tv Caught on Camera MSNBC March 18, 2012 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT
"caught on camera" viral videos, how, what, why? 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 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. 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. >> 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 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. >> when i first saw the guy running on water i was nicely surprised. 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 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 pure fiction. >> 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. >> 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. >> 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. [ male announcer ] this is lois.
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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 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 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 reverse where there's a straight forward shot. in the moments he was on to us
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. they left you a clue. listen to the sound on the pavement. it's backwards. impressive backwards skateboarding skills. i want to see the outtakes. >> the skateboard 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. >> i first saw the reaction that stephen has with his ice cream cone in his hand made 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. >> 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. no logo at the end. >> that was a great catch. >> did you get that. >> but many do notice the ads, like the judges at the cannes film festival.
who awarded the bronze lion for advertising. >> i have been making films for a lot of years and wanted to get into the cannes film festival. and this little video won an award at cannes. 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. >> so many photos! >> 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" to roll over my old 401(k) into a fidelity ira. man: okay, no problem. it's easy to get started; i can help you with the paperwork. um...this green line just appeared on my floor. yeah, that's fidelity helping you reach your financial goals.
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way. >> this is sort of like when you have some magical fantasy of a 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 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 gorge was actually made up of two photos. we started with brian walking on the right side of the frame and
we shot a corresponding scene on the left. you can see when you start to combine them together, they start to kind of make the scene. we have got five photo frames along the top and five photo frames along the bottom. these five down here would be what we see on the bottom. and as a final step, we dragged it into the sides of the photo frames 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 click prints to print. they sent them back to me, all these photos. >> they shot the whole scene itself in stop motion, one frame at a time for 11 hours. >> we've had great feedback so far. 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 click picks. >> this film was edited digitally it would be less enchanting. 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 kind of popped into my head 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 has a catchy tune and it's got good rhythm for 90 seconds, which for me is the ideal length of a video. i used my sister and my brother and my friends. >> 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 trickery 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 music video and chopped it up into 2,000 photos and took to a printer for hard copes. >> 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 much 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 the streets of jerusalem and i came back with nothing. 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. >> having people actually holding the frame it gives it an analog charm, or analog feeling that you can't get in a digital way. my kind of breakthrough moment
was after the first day. i went back home and put it all on the editing software and i needed to see four seconds of it and i knew i have something really good in my hands. >> 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. >> this was intentionally made to be a viral video, to get as many hits as possible. i do have to admit i didn't expect a million views. so it purr passed my expectations. coming up, a photography studio shows just how complicated taking one single portrait can be. >> we used almost every piece of equipment that anybody's ever
owned. >> like some mad scientist's that put together intricate system so you can take a picture of a pretty girl. >> 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. people really love snapshot from progressive, but don't just listen to me. listen to these happy progressive customers. i plugged in snapshot, and 30 days later, i was saving big on car insurance. i was worried it would be hard to install. but it's really easy. the better i drive, the more i save. i wish our company had something this cool. yeah. you're not... filming this, are you? aw! camera shy. snapshot from progressive. plug into the savings you deserve with snapshot from progressive. chase scene, netflix coming soon extra butter tickets, swoon penguin journey junior mints moviefone evil prince bollywood 3-d shark attack ned the head 5% cashback
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i'm milissa rehberger. nbc news is declaring romney be be ahead in the puerto rico. the next contest is tuesday's primary is illinois. and the family of sergeant robert bales, the american soldier accused of a killing spree some afghanistan has released a statement saying they are stunned but stand behind the man they know as a devoted husband, father and dedicated member of the armed services. now back to "caught on camera."
>> 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. 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 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 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.
>> it doesn't like mario. >> they have hundreds of 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 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. that's amazing. i was like just wait. >> 3 million views later it is 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.
5,000. >> they say the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. what would they say about counting to 100,000? >> 10,000. >> clearly this guy has to get a day job. >> 12,000, 13,000, 14,000. >> when caught on cameras, how, what why continues. ful thing. but we couldn't simply repeat history. we had to create it. introducing the 2013 lexus gs, with leading-edge safety technology, like available blind spot monitor... [ tires screech ] ...night view... and heads-up display. [ engine revving ] the all-new 2013 lexus gs. there's no going back. the one you swore you could memorize. that's the all-natural straight from the earth sugar
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to keep big winter jobs on track, at&t provided a mobile solution that lets everyone from field workers to accounting, initiate, bill, and track work in real time. you can't live under a dome in minnesota, that's why there's guys like me. [ male announcer ] it's a network of possibilities -- helping you do what you do... even better. ♪ 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 me when you used to play as a kid, you would make 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 boat, it's almost like a miniature boat in a bathtub. >> how did these two videographers make tiny little towns out of major cities? 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.
