When Time magazine announced that you were the person of the year, adorning their cover with the familiar video pane, YouTube cemented its position as the media darling and a staple of the internet for years to come. YouTube empowered the user by providing them with an audience and a means to freely distribute their content online. In return, the site attracted millions of viewers and changed the way we consume video.
Searching through the hundreds of videos that surfaced throughout the year, Format tried to pick some of the best videos of the year.
An important trend in the videos we saw this year was the emergence of Youtube as a tool of the citizen journalist. YouTube provided the ideal medium to freely distribute video that could have been ignored by the mainstream media. The democratic nature of the web page, where votes were measured in eyeballs, showed its true power this year.
Music played another prominent theme in the best videos this year. Weather it’s a snappy soundtrack that pushes a clip over the edge into viral territory, unlikely lyrical agility or scores edited with video alone, music plays an important part in the most entertaining of these videos.
10. Good Day Mr. Kubrick
In this audition video for Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket, Brian Atene over-acts his way to viral internet fame, too bad he got noticed 20 years too late. â€œYou will find in me the finest actor of the lot, the most beautifully trained, the most capable,â€ spouts Atene in the most pompous fashion imaginable. This clip just shows how deep the reach of YouTube is, delving two decades back in time to find a new temporary laughing stock for the masses.
9. George Allen Introduces Macacca Video
Here’s an example of YouTube being used to expose the intolerance of a respected public figure. During George Allen’s re-election campaign, he made the mistake of calling S.R. Sidarth, a man of Indian ancestry, Macacca while on tape. The video spread across blogs and made its way onto mainstream television. George Allen lost the election despite being the incumbent.
8. German Wedding Dancing
Whoever this wedding singer is, he could surely kick the shit out of Adam Sandler.
7. Sunday Bloody Sunday – Bush
I had no idea that Bush was a U2 fan, but you have to admit that he’s got this classic down to a science. While technically from 2005, this video really gained a new life on YouTube in 2006. DJ RX of New York created this political satire of the most brilliant musical nature.
6. UCLA Student Gets Tasered
Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. This video shows a blatant abuse of power by a group of UCLA police officer. When a student refuses to show ID at the library, suspecting that he was being racially profiled, Officer Terrence Duren proceeds to electrocute the poor student, and threatens to taser other students if they try to help him. The video was recorded on just a cell phone and ended up making news in the Los Angeles Times among other news sources.
5. Kramer’s Racial Tirade
This video of Micheal Richards losing his mind at a comedy club shows just how much things have changed thanks to sites like YouTube. It only takes one person to tape and publish a video that can instantly destroy career. A few years ago Kramer could have been as racist as he wanted and probably gotten away with it, but one person taking out their camera and posting it to YouTube ensured that Micheal Richards be held accountable in the court of public opinion. You did it to yourself Cosmo.
4. Video Sampling – Amateur – Lasse Gjertsen
This editing masterpiece comes straight out of Larvik, Norway. All of his videos are worth watching but this one is unique. Using only video editing Lasse samples himself playing drums and piano, and composing it himself, creates some wild music. It’s also worth watching his human beatbox video with the same concept, however this video is much more polished.
3. How Cocaine is Made
This video is unbelievable. Filmmaker Matthew Bristow documents a common way to produce cocaine in the Columbian jungle. People might think twice about using this drug after realizing how many chemicals are used simply in the production of the narcotic including gasoline and sulphuric acid. The long murky chain of distribution only adds to the possible list of disgusting ingredients you might be willingly ingesting. For anyone who has done cocaine or has friends using, this video is a must watch. [Ed Note: This video has been dissapearing from everywhere, so if it’s not available, search it out]
How They Make Cocaine – video powered by Metacafe
2. Aries Spears Rapping
After watching this three times I was still convinced that it was fake. Only after downloading five other videos of Spears doing the same thing did I start to think it might be legit. It’s that good. In this video, Mad TV star Aries Spears impersonates Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg, and others, switching from one to the next without missing a beat. You won’t believe your ears.
1. Little Superstar
This video is absolutely incredible. MC Miker G & DJ Scen’s Holiday sets the mood as Thavakalai busts a move like only a midget should. This video has been featured on TV and everywhere online. If you watch only one dancing midget video this year, make it this one.
Bike Messangers Are On Crack – These guys have balls of steel.
Avalanche – They do everything differently in Asia.
Best Penalty Kick Ever – Well, not for the goalie.
Scary Mary – I always knew there was something wrong about that Poppins woman.
Psychic Cop â€“ I know it sounds counter-intuitive, but listen to the police.
Richard Simmons’ Exploding Steamer – I think Letterman doesn’t like Richard Simmons very much at all.