Nick Foister sent me a link to Fred and Sharon's Movies, which have become the latest viral video sensation. Fred and Sharon are a couple who claim to run a movie production business in Kelowna, Canada. But their movies are so bad they're actually funny. It takes talent to be that bad.
They have over 20 videos on youtube. If you haven't seen any of them, at least watch "Who Needs a Movie?" (below), in which they try to promote their movie production business.
Fred and Sharon also have a website. Their site was originally free and open, but the majority of it has recently been locked down so that you need to pay to see it. However, the fee is only $1, so I paid the buck. Turns out that all the "extra content" you get if you pay is simply more videos freely available on youtube. I would have felt cheated if I had paid more than $1, but since it was so little I didn't mind. They deserve it for producing some amusing content.
The question that many people are wondering is whether Fred and Sharon can possibly be for real. Or are they either a) the creations of an advertising agency, or b) comedians.
I haven't had much luck shedding light on this mystery. Though my gut feeling is that they're genuine. It's their effort to make people pay for their site that most makes me think they're genuine. An ad agency would never try to restrict access to content. But a couple like Fred and Sharon who suddenly start receiving hundreds of thousands of visitors to their site, and are faced with a huge bandwidth charge, probably would decide they need to make some money to cover the costs.
Fred and Sharon's site is registered to someone called Rob Korbynn. The only info I can find out about him is that he also seems to be the webmaster of The Ram's Horn, an Ontario-based journal about "food systems analysis." I'm guessing he's must be a guy who provides web services such as site design to clients in the Ontario area.
Even though I do think Fred and Sharon and for real, I also think they're now purposefully hamming it up for the camera. After all, they must realize they've suddenly got a huge audience.