9 Things I noticed in the 5-second films

In March 2021, Action On The Side ran a virtual Work Experience for Level 3 Media students. This article has been written as part of that, by Luke V.


5secondfilms is a channel that specialises in 5-second comedy videos.


Links:







Christmas Pageant, Letter to Santa, First Day of Christmas, Trump U, Lyft Horror Movie Mode, What It’s Like To Be The Guy Whose Wife Was Viciously Murdered, The Revenanting, Christian Singles, Late For Work, Absence of the Towels, Planking, Missing, Trump Gets Fired, Trump Golfs, The Agony of Covid de Mayo, Rationing, Harold vs Mothra, Murder Detectives, Clinical Trials, Ways to Say No (And Still Be Cool), The Big Moment, Getting to Know Her, Joy Ride, 5SF Pilot - Apocalypse How, Don’t Sinko Into De Struction.


Pace

The first thing I had noticed was the pace of the 5-second videos, the pace was quick and got straight to the point of the video. In all of the videos, it did not take a lot of time to get through the story of each video and what is happening, I enjoy the pace of the videos because having the videos quick makes the scenes funnier as having the videos quick can make the saddest, distressing, and scary videos appear natural, As in normal films they would be long and go through events toward the end, but these videos just cut right to the chase, for example, in one of Lyft Horrors a woman is getting chased bt a masked man, but the masked man gets tried so he calls a car to pick him up and help him chase the woman more with ease. The pace is one of the aspects that is what makes the short videos very funny as they jut appear very calm and natural no matter what the situation is for each video.


Structure

The videos did have a structure to support the videos stories as they would start with the scene of where most of the video will be taking place or where the character starts the story, then it will quickly move to what is happening to the character[s] and why and then end with the character winning the situation, losing, or in-between. The structure helps provide everything that the audience needs to know to understand the storyline, for example, in Letter to Santa the dad reads his child’s Christmas list and does not like it and we see with the dad’s face he has some type of idea that he is coming up with, then the audience moves to the scene where Santa is reading the letter and then there is a quick glimpse of what Santa is reading. Then the audience finds out what the dad had done to the letter before it was delivered and had changed the divorce of the mother and father to something that the father actually wants and then Santa respects the child’s list and thinking that the child is cool, but in real fact, it was actually the dad. The audience gets taken step by step through the video of what is happening and what has happened to make the video comical. The structures of the videos for me were great as they really helped guide me through the videos stories and helped me understand the chokes as sometimes it hit me instantly, but other times it took a few seconds, but the structure helped me to go through the video and its meaning.


Genre

Most of the videos were just comedy, but some had other genres such as Sci-Fi, horror, thriller, etc. All the videos were very funny and weird, but I liked that not all videos were just comedy and had a little extra to spice up the film’s story and make it a bit more different from the rest. For example, Harold vs Mothra has a bit of Sci-Fi as there is this huge Moth coming straight towards the Lighthouse where Harold is and because Mothra is so big and coming in fast there is nothing that Harold can do than just watch the beast close in. The Sci-Fi creature is what makes the video funny because there is just a huge, unnatural creature flying around and when Harold notices Mothra he just swears as he knows that there is no hope for him. Having other genres with comedy is what makes some comedies for me very funny as in the videos they can make funny contrast from one film in another or it shows how a human would really act like when seeing a supernatural creature, not putting up a fight, just taking in the view and then just swear to show to the audience the character knows he is dead.


Story

All the videos had a story or a message towards the audience which made the videos have meaning and what is happening. For example, in Ways to Say No (And Still Be Cool) the story of the video is that there is a teenager offering a young child some drugs, but the child responded with a no, puts on some cool looking sunglasses and then ends with the child walking off with some weird, cool walk or people doing stunts with cool music. Even though the video is very funny in the way the child acts, the video actually has a serious message, mainly aimed at children, but for people of all ages to never take drugs and just say no, it is cool to take responsibility. Another example like Ways to Say No (And Still Be Cool) is Don’t Sinko Into De Struction, this has a character who is in the bathroom sick from alcohol, but his friend makes him have more and go mental. The story of this video is the same as the video with the child being asked if he wants drugs, just say no, no matter who they are, how they persuade you, if you know them, etc? Just say no because at the end of the day you know that if you say no and do not do what the request is, you are helping yourself, but if you say yes and continue you will just keep damaging yourself and that is your fault as you knew you should not be doing whatever it is that you are doing.



