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Director Tatia Pilieva recently released a video showing 20 strangers who were paired up and then asked to kiss each other. The video quickly went viral, with currently over 37 millions views on YouTube.

But now the video is being outed as a kind of hoax because while it is true that the people were all strangers to each other, they were also professional performers. And the whole video was an ad for clothes, paid for by Wren Studio which is promoting its "Fall 14 collection".

Amanda Hess writes for Slate:
The video peddles the fantasy that beauty can spring from an unexpected connection between two random people, but what it's really showing us is the beauty of models making out. It's like the hipster Bachelor. I doubt that millions of viewers would be so quick to celebrate a video of randos kissing if they were all less thin, hip, stylish, charming, and well-manicured.
 
In an interesting parallel, Robert Doisneau's famous 1950 photo of a Parisian couple kissing, titled "The kiss at city hall," was also staged by professional models. Doisneau revealed this in 1993 after a couple who claimed to be the pair in the scene sued him, seeking compensation for the use of their image.

Categories: Sex/Romance, Videos
Posted by Alex on Thu Mar 13, 2014
Comments (0)
On March 3 a video appeared online (with an accompanying website) announcing that a company had created an actual working hoverboard (aka HUVr Board), of the kind seen in the 1989 movie Back to the Future II, using antigravity technology. The video immediately went viral, with over 3 million views already on YouTube.


As many have noted, the video is clearly fake. No one has created a working hoverboard. But it was an impressive fake. Especially noteworthy is the number of celebrities appearing in the video — including Christopher Lloyd, Moby, Tony Hawk, Terrel Owens, etc.


Which raises the question: why did someone go to the considerable expense of creating this video? What's the purpose of it?

A leading theory is that it may be a teaser for an upcoming Back to the Future sequel.

But apparently the comedy site Funny or Die was involved in the video's production, as discovered by sleuths who found that an LA wardrobe stylist mentioned in her online resume having worked on the video for that site.

So maybe the video is just a viral comedy bit for Funny or Die.

Categories: Technology, Videos
Posted by Alex on Wed Mar 05, 2014
Comments (0)

The story here is that this video supposedly comes from security camera footage of a Sep. 14, 2003 paranormal event at a Wingate Hotel in Illinois. Though it wasn't until Sep 2012 that it was posted on YouTube.

Screaming was heard coming from room 209. But no one was checked into that room. So some guy named John (a security guard?) is sent to investigate. He enters the room and reports that the carpet has been ripped up, the shower is on, and all the furniture is turned upside down. But the room is empty! Also, as John enters the room, a ghostly figure can be seen exiting it.

Of course, we actually see very little of anything in the video, except for the ghostly image, which could be easily faked. We also hear the audio track. But again, that could easily be faked.

The biggest problem, however, is that it's apparently impossible for anyone to identify exactly which Wingate Hotel in Illinois this occurred at. The poster of the video explains that, "Due to legal matters, I am not allowed to say any more information regarding the exact location of this hotel. Please stop asking. Thank you!"

Following the rule that information is only as good as its source, this video has no identifiable source at all. So that suggests...

However, by googling "Room 209 Wingate Hotel" I found this recent negative review posted by someone who stayed in Room 209:

Carpet in room (209) was wet, foot stool was left on top of the cair, empty shampoo bottle from previous guest was still in the shower, a Coors Lite beer from the previous guest was found in the fridge.

It was Room 209 in a Wingate in Saskatchewan. But maybe the ghost is on the move!
Categories: Paranormal, Videos
Posted by Alex on Sat Oct 26, 2013
Comments (8)
The video of the "Telekinetic Coffee Shop Prank" has gotten over 30 millions views on YouTube in 4 days. So it's definitely served its purpose, which is to promote the upcoming release of the Carrie remake.

A lot of people have questioned whether the customers in the coffee shop were real or actors. But according to Andrea Morales, the actress who played the telekinetic coffee woman, the customers definitely were real. She says in an interview with the NY Daily News, "We got some awesome reactions. Some people got really into it. A constructor worker actually came toward me to calm me down, saying everything was going to be okay." 

Categories: Pranks, Videos
Posted by Alex on Fri Oct 11, 2013
Comments (1)
A video recently uploaded to YouTube claims to document the living arrangements of "Dave," an artist who supposedly lives inside the Astor Place Cube in New York City. It doesn't take a lot of critical thinking skills to realize this is a joke. (The cube, in reality, is welded shut.) But it's an amusing concept.

The video is a viral marketing stunt for a site called Whil.com, which is mentioned at the end of the video. Honestly, I'm not sure what whil.com does. They claim to be "a brand about nothing" and encourage meditation. Whil was created by the guy who founded the Lululemon clothes company. So maybe it's all a roundabout way of promoting Lululemon.

