Independent Filmmaker Impersonates Mark Zuckerberg And Creates Viral April Fools' Day Video "A World Without Facebook"
Only some people didn't get the joke, and took it for an official statement from Facebook.
"The fake news epidemic might be the most controversial aspect of Facebook right now and the company is struggling to come up with a solution," Gizmodo stated in an article about the video. "In this light, Oleck's video actually seems like a good case study to better understand the phenomenon."
Oleck wrote the script for the video in June of 2017 which was largely inspired by the "fake news" epidemic that plagued (and continues to plague) journalism and social media. The project was shelved for seven months as Oleck worked on several other endeavors; then in January 2018, he began production on "A World Without Facebook."
When the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke, it pushed Oleck to rewrite the script and speed up its completion. During this perfect media storm of fake news and the #deletefacebook hashtag which was circulating, the project became a personal challenge for Oleck as a filmmaker. Could he truly pull off this epic prank? He had no way of knowing, but he pressed on. "A World Without Facebook" was completely funded, shot, edited, written, produced and acted by Oleck—along with the help of his vast L.A. network of talented friends.
The video features a direct address from Zuckerberg himself which was digitally manipulated to recite Oleck's script (replacing Zuckerberg's voice and mouth with Oleck's). The finishing touches on script and After Effects continued until March 31st, a day before launch. A similar, but far more advanced technique was used in the Jordan Peele Obama PSA released 2 weeks after Oleck's video. The VFX for the "Zuck" mouth-swap effect were created by Oleck in less than a day with no room for refinement. Under pressure to finish, he decided it was good enough for small screens or windowed internet browsers on computers and the final video was released at 6pm EST on April 1st as Oleck celebrated Easter with his family in Wilmington, Delaware.
The video was not an immediate success, only reaching about 100k views in the first week after its release. Then on April 10th, the first day of Mark Zuckerberg's two-day hearing in Washington in response to the Cambridge Analytica debacle, the video gained 50K views organically. Oleck boosted it again and soon after, the video views erupted—it quickly achieved viral status. Comments on the video by people who believed it to be true ranged from relief to outrage to sadness at the loss of their beloved Facebook. The video currently has over 35 million views and continues to gain a million more approximately every two days. People from all over the globe have posted about and re-uploaded the video and—spearheaded by the hashtag #wwfb—have begun a movement in which they discuss what a world without Facebook would actually be like.
"I wanted to make a statement about Facebook and its impact on the world," Oleck says. "Though I am a Facebook user myself and I appreciate its usefulness as a platform to stay connected with each other, there's things about it that concern me. So I wanted to express my thoughts the best way I know how—through film."
Gizmodo | Snopes | Business 2 Community | That's Nonsense
About Andrew Oleck
Originally from the Philadelphia area, Oleck studied film at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia and has been a freelance director and editor in Los Angeles since 2009. He established the production company Bayview Drive Films shortly after arriving in L.A., where he and his team produce music videos, documentaries, branded content, commercials, VR/360 content, and live talk shows, concerts and events. He has also created original narrative work for television and film, most notably a hip hop comedy web-series and pilot called "Boyz In The Wood" and a short film titled "#Selfie." His ethos as a filmmaker is to always push the boundaries of what is expected or perceived as impossible. Moving forward, Andrew will still produce content for the internet, but his main focus will be on developing his many television and film projects.
Connect With Andrew Oleck:
Website | andrewoleck@
Page Updated Last on: Apr 26, 2018