Capilano Campus Fun commitee launches competition to make you famous

// Amita Gore

In 1968 Andy Warhol uttered the words, “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.” In 2003, the family of Star Wars Kid sued his classmates because they forced him into his 15 minutes. The video of him recreating the intricate lightsaber form used by Darth Maul in Episode I became one of the most viewed videos of all time. Joining the ranks of The Numa Numa Guy, Antoine Dobson, Chris Crocker, David (After Dentist), Afro Ninja, and Tay Zonday, Star Wars Kid will go down in history as a viral video superstar.

Students at Capilano University are no strangers to this phenomenon. The Campus Fun committee of the Arts and Entertainment Management program are eager to launch the next number-one-viewed video on Youtube through their Viral Video Showdown. Though there was no main inspiration for the concept, the team settled on the showdown “to help expose the talents of Capilano students while having a good time doing so.”

“Viral videos are popular because they are so accessible, whether you make one to upload or just to watch,” says Jen Scott, one of the showdown’s creators.

The concept of “viral” anything is hardly new. Businesses have relied on viral marketing for years. It is the fact that there are now thousands of videos accessible to any individual with an internet connection that turns this into a truly amazing phenomenon.

America’s Funniest Home Videos, on air since 1989, was once the only spot to get your fix of animals and babies being adorable, or people getting injured in hilarious ways. The show still has impressive ratings, which one can wager is more because it limits how many videos one watches in a single evening, rather than spending hours upon hours clicking through “related videos”.

Not all TV programming has kept its footing in the internet age, however. MTV steadily decreased their airtime for music videos during the 2000s before leaving them out altogether, even though artists haven’t stopped making videos. The incredible overnight success of acts such as The Lonely Island and Ok Go can be accredited mostly to video sharing sites and the spread of their music videos through social media. Youtube holds incredible rates of viewership, with over 2 billion videos viewed a day, as of 2010.

As Morris says, “Who wouldn't want to make a video and become the new Justin Bieber?” He is referring, of course, to the fact that the pop sensation was discovered after his mother uploaded videos of him covering top 40 hits on to YouTube. Now, Justin Bieber’s “Baby” is the #1 viewed video on YouTube. Beyond music, You- Tube has launched the careers of several “internet celebrities” who share their talents, such as Neil Cicierega, creator of Harry Potter Puppet Pals, and Darren Criss of A Very Potter Musical and, now, Glee fame.

The Viral Video Showdown inbox is currently empty, and submissions are due on Nov. 18 at midnight. So, if you enjoy recording your friends injure themselves in new and exciting ways, or if you have an exceptional talent you would like to share with the world, this is your chance! “The possibilities are endless,” explains Nikki Mawiv, a student on the Showdown’s panel. There are excellent prizes to be won in six categories, ranging from most views to best comedy.

Check out the Facebook event page “Viral Video Showdown” for all the details. Submit videos to through your Capilano e-mail by November 18th at midnight.

// Amita Gore, Writer
// Illustration by Sarah Taylor

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