Tag Archives: video

The simple story of a dog–and why it makes you cry

So there’s something stuck in your eye, right?

Let’s talk about why this works, as a story, and how it could be even better. Because I’m not adding value by simply sticking funny or heartwarming videos in your feed. We have to dissect them and learn a little. SCHOOL IS IN SESSION.

Why this works and how to make it better:

 

1) The mangled start doesn’t matter–yet fixing it would’ve made it even more viral

This video works even if you read the story on Huffingtonpost or wherever, and know all the story beats, before you watch the thing. That’s how good the story is.

HOWEVER: Starting out a video with text screens like this is almost always a mistake. Cramming all the text in the beginning slows it down and I bet a good percentage of people bail in those first few seconds instead of sticking with it, which is a mistake.

How to fix it: Start with video of the dog chained up. We don’t need any text to understand the problem, to get that setup. Then if you really have to, add a little voice narration. I’d kill the text screen entirely.

 

2) Our narrator takes risks and is a hero

The narrator keeps the focus entirely on Rusty the Dog, but he shows real heroism, taking time–and risks.

He spends time to get to know this dog, repeatedly risks getting bit and confronts the owner, saying he’s not leaving without the dog. That took guts.

And all the while, he knows his family can’t adopt the dog, that he’d have to find another home for it.

Everything the narrator does is unselfish, and while he doesn’t focus on it, or take credit, this makes the story better.

 

3) The biggest possible gaps 

Conflict and surprise comes from the biggest possible gaps between expectation and result.

  • You expect the chained up, aggressive dog to bite his hand.
  • You expect the owner to laugh at him when he says he’s not leaving without the dog.
  • You expect the narrator to adopt the dog himself, not search for a home.
  • And you expect the dog to be timid and afraid when finally free, not friendly and joyous.

This is a little story, a tiny snippet of life. But it made me feel more than most of the action movies that I’d happily paid money to watch and wouldn’t see again.

I’d see this again. I’d smile to see a follow-up, to find out how Rusty is doing.

And I’d want to shake the narrator’s hand for taking some risks, and doing the right thing, for an old dog most people would avoid and forget.

 

More posts for your amusement and possible education:

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This is Guy Bergstrom the writer, not the Guy Bergstrom in Stockholm or the guy in Minnesota who sells real estate or whatever. Separate guys. Kthxbai.

Guy Bergstrom. Photo by Suhyoon Cho.

Reformed journalist. Scribbler of speeches and whatnot. Represented by Jill Marr of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency.

6 Comments

by | August 8, 2015 · 11:50 am

Just dogs freaking out about magic tricks

Loved this. Our own Hound of the Baskervilles gets faked out every time I pretend to throw the ball and palm it. Where’s the ball? The ball? I CAN’T FIND THE BALL!

But what about cats?

Yeah. Cat’s don’t care at all. Related: A BOWL OF WARM MILK AND MURDER

More posts for your amusement and possible education:

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This is Guy Bergstrom the writer, not the Guy Bergstrom in Stockholm or the guy in Minnesota who sells real estate or whatever. Separate guys. Kthxbai.

Guy Bergstrom. Photo by Suhyoon Cho.

Reformed journalist. Scribbler of speeches and whatnot. Represented by Jill Marr of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency.

2 Comments

by | June 18, 2015 · 1:06 pm

PACER is an awe-inspiring short film

This is technically amazing, tremendously entertaining and five buckets of awesomesauce. Give us moar moar MOAR.

Also, happy Friday! What is up with your bad selves? Hit me in the comments. I’ve been crazy busy and will finally have time this weekend. :)

friday high five

More posts for your amusement and possible education:

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This is Guy Bergstrom the writer, not the Guy Bergstrom in Stockholm or the guy in Minnesota who sells real estate or whatever. Separate guys. Kthxbai.

Guy Bergstrom. Photo by Suhyoon Cho.

Reformed journalist. Scribbler of speeches and whatnot. Represented by Jill Marr of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency.

4 Comments

by | April 3, 2015 · 1:33 pm

Introducing the Honda HR-V Selfie Edition

The real joke is this: A shocking number of people would buy this car. The Kanye-Kardashian clan alone could keep Honda’s assembly lines running for a decade.

More posts for your amusement and possible education:

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This is Guy Bergstrom the writer, not the Guy Bergstrom in Stockholm or the guy in Minnesota who sells real estate or whatever. Separate guys. Kthxbai.

Guy Bergstrom. Photo by Suhyoon Cho.

Reformed journalist. Scribbler of speeches and whatnot. Represented by Jill Marr of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency.

