Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A Very Promethian Daily Double

 Hello, Educationeers and non-Educationeers! Cap'n Howdy is back with a special edition of the Video Daily Double: while we normally deal with educational films of yesteryear here on Wednesdays, the Cap'n is very excited for the release of Ridley Scott's Prometheus on Friday, so I'm going to educate you in a different way today. Today we're going to learn a little about "viral" videos. Now for the young Educationeers out there, this isn't something that's going to get you sick, but is instead a development of internet-based ad campaigns designed to get you involved in a movie before you can see it.

 While there are probably examples before this, the first example of "viral" marketing that caught my attention was for Steven Spielberg's A.I.: Artificial Intelligence, which used a series of websites designed to fill in ancillary information about the world of the film. Since then, shows like Lost and films like Cloverfield, The Dark Knight, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, and Super 8 have pushed the concept forward, moving beyond websites for fictional companies or people and included videos. These "viral" videos often give background for characters or cover parts of the story that may be interesting but nonessential to the overall narrative.

 Ridley Scott's Prometheus has a series of "viral" videos, purported to be "released" by the Weyland company, that deepen our understanding of the company's owner, their crown jewel of development, and a scientist who desperately wants them to fund her mission. It's more than two short films, but I thought it would be fun to show them to you all.

 Our first video is a fictional TED presentation from the year 2023, some sixty years before the film takes place.

 Our second video is a commercial from Weyland industries, introducing their android, to be expanded upon in the third video.

 Our third video, "Happy Birthday David," is the expanded version of the last clip, and focuses on the android that will be on board the Prometheus in the film.

 Our final video, "Quiet Eye," introduced Dr. Elizabeth Shaw, one of the protagonists of the film.

 What distinguishes these from clips from the film online is that we will not see these videos in Prometheus, but we are given the opportunity to speculate on their meaning before Friday. Have a look and see what you think, and next week I'll be back with slices of vintage edu-tainment from days of yore...

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