If these last few weeks are any indication, animals around the world are tired of people invading their space and they’re striking back. From bees attacking cars to elk knocking over women to giant alligators on golf courses to the Governator getting chased by an elephant, the animal uprising is upon us. Like most people, I am deeply disturbed by what I’m seeing in these animal attack videos.
Because the filming is ATROCIOUS.
It’s quite clear that people need to learn a thing or two about filmmaking and telling a story through moving images. So here are nine tips to help make your next person-being-assaulted-by-an-animal video one that other folks around the world can truly enjoy.
There’s nothing more frustrating in the world than watching a bear start to maul a human, only to discover that the video ends before the victim actually dies.
1. Go Horizontal
This one CANNOT BE STRESSED ENOUGH. Shoot your video with your phone held horizontally–not vertically! This is Viral Video 101, people. Recording video while your phone is vertical is a total amateur move. You gotta hold it horizontally, always. This way you can get more imagery in the frame and it will show up big on YouTube, rather than look like a skinny image with 80 percent of the frame filled with nothing. Don’t waste space, guys. Go horizontal. (For example, this video could’ve been so much better if the idiot filming it would’ve held his camera horizontally.)
2. Make Some Room
Before shooting, make sure you have enough memory on your phone to capture the ENTIRE animal attack. There’s nothing more frustrating in the world than watching a bear start to maul a human, only to discover that the video ends before the victim actually dies (or someone shoots the animal). So clean out your old photos and videos from your phone so you have enough space for a good three to four minutes of fresh video. By the way, if you’re wondering whether or not you should save a particular video on your phone, here’s a quick rule of thumb: If no one dies or is at least seriously injured, trash it.
3. Keep the Celebrity in Frame
So this really pisses me off. Don’t say you’ve got video of Arnold Schwarzenegger being chased by an elephant and then only show Arnold’s ear. This is false advertising! We don’t even know for sure that Arnold was actually the one being chased. When you only get a small piece of a celebrity being chased by an elephant in your video, it’s no different than capturing a non-celebrity being chased by an elephant in Africa. Which is basically every African safari video on YouTube.
4. Hold Steady
Keep the camera steady during filming. Also, when uploading it to YouTube, use the option that makes the video even steadier. You don’t want your viral animal attack video to look like it was shot by Freddie Roach.
5. Ditch the Stamp
Your video better not have a time and date stamp on it or anything like that. Even if the date stamps says 2016, it makes the video feel like it’s from the mid-’80s.
6. Provide Info
Leave your contact information at the bottom of your description of the video on YouTube. This way you can actually get credit–and make some money–for your video.
7. Copyright That Shit
Speaking of money, if you really want to get respect from news outlets and receive a fat check from CNN and other news networks, protect your viral animal attack video with a copyright–or better yet, a huge watermark over the entire video. Think: TMZ. This way everyone will know that short film of killer worms overpowering a septuagenarian was YOUR work.
8. Go the Extra Mile
If you’d like to separate yourself from the hordes and create a true piece of art, hire a helicopter to get some overhead shots. Establish the area, you know? Also, have a friend capture some video as well so you can cut between angles and do cutaways and stuff. Jump cuts are so lazy.
9. Opt for Fat
Nitpicking here, but if you’re going to shoot video of people running away from animals, try to find fat people. They’re funnier. Also, if they’re screaming, it’s better if they’re screaming in Southern accents. Again, just funnier. Not sure why.
OK, good luck out there! We’ll be watching.