Thursday, September 29, 2011

Too Late to Apologize: A Declaration

Directed by Tim Grant, Written by Emilia Grant
United States, 2010, 3 minutes and 22 seconds

This short film fits not only the week's theme of online-based but it's also a music video and a satirical parody (something we've read quite a bit about for online-based videos). This music video is a parody of the video Apologize by Timbaland/One Republic which can be seen here. In the video I'm looking at, it takes the original lyrics and premise of the song and puts a historical spin on it. In this video by Soomo Publishing, the song is sung by Thomas Jefferson (backed by other famous Founding Fathers including John Adams, John Hancock, Samuel Adams, and Benjamin Franklin) and how colonial America will never forgive England.

Soomo Publishing is a group of people who create online videos, assignments, articles, etc. in order to promote learning and education. This music video was the first of its kind for Soomo, straying dramatically away from the documentaries and interviews they had been used to.

This film, in a word, is brilliant. At least for me. As a history major, with a particular fondness of this time period, and Thomas Jefferson being my favorite historical figure of all time, when I first saw this, it became one of my favorite internet videos. I have to admit that I don't even know the original song anymore! When I hear this music, these are the lyrics I immediately begin singing. This is one of those videos that I continually go back to and watch if I haven't seen it in a while or need some sort of pick-me-up. I think that's an important aspect about internet videos - for most of them, they're always there to go back to and people often do that. No matter how many times they've seen it, they watch it again and again either because they get so much enjoyment from it or they want to show it to all their friends. The word viral is constant in the internet world and it's typically how most internet videos gain their fame and acknowledgement. Indeed, I didn't just search Thomas Jefferson on YouTube (as I've done before) and stumble upon this, I had a friend link it to me, telling me I had to watch it because I would fall in love instantly (hint: she knows me well). It may not have kept up its viral life as long as other videos but there was a time I saw it everywhere and it certainly remains one of my favorites after all this time.

When looking at the original music video it's based on, it's incredible to see what a flawless parody this is. It follows the original almost to a tee while putting a new spin on it. It's a fun representation of history, appreciating it without coming off in any way condescending or ignorant. There is something extremely endearing about this video in its representation of our history. It's something people all over the world are going to have some knowledge of and be able to show appreciation for.

In terms of a short film, it is one I greatly admire. It was shot beautifully and with such respect for the original content that it drew upon. I love the use of focusing and re-focusing the camera, as well as the silhouette of Thomas Jefferson. One could perhaps argue that it's shot are not impressive because the shots are not original. I would argue, however, that they are just as impressive because they were able to be shot so seamlessly from the original and still work as their own pieces of film. The writing of this film is absolute genius. It's all at once entertaining and impressive since they could not adjust the music in any way and had to adapt brand new lyrics for the video and make them flow, which they absolutely did.

Overall, there were so many internet videos I had been considering writing about. When this one came into my thoughts, however, I knew I had to do it. This is the video I return to most often and has really brought me the most joy which is something I think is a staple in terms of internet videos.

1 comment:

haley schattner said...

Wow. I had never watched the 'Apologize' music video before, but, as a history geek who also likes this time in American history, I like the parody better. It is not as repetitive a song which is nice. Also, as you mention, this video really does fit the original to the T, it just transforms it historically. It is so clever to relate the document of the Declaration of Independence to a broken-heart love letter.