>> there are sort of ways people make these tilt shift images. they use tilt shift lenses but then people found out ways to do it in post production. >> the things that makes it feel 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. so when you look at the boats and helicopters, they go up and down. >> he shot 35,000 digital images to create his stop motion effect. then played with focus and color in post production. in chicago, wgn tv producer tony also thought tilt shift technique would be a perfect way to promote his town and his tv station. instead of shooting thousands of still images like sam, tony
created stop motion in his video camera. >> we decided 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. >> 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. their miniature chicago has become a youtube hit and their most popular on air promo. >> i think i've gotten so many hits because people love their city. and chicago is a great town. >> i have seen the city look >> sam called his new york video
the sam pit. it has 750,000 hits. >> i didn't really expect the response to be as big and as positive as it has been. it's something that i thought would maybe generate some interest to me and would be popular, but i didn't expect it to explode 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 yet different and it lets you see your own city in a different light. >> gee whiz, i sure do love counting. i wonder how high i can go.
one, two, three, four, five, six. >> and so it will go for more than 70 hours, no flash no tricks. 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 spain for the weekend and came back and the video was still playing. clearly this guy has to get a day job. >> i shot the entire video on a little ipod touch. it has a front-facing camera. it was in my bedroom. parts of it all over pittsburgh. 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 the reception area, went upstairs and started counting. >> 80,012. >> it took about three months to make the whole video. >> how john does it certainly isn't very complicated. but the big question is why, for pete's sake? >> i went to college for tv
production. and our final class was to make an experimental film. the assignment was extremely open ended. i just wanted people to question what makes a video entertaining. and just do something different. >> 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. >> when i put it on youtube a couple people pointed out mistakes i made. i know i missed 99,991. 99,990, 99,992. >> people keep calling me telling me i missed a number.
throughout making the video, there were several phases. 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. 99,800. >> john's video doesn't stop with the counting. >> youtube has a 20 gigabite limit so it's tricky getting 77 hours of video down to 20 gigabits. most programs have a time limit. most of them are 12 hours.
so i had to do a bunch of research to find a program that was able to do it. >> so there it is, his pride and joy, his claim to his claim to fame. more than half a million views is and still counting. >> that's sort of the magic of the internet that there can always be something that you do that nobody else did. it might be counting to 100,000, which nobody ever wanted to do, which is why you're the only one. he's that guy forever now. >> 99,998. 99,999, 100,000. i've also had people tell me i'm an idiot. coming up -- two kids from germany run into trouble with a magic trick. and then it gets worse. >> holy crap! was that kid okay? [ engine revs ]
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>> hi. >> two kids, michakchael and sv. try 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. >> a trick that all of us have tried at one point. >> the budding magicians try the trick 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're in the zone expecting something to happen. >> and then something does. >> oh, my god, the kid gets crushed. >> you gasp and sort of scream
the first time you see it. >> holy crap, is that kid okay? >> you're wondering what the on earth happened. >> don't fear. michael and sven are not hurt in the making of the video. it's not a magic trick but a trick created for the gop variety theater in germany. >> gop is entertainment for all senses. you just sit there and look with wide eyes and it's very fascinating. we have five theaters in germany and 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 grab
people's attention. >> translator: we researched youtube and found the videos of children and the videos of accidents are very successful on the internet. we thought let's do a combination of both. >> the use of kids is a nice thing. they are so innocent. how could they ever lie to you and make a fake viral video? but they can. >> dominic enlists his brother svef and his cousin michael to star in the piece. >> translator: it was roughly told to me that we'd be doing a magic trick. >> they had to do multiple takes attempting the trick. >> translator: we laughed a lot because we had to do everything over again. and everything broke. we liked that. >> translator: the first three videos we made simply to support the credibility of the piece. >> then the filmmakers set up for the real tah-dah moment, which is made up of two shots. >> translator: first we filmed
the kid in the room, the table cloth and no dishes. he pulls the tablecloth away, bumps into michael who falls to the ground. >> they are sent out of the room as the directors prepare for the second shot. >> translator: we secured all cables and knocked the shelf over. >> with the living room demolition a success, they bring the film in to edit. >> translator: we then superimpose the two videos so it would look as if they were happening at the same time. as if sven was able to pull the tablecloth from under the dishes and the shelf was falling on top of michael. >> the magic of editing complete, the filmmakers are happy with the result. however, they do notice one small mistake. can you see it? >> translator: in the front you see a pen that is slightly
moving. so there is a mask that is not running correctly. this could be a thant the video is fake. >> you need serious attacks to detail to catch that one. in august, 2011, the gop theater launches the magic show online. it tricks viewers gaining more than 10 million hits and turning michael and svef into internet celebrities. >> translator: i think it's cool. >> translator: 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 not expected. >> 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
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, curious patrons flock to the theater in record numbers. this may not be the last you hear from young sven and michael. >> translator: family members have said to me, sven, you have the potential to be an actor. this is sven and this is -- >> michael! >> translator: i want to move in that direction so i can be an actor one day. >> the next time you click on a viral video and laugh out loud or cringe or shed a tear, remember there's a lot more to what you're seeing than meets the eye. i'm contessa brewer. that's all for this edition of "caught on camera."