Categories: Videos
Posted by Alex on Thu Oct 03, 2013
Comments (0)
On Sep 3, Caitlin Heller posted a video on youtube that she titled, "Worst Twerk Fail EVER - Girl Catches Fire!"

She further explained: "I tried making a sexy twerk video for my boyfriend and things got a little too hot smile"



The video quickly went viral, accumulating 9 million views in less than a week, and getting airtime on numerous media outlets.

But last night, "Caitlin Heller" appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live, and the hoax was revealed. Her real name was Daphne Avalon. She was a stunt woman, and the entire video had been staged for Jimmy Kimmel Live.



Kimmel claims that his team didn't send it to TV stations or tweet it. He says, "we just put it on youtube and let the magic happen." I'm skeptical that they didn't do something to help spread the word, given the speed at which it attracted attention. But nevetheless, it was an amusing hoax.
Categories: Videos
Posted by Alex on Tue Sep 10, 2013
Comments (0)
Cadbury only made a half-hearted attempt to disguise that this clip is really an ad for their "Bournville" chocolates, which they're promoting with the tagline "Not So Sweet." Halfway through the clip, a small train chugs through the scene, and painted on its side is, "Bournville -- Not So Sweet."

Categories: Videos
Posted by Alex on Fri Aug 23, 2013
Comments (0)
A video posted to youtube about two weeks ago shows a strange light in the sky near Stamford in the UK. Then it pans down to show a herd of cows, and then one of the cows kind of jumps up in the air.



So the cow must be jumping for one of these reasons:
  1. it's really happy
  2. it's being lifted up by the tractor beam of a UFO
  3. it's a CG effect
The answer, according to video analysts that the Huffington Post talked to, is that it's a CG effect. The Stamford Mercury speculates that the video was created to build buzz for an upcoming TV show.
Categories: Extraterrestrial Life, Videos
Posted by Alex on Tue Aug 20, 2013
Comments (1)
A video of a news segment about marshmallow farming in North Carolina recently appeared on youtube:


It looks like it was inspired by the BBC's famous Swiss Spaghetti Harvest April fool's day segment.

The reporter identifies himself as being from Channel 9 news in Iredell County. But there's no info about what year this first aired. So I sent the station an email to find out what they might know.
Categories: April Fools Day, Videos
Posted by Alex on Thu Apr 25, 2013
Comments (1)
Back in September 2012, a video was uploaded to youtube showing a pig rescuing a baby goat that was supposedly stuck in a pond at a petting zoo.


The video got millions of views on youtube and was widely aired in the media (including being shown on Good Morning America, the NBC Nightly News, and Fox News). Yesterday, it was revealed to be entirely staged.

It was created for a Comedy Central series, "Nathan For You," which is debuting this week (thus the timing of the reveal). The pig was directed toward the goat by means of an underwater plexiglass ramp.

The New York Times has a fairly long article about the video hoax, including comments from some media critics who take the news organizations to task for not questioning the video. Kelly McBride of the Poynter Institute says, "It really is embarrassing for the journalists who stumbled upon this and decided to promote it or share it with their audience. It's almost a form of malpractice."

Comedy Central has posted a follow-up video showing exactly how the original video was made.

Categories: Videos
Posted by Alex on Wed Feb 27, 2013
Comments (1)


Although this may appear to be footage from a newscast, it's actually a video purposefully designed to go viral, created by a Danish pr firm calling itself PublicAttack. On its youtube page you can find the same actor appearing in its other videos.

The car going through the ice is apparently a CG effect.
Categories: Videos
Posted by Alex on Tue Feb 19, 2013
Comments (0)
What part of this UFO sighting has been faked?


The answer is that the UFOs are, of course, fake, but so is everything else. Every part of this video — the car, the scenery, the clouds — is CGI. Wired explains:

"UFO Over Santa Clarita" was a painstakingly crafted joke played by Aristomenis "Meni" Tsirbas, the director of the 2007 computer-animated film Battle for Terra who has also contributed visual effects and animation work to movies like Titanic and Hellboy and several Star Trek television series. A long-time champion of "photorealistic" CGI, Tsirbas and his team spent about four months mimicking the look of an accidental extraterrestrial encounter captured on a smartphone. And until now, Tsirbas hadn't revealed the truth to anyone outside a handful of friends.
"The point of the video was to prove that CGI can look natural and convincing," Tsirbas told Wired. "Everybody assumes the background and car are real, and that the UFOs are probably fake, especially the over-the-top mothership at the end. The general reaction is disbelief, so I usually have to prove it by showing a wireframe of the entire shot to prove that nothing is real."
Categories: Extraterrestrial Life, Videos
Posted by Alex on Sat Feb 09, 2013
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