Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sneezing Panda

Director: Unknown, added to youtube November 2006, 16 seconds
Source: You Tube



Like most college students, I waste my time on youtube watching pointless videos (notice I say videos and not short films). The videos my roommates and I watch the most are the ones that are simply, quite stupid and yet hilarious. Sneezing Panda is just one of those videos. If you haven’t seen it, just watch it. It only eats up 16 seconds of your life. I have watched Sneezing Panda maybe 50 times (it just never gets old). The surprise of the mama panda is comical, and the fact that the baby panda sneezed so forcefully that its’ entire body jumped off the ground is a feat in itself. Despite the cuteness factor, obvious entertainment value, and its’ placement on a short films blog, this video is not what I consider a short film.

My definition of a short film is not the one that was established in class a few weeks ago, of anything put on youtube. To me, a short film requires an intension to be considered a short film. The budget doesn’t matter, nor the subject material, but there needs to be thought behind the making of the film and an intension for it to be a short film. Randomly filming something on your video phone and then uploading it onto youtube does not constitute a short film. Having a story, maybe actors, a director, and a purpose makes a short film. Even if the point of a short film is to have no point, it is still a short film because of the thought process behind it.

Youtube is a home to several different types of media, one of which is short films. But also housed on that website are home videos, video blogs, TV clips, movie clips, and tons and tons of pointless crap. Don’t get me wrong, I love the abundant pointless crap on youtube, but to call it all short films is taking it a step too far.

Whoever filmed Sneezing Panda was lucky to capture such a hilarious moment, but there was obviously no intention to make a short film while filming the mother and baby panda. The person wielding the camera was probably just filming the eating habits of an adult panda and just happened to get a priceless 16 second piece of film from it.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

just another example of how free entertainment is a growing trend in Society. No TV show or movie could of understood this humor enough to write out a plan to realize it and capture. This is old possible in todays society as humor because of its originality (lack of staging present in the video) and the ubiquities nature of video recording devices. Telling of how media is lending itself to a "free culture" distribution method.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, it seems that just about anyone these days can make a "short film". I don't think this qualifies as one.

Kim said...

Agreed wholeheartedly. Although a short film could conceivably be composed of random captured moments (with some editing and a purpose, maybe sneezing panda could be a short film... though maybe not)its status as art is of the utmost importance. One can tape things because they are interesting, but this illustrates a certain degree of intent. "Oh man, look at this" *camera phone interlude* is incidental rather than intentional.

Incidentally, I would love to make a film with the intent of appearing incidental, perhaps parodying the camera phone culture.

Anonymous said...

Can you really know what someone's intent is? what about that lonleygirl15. At first people thought that was really her internet diary, but she was really making a parody. usually the intent of the creator is lost once the public passes judgment on the film.

Anonymous said...

true, intent is hard to know, but I still think it plays a role in what makes a short film or what doesn't. Isn't that what we have been discussing in class for so long? what makes a short film. I don't think we ever answered that question fully. maybe the next time Middents teaches the class he will have more answers.

Anonymous said...

Wow, this video is really funny. I don't care if it is a short film or not. It is entertaining.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, it is a funny film, but is it so funny it warrants being one of the most watched on youtube? It is probably only watched so much because of its length. being only 16 seconds long, people can re-watch it several times in the time it takes to watch one short film. But I don't know who would want to watch it so many times. wouldn't it get tedious?

Anonymous said...

Oh, you would be surprised. I think it gets funnier the more you watch it because you are anticipating the sneeze, but you can't predict when it is going to happen and when it does, I laugh my bum off.

Anonymous said...

This film is pointless. entertaining, yes. a short film, no. I think when you decide if something is a short film or not, you just know. there aren't a real set of criterion to go by.

Anonymous said...

I agree. When I was writing a paper for this class about what makes a short film, I asked my roommate (who isn't in the class) if she concidered certain films on youtube to be short films. She only answered yes or no. it was really simple. maybe we are thinking too much about what is a short film.

by the way, she said sneezing panda is not a short film.