In the age of reality TV and online voyeurism, how can viewers get excited about traditional video animation animations? The answer is coming out of old fashioned secret candid audio recordings that are being placed against animated visuals. “Candid Camera” has long been a favorite of TV audiences; today with the aid of a basic home audio-recorder anyone can catch just about anything and have it uploaded to listen to within minutes. Some creative folks are taking these surreptitious elements and fusing it with their illustrations, and ending up with animations that are wildly funny and voyeuristic.
While some of these animations travel the world in film festivals, most of them can also be seen right here on our very own YouTube. Take, for instance, the user “largoembargo” on YouTube: this user features a video called “Fireman (Drug-crazed Subway Rapper)” – a video which was recently featured on the Toronto Sun Online’s front page and earned it the first wave of popularity. This video features a stylized zombie-like man with abstract reactions set to the real audio that the animator captured on the subway. We listen as the Toronto subway car rustles past stations, all the while a severely intoxicated rapper belts out crude lyrics. The passengers’ reactions are captured in the 3 minute animation, as we travel in the point of view of the animator’s world meets reality.
Another, and even more hilarious, example of secret-audio video animations is one called “The Wily Sofa”. This series of 5 episodes follows the life of a man and his roommates, and several friends as they host outrageous and inebriated conversations over several months. The catch? The roommates and friends have no idea that they are being audiotaped. The animation is highly stylized, as a “studio audience” is displayed when laughter erupts. We, the viewers, aren’t sure who to root for as all the characters rib each other and discuss bizarre ideas, accompanied by cute illustrations and ideas by the animator. The identities of all the characters are masked, as they are all credited in the titles with pseudonyms. One of these in particular that will guarantee a good chuckle is episode 1, entitled “Flirting”. In this episode, one of them confronts the other about breaking in to his Facebook account and poking all of his friends.