2 Comments

Filed under Muffin chokers

EXPLODING KITTENS is what card games should be

How can you not love this?

The Oatmeal is a local man turned cartoon phenom, and all he touches turns to gold. Including this kickstarter campaign, which has raised five bazillion dollars.

Even though these three men could grab that cash and run away to a life of beaches and margaritas, I hope they make this game. It’s a lot better than Go Fish.

More posts for your amusement and possible education:

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This is Guy Bergstrom the writer, not the Guy Bergstrom in Stockholm or the guy in Minnesota who sells real estate or whatever. Separate guys. Kthxbai.

Guy Bergstrom. Photo by Suhyoon Cho.

Reformed journalist. Scribbler of speeches and whatnot. Wrote a thriller that won some award and is represented by Jill Marr of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency.

Leave a comment

Filed under 6 Friendly Friday, Animals, monsters and monstrous animals, Muffin chokers

Meanwhile, in Russia

So this is an actual sport, and yes, that’s Vladimir Putin’s daughter dancing like it’s 1985.

Back in 1980’s, competitive aerobics was a big thing for about two seconds right when when Sylvester Stallone (5’10”) pretended he could beat up Swedish studmuffin Dolph Lundgren (6’5) in a big U.S.vs. Russia stand-in for the Cold War.

In 1987, Crystal Light had national championships in team aerobic dancing, and folks on the interwebs make fun of it today. I probably have shown people clips from back then. Yet this new Russian video made me take a second look. You should, too.

See? The American version, sure, we can say it’s seems silly now, but those men and women actually could dance and did hard physical stuff that was entertaining. They didn’t repeat themselves over and over like Putin’s daughter kicking sideways before doing the whole Throw the Cheerleader in the Air and Catch Her trick seventeen times. Difficult? Yeah. Impressive? Maybe twice.

So in the battle of Cheesy Aerobic Dance Sports Similar to Ice Skating in that Only Judges Can Know Who Wins, you have to give this round to the Americans. (Yes, ice skating is not a sport, even though it is hard. Neither is bodybuilding, even though it is hard, too. The more audiences are clueless about who wins until judges reveal the answer, the more it’s like a reality show where producers are pulling all the strings and you get scandals were judges are bribed to pick the right winners.)

What’s the verdict with U.S. vs. Russia competitive aerobics? We did it first and we did it better, even if Russia’s president has his daughter involved or not.*

What other strange sport-like objects deserve scrutiny? Hit me in the comments or the Twitter.

*Maybe if he showed up at halftime, shirtless and riding a tiger, the score would be closer.

Note: updated post after putting up wrong second video. 

More posts for your amusement and possible education:

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This is Guy Bergstrom the writer, not the Guy Bergstrom in Stockholm or the guy in Minnesota who sells real estate or whatever. Separate guys. Kthxbai.

Guy Bergstrom. Photo by Suhyoon Cho.

Reformed journalist. Scribbler of speeches and whatnot. Wrote a thriller that won some award and is represented by Jill Marr of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency.

2 Comments

Filed under Muffin chokers

Golden retriever destroys obedience course, wins Interwebs

This is funny, sure. But the Series of Tubes is packed with funny little things involving dogs, cats and kids with painted faces at county fairs who like turtles.

Let’s dissect this little piece of film to see what makes it work.

First, there are no words getting in the way of the images. This isn’t a PowerPoint slideshow. Nobody has to explain the joke, and it actually works better than English speakers like me have no idea what the announcer or anybody is saying, though it would not shock me if this is Scandanavian, if not Swedish, and make me have a sad for not speaking Swedish.

Second, there’s actually a structure to it, despite being so short. There are two setups before we get to the payoff, two different dogs doing the right thing, and ignoring all the food and chew toys, before the last dog decides obedience courses are a free buffet.

Third, the Benny Hill music makes it all work. Right when the setups are over and we get our payoff, the music puts you right there, and the golden retriever rewards us, not once or twice, but again and again, going after every treat in sight and ignoring all commands.

This snippet of moving pictures gives us the biggest possible gap between expectation (obedience) and result (chaos).

Well done, whoever edited this. Give us more.

More posts for your amusement and possible education:

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This is Guy Bergstrom the writer, not the Guy Bergstrom in Stockholm or the guy in Minnesota who sells real estate or whatever. Separate guys. Kthxbai.

Guy Bergstrom. Photo by Suhyoon Cho.

Reformed journalist. Scribbler of speeches and whatnot. Wrote a thriller that won some award and is represented by Jill Marr of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency.

1 Comment

by | November 21, 2014 · 12:56 pm