Tag Archives: filming

Going Viral

17 May

CEll Phone

Howard was obsessed with making a viral video. He was constantly filming in the hope of catching a magic moment that would be shared worldwide by hundreds of millions of people. It was starting to affect his relationships with friends and family. Furthermore, it was affecting his sanity and decision making.

Howard once got a taste of what it might be like to have a video go viral. He caught his cat peeing on his bed while making a funny face. The video got 50,000 hits on YouTube; a good start. A still shot of cat’s face was turned into a mildly popular meme. This helped fuel Howard’s obsession.

Howard filmed himself sleeping, eating and even using the bathroom. When it was brought to his attention he was trying to do this so masses of people he didn’t even know would watch and possibly give some kind of worthless internet point, such as a like, he shrugged it off. A co-worker suggested that he stage a video. Howard rejected the outright. He considered himself a purest.

One night he heard hissing in his backyard. He ran to see what it was. He tripped over a rake that he didn’t see because he was fumbling with his phone to film what was happening. Just as his foot caught the rake, he hit record. The phone flew from his hand. It landed on two parallel wash lines in such a way that it continued recording perfectly from a good aerial vantage.

Writhing on the floor in pain, Howard saw what the commotion was about. A raccoon had his cat cornered on the porch. Its overly aggressive behavior and the foam coming from its mouth indicated one thing; rabies.

Howard had hurt his leg badly and was completely immobilized. He breathed a sigh of relief when he saw that the phone was recording. He said a quick prayer asking that his fall had been recorded as well.

When he focused his attention on his cat, his emotions were torn. On one hand, he loved Mr. Dinkle and didn’t want anything to happen to him. On the other hand, if the raccoon tore him to pieces, he’d have it on tape, sure to generate a lot of views and likes. The problem with that was, depending on how violent and bloody the attack was certain platforms like Instagram may not allow such a video. That would greatly reduce shares and in turn, decrease viralability.

His brow was dripping with sweat. He had decided on rooting for the attack to happen. There was a chance it would not get too violent, therefore able to go viral. No attack would mean no video and all would be for naught, unless the raccoon and the cat hugged it out, but that was highly unlikely. He saw an opportunity to guarantee the attack.

He reached for a fallen broom to prod the raccoon. This would surely provoke the attack, he thought. The plan backfired. The raccoon turned around and attacked the source of the provocation.

At first, it bit his boney hand until moving on to the much fleshier face of Howard. His nose was gone in one bite. His cheeks were shredded and his neck chewed on before the raccoon darted off into the night. Howard passed out in pain and in a pool of his own blood. He woke up the next day in the hospital.

“You’re lucky your neighbor heard you groaning” the nurse said. “But you are not out of the woods yet. You are all infected and the rabies could still be fatal”

“Where’s my phone?” was his only response.

The nurse rolled her eyes and pointed to the stand next to his bed.

He went right for the video. The whole attack was caught on tape. He was ecstatic, though smiling hurt and one would never know with his half missing face. He immediately uploaded the video.

He obsessively kept checking his stats for the next few hours. The only hits registering were his from going to the video to check the stats. “What’s a guy gotta do to go viral?” he said aloud.

Over the course of the night, Howard slipped into a coma. He didn’t make it until morning. The rabies took him to where there was no internet access.

The news picked up the story. First it was only local news, but the story showed to have legs. The cable news channels picked it up. There wasn’t much going on that day and they had 24 hours to fill. And fill them they did. Hours were dedicated to the story. Rabies experts chimed in, urban wildlife experts debated with urban planners and talking heads about the future of the raccoon in modern America.

In the meantime, the video blew up. By noon, it had millions of hits. There were already parody videos and a few reaction videos. It was a trending topic on Twitter. Howard finally went viral.