >> 61,438. 61,439. >> and while some people may think man needs to get a life, what about all the people out there who are actually watching this? >> i think it became a real contest of wills as to whether anybody could actually watch the whole video. >> i know i missed 99,990, 99,992. >> people keep calling me telling me i missed a number. throughout making the video, there were several phases.
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at the beginning, it was kind of peaceful and actually relaxed me to going it. part of the reason i originally did it was so that i wouldn't have to write a script, i wouldn't have to hire actors and stuff. but about the middle of it i actually thought it was more work to count to 100,000. >> 99,798, 99,799. >> john's video doesn't stop with the counting. >> youtube has a 20 gigabite limit so it's tough getting 77 hours of video down to 20 gigabits. most programs have a time limit. most of them are 12 hours.
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so. >> his claim to fame, more than half a million views and still counting. >> that's sort of the magic of the internet that in can be something that nobody else did. it might be counting to 100,000 and maybe nobody else wants to do it, but it's his forever now. >> 100,000. >> i have had lots of complements when people tell me i missed a number. >> coming up, two kids from germany run into trouble with a magic trick. and then it gets worse. >> holy crap.
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is that kid okay? >> you're about to find out. when caught on camera, viral videos, how, what, why continues.
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two kids attempt one of the oldest tricks in the book. >> let's start the magic trick. we can do the old table cloth out from under the stuff on the table trick. >> they tried it again and again. >> everybody knows what it is to be the kid trying to do this trick and failing a whole bunch of times. >> you keep expecting for something to happen. >> and then something does. >> oh, my god, the kid gets crushed. >> you have to sort of scream the first time you see it. >> holy crap, is that kid okay? >> you're wondering what the heck happened. >> don't worry, nobody was hurt
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in the making of this video. it was a marketing trick for the gop variety theater in germany. >> you just sit there and you look through wide eyes and it's very fascinating. >> we have about 700,000 people coming to our shows every year. >> you just sit there and you look through wide eyes and it's very fascinating. >> we have about 700,000 people coming to our shows every year. >> however, the theater wants to attract a younger demographic, they hire filmmakers dominic and matt to create a video to gasp people's attention. >> we went on youtube and found out that accidents of children and accidents of animals are a big sensation on the internet. >> how could they ever lie to you and make a fake viral video? >> dominic inlists his brother
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and cousin to star in the piece. >> it was roughly explained to me that we would be doing the table cloth trick. >> they had to do multiple takes attempting the trick. >> they had to do multiple takes attempting the trick. >> we laughed a lot because we had to do everything over again. and everything broke. we liked that. >> the first three videos we made certainly set up the credibility of the piece. >> then the filmmakers come up with the real ta-dah moment. >> the table is set with just the table cloth, no dishes.
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and then he dumps into the shelf and falls to the ground. >> the directors prepare for the second shot. >> with the living room demolition a success. dominic and matt bring the video into edit. >> we brought both videos together. as if sven was able to pull the table cloth out from under the dishes and the shelf was falling on mchale. >> with the magic of editing police, the filmmakers are happy with the result. however they do notice one small mistake.
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>> in the front you see a pin that is slightly moving so there is a mast that's not running correctly. this could be a clue that this video is faked. >> in august of 2011, the theater launches the magic show online. it tricked viewers earning more than 10 million hits turning mchale and sven into internet celebrities. >> i think it's cool. >> my father suggested we print autograph cards. >> it went all over the world so people in australia and people in south america, they were watching our video, so that was really, really exciting. >> i think this video went viral because it's really well done. it's short, sharp and shocking. >> there's an immediate feeling of sort of surprise and of horror and then just wondering of where it came from and who
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made it. >> millions of others feel the same way and trace the video back to the gop theater. after the magic trick gone bad hits the internet. patrons flock to the video. this may not be the last year from mchale and sven. >> people have said, sven, you have the talent to be an actor. >> i want to move in that direction because i want to be and an for one day. >> the next time you click on a viral video, laugh outloud or shed a tear, you may not see behind the scenes. i'm contessa drewer.

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