Brothers – a short film by Me (Hank Thompson)

by Hank Thompson on January 15, 2015

Please watch Brothers. It’s a short film I made.

I visited family over Christmas and was playing soccer in the street with my nephews. Though soccer and nephews are great, my real attention was on the iPhone 6 in my pocket. I’d only had it a month and had been itching to take its vaunted camera for a spin. So I did. We did. The result was Brothers. I’m calling it the world’s first and only Adorable Horror film.

The whole thing was made up on the spot, starting with throwing a soccer ball at the little one’s head and filming it in slow motion. The boys were great sports. They did and said everything I told them to, although their kid patience was tested by my constant ‘one-more-times.’ About time they learned that adults lie and that filmmaking is tedious. And yes, they both got paid. They got dinner. Several that week, in fact.

By that night I had the thing 80% edited, during which the kids learned another lesson: editing is boring! But we all enjoyed seeing the story come together and I began to suspect I might actually have something I wouldn’t be embarrassed about.

It was my first time working with ‘score’ type music, which I purchased a license for. Music rights is key if you want to submit to festivals, which I plan to do.

I put it on YouTube and my brother and I posted it on Reddit a few times. Within a day or two it had over 5000 views. A viral video management company reached out, with whom I signed, and the video was written about on a blog or two and posted on AOL, MSN, Yahoo and a few other places. Weird.

It didn’t manage to cross that viral threshold where things start to snowball. Small blogs are feeder streams to larger ones, which feed the BIG ones (think: Gawker). They all need content. Magic content. So they “borrow” ideas from each other in order to attract clicks on their site. If enough large blogs post it, and if the video has high shareability — that is, it somehow enhances a person’s online identity via status gain or social bonding — then it multiplies and rebounds back to the small blogs that missed it, and suddenly you’ve got a viral video on your hands. Nothing gathers a crowd like a crowd.

That was never the intention in making it. AT ALL. I was just being a weird uncle who wants to direct films for a living. But it’s cool that it got anywhere near the potential of going viral. And it still might.

Lately, I’ve been researching this whole festival thing. It may have a place at some or it may not. I think it has a shot at iPhone filmmaking festivals, and maybe small comedy festivals, but who knows? I sure don’t. Finding out is going to cost money in the form of submission fees.

Stay tuned.



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