It's time for another addition of Video Flashback Friday. Our bi-weekly feature where we dig up old marketing/recruiting videos and-- examine their cinematic brilliance.
Today, we are going to be looking at something quite different than our first two "films" from RunKeeper and HubSpot. Today, we are going to open the vault and break down some of Terrible Labs's vaunted web series, Scotch O'Clock.
Just because it is so ridiculous, let's look at the Ty Danco episode as a case study for the series:
Grade - A (Our first, and probably only "A" that we will give out.)
Creative Awesomeness - Cannes Calling?
If we were giving away a Lifetime Achievement Award (we're not), Scotch O' Clock would be the first recipient, hands down. The masterful editing, especially the signature cut-to-credits at the most humorous or awkward moment in each episode, puts the Terrible Labs crew in the same company as cinematic greats Fellini, Godard, Kubrick, and Tyler Perry, in my opinion.
Over the whole catalogue of episodes, the editing, with its quick cuts, random allusions, and willingness to prolong that awkward silence for one second more, makes the Scotch O'Clock series the touchstone by which all other Boston web series must strive toward.
The theme song, the the opening montage, the ending credits, all of which, when combined, may be longer than the actual interview content for an episode, give the Scotch O'Clock franchise caché which other local video production teams are lacking.
And, the scotch!
I mean the entire concept is brilliant: "Hey let's get some of the movers/shakers in the local tech scene on camera with Jeremy, give them some scotch, sit them down next to a busty mermaid statue, and see what happens."
If you are a newbie to the Boston tech scene, take some time and rifle through as many Scotch O'Clock's as possible. Not only will you have a better understanding of who the key players in town are, you'll catch a glimpse of their personality as well. If anything, the videos might cause one or two startup founders out there to think more deeply about who their aspirations and personalities align with best. Maybe you realize the Scott Savitz would be a great mentor, or perhaps, you have a fashion/media company and decide to reach out to Greg Selkoe.
Performance - I Have No Problem Stating that Weiskotten is the Sir Laurence Olivier of Our Generation
Jeremy Weiