Last weekend, the Internet was horrified by a fifteen second video which showed an eight-legged creature crawl out of the ear of someone suffering from a painful ear infection.
Cue crazed comments and tweets, ranging from the concerned to the appalled:
just saw a video of a spider in a mans ear now i think I'm going to throw up— Izzy Whitley (@izzywhitley) May 30, 2015
My friend showed me this video of a spider crawling out of this guy's ear I am SCREAMING— DANIEL (@miIkbottles) June 2, 2015
I saw this video of a guy and he had a spider in his ear, now I sleep with cotton balls in my ears— hails (@haileyriggs_) June 2, 2015
Just saw a vid of someone who has a spider trapped in their ear. Goodnight world— AIex (@gluten) June 2, 2015
Many were too freaked out that they didn’t care to find out who made the video. But, one click would’ve taken you to the YouTube channel of Bruce Branit, a director and visual effects artist, responsible for one of the most mind-blowing moments in Breaking Bad.
We spoke to Branit and he told us the real-life story behind the fake video.
“I really did have an impacted ear after swimming. Before I saw the doctor, I wanted to see if I could see anything in there so I did use my phone's camera. When I saw the footage, I thought, ‘how horrific it would be if something popped out of there?’”
“At first it was going to be a slug or a maggot. But spiders are quicker and more sinister. So a day later I put it on my company's YouTube page hoping to freak a few people out. I guess a few million will do.”
Branit believes the most believable special effects do not have to be big budget Hollywood blockbusters but rather something which people can relate to.
“Audiences have never been savvier to visual effects. But computer graphic techniques and skills have never been better, so it's more about audience expectation. We go into Avengers knowing the Hulk is CGI. So no matter how awesome he looks, we're bored.”
“But in this case, a shaky iPhone video, in portrait mode, with a shot of a spider in someone's ear, is out of the context of that visual effects expectation. Your guard is down. So it horrifies people more than entire buildings collapsing in the movie San Andreas."
Branit is surprised by the numbers who have watched the fifteen-second clip but can understand why.
“Everyone likes to share a good story with friends. Whether it is a cute puppy, an epic fail, or a spider in someone's ear… we like to share things that make us feel things -- good or bad.”
“As a director that's what I like to do as well. But rather than finding and sharing those stories, I create them.”Reuse content