Brow Beat

Say “Hello” to a New Sort of Viral Video?

Still of Harry Waters, Jr., in the video mashup “Hello.”

Most viral videos tend to follow a few familiar formats. Remix this trailer, compile a supercut of this small trope or phenomenon, tell me what X subset of people says—or just Buffalax, lip dub, or tell me what Hitler’s so upset about this time. Last week, Press Play asked readers to mash up film clips with Bernard Herrmann’s iconic score for Vertigo (in response to The Artist’s copping of same), and the prompt unleashed a flurry of surprisingly evocative results, but even then the format wasn’t entirely new. The point is that finding the template for a new meme is the real breakthrough. Strong execution always helps, but genuinely new blueprints are rare.

Which is why it’s so exciting when you see something like Vimeo user ant1mat3rie’s… well, I’m not sure what to call it. Basically ant1mat3rie edited various Hollywood classics (E.T., Braveheart, Being John Malkovich, Magnolia, and Schindler’s List are among those to lend voices to the opening verse) into a karaoke cover of Lionel Richie’s “Hello.” By the time Inception comes around, one begins to suspect it’s just a matter of time before we have, say, this year’s best picture nominees covering Rick Astley.

Of course, as the AV Club already pointed out, this is the exactly the kind of creativity that could be smothered by SOPA. Watching something as good as this, you can’t help but want to see where these endangered videos will go next.