Some of you may have already seen one or two of the amusing videos originating from the latest web sensation, Xtranormal. According to the website, the company’s “mission is to bring movie making to the people. Everyone watches movies, and we believe everyone can make movies….Our revolutionary approach to movie making builds on an almost universally held skill—typing. You type something; we turn it into a movie.”
So how did this craze get started? Nishat Kurwa of NPR’s Morning Edition explains,
The video that put Xtranormal on the map pokes fun at the iPhone-obsessed: Two button-nosed Hello Kitty-looking characters argue about smart phones in front of a pastel backdrop and a lone cherry tree, all in an affectless monotone that hardly matches an increasingly foul mouthed script. Since its debut last June, on the day of the iPhone 4 launch, the three-minute animation has been viewed more than 11 million times.
An Xtranormal video can be shared more widely than a Facebook status update, requires less commitment than a blog, and packs more visual allure and nuance than a Tweet. Here’s how it works: You hop on the site and buy points that you can use to pay for background settings and a couple of animated “actors.” To cast the roles of your irrational boss or your freaky neighbor, you can choose from among Lego people, robots, or a gang of regular folks. A few celebrity characters are on hand for spoofs. You type in your script, add some basic facial expressions and gestures, and publish to the Web.
The results can be pretty funny. See the example below, which pokes fun at the often debated office concept of casual Friday…
So the next time you want to make some sort of company wide announcement about a new facility management policy that may be slightly unpopular, you may consider the power of the pastel kitty and the strategic head tilt!