The characters

With all of the characters in every video, they all have one thing in common, their stupidity, natural responses and uniqueness. In the 5-second videos, the directors, producers, etc, would find a way for the characters to do something that a normal, everyday human being has thought of doing, would do in a certain situation, for example, in Clinical Trials, the main character is sorting out someone’s pills, but every time she puts a pill in the bottle she would also take a pill for herself, even though she does not need them, and at the end, she is called a great worker, when in real fact she is laying on the floor high, with foamy bubbles coming from her mouth. As drugs are known as an illegal and common thing people do now these days to make themselves feel better from life’s problems, this would not be a surprise if anyone had thought of something like that and wanting to try and do it and get away with it. Even the female characters boss and colleagues are looked foolish because working for a small store would not have a lot of alarms in the building or in the worker’s heads. So when they think that the person is a great worker they are actually only working there to benefit themselves over something that does not do any good to the person and a very stupid and most likely common idea that some people have thought of.



Locations

The locations for the 5-second videos are all in common places that people would be, such as at home, in a car, at work, outside, etc, not places that a human would not really be, such as space ship, underwater, different dimension, etc. This is one of the aspects for me that make the 5-second videos funny as everything that happens in every video is based on casual daily life areas for humans. For example, Late For Work starts with the character waking up and noticing that he is late and for the rest of the duration of the video the character is just yelling one swear word the whole day and shows parts of his day, such as getting ready, being at work and the day ending as the character goes back to bed. During the whole video, the character actually did not finish off that swear word until he actually went to bed. What makes the video funny is that the story and location are based on everyday, normal life and how you would possibly feel and react if you were late to work and even when you get to work you would be working with a bit of stress in case your boss or someone came up to you saying that you were late as anything could happen during that conversation and you have to think of ways to help protect your reputation and career. Another thing that the character makes the video hilarious is that the character is so stressed he is swearing that one word all day and he is even swearing at his job, a place of peace and to make a good reputation, but the character swearing all day makes his career life look very casual even though he is not showing a good reputation.




Music

Not all of the 5-second videos have music, but the ones that do can make the scenery of the video funnier as the music connects with the actions that the characters are doing, such as hitting something or someone and pretending that they have something that they wished. For example, in Missing it plays sad music and we see the character putting up posters of something missing, and due to the sad music at first, the audience would think it is something like a cat, a part of the family, especially the way he also acts, But, when the camera turns to the poster the audience find out that he is missing a stapler, what he needs to put up the poster so they do not fly away. The music is a form of a trick at first as hear sound music make people’s minds think that it is something very important at first as the music also connotates his facial and body expressions that the character has lost something dear to him and cannot be replaced, however, when the audience sees the poster the sad music instantly turns into mocking music on the character as a stapler can be brought from anywhere and easily replaceable. The character is depressed over something that normal people would not get depressed about, especially how sad the character was.




Sound design

The sounds in the videos were good as the sounds sometimes was what also helped make the videos sound so funny, such as casual sounds for a scene that is what not normally happens in reality and makes the character sound serious, ill, squeaky, loud, etc. For example, in Getting to Know Her the video starts with the characters playing a game and then the male character asks about the female character and when the female character starts to talk her voice got quieter and muffled a bit and the screen went a bit grey. Then we can hear the male character speaking, but inside his head and the male character’s voice would start to get nervous and use all of his energy to try and focus so he can try and get with the woman. The sound of the female character getting quiet with a bit of muffling to silence, sound helps guide the audience to where they are going and that is inside the male character's mind as we can hear his thoughts clear and starting to panic as he starts to talk fast, but we cannot her the woman, exactly how it sounds when people are not concentrating and speaking in their head. Finally, we quickly get sent out of the man’s mind straight back to the two characters playing a game, but out of nowhere the man freaks out and throws the games to the ground.





Costume design

The clothes that the actors were wearing for their characters were perfect as their clothes portrayed what the characters personalities are, angry, calm, stressed, maniac, prankster, etc. For example, in Timmy’s Dying Wish the actor who plays Timmy at the start his character actually looks like he is very ill and can be possibly facing death as he is in bed with a sad, weak look, is in a hospital gown and has a blue cotton hat. The two actors look exactly like doctors also as they have a doctors coat, their hair is smooth and professional-looking, they are wearing casual tops and the male doctor has a scope around his neck. When the audience is watching the video, what the characters are wearing sends messaged through the audience’s eyes to their brains that Timmy does appear very sick and is dying and the two actors appear like professional doctors and know what they are doing. Their outfits make the characters look real and believe what is happening. Then at the end when Timmy wishes to be alive and the doctors agree, the scene cuts straight to Timmy looking totally fine in his car as if he was fine in the first place. When the audience sees this it is an instant reaction to pure laughter, just like me, as Timmy was dying and he atmosphere was very serious and then straight to Timmy is totally fine and his clothes tell us that he back to normal now, as instantly Timmy appears straight into regular clothes. This makes the scene hilarious because one simple wish healed him within a split second back into his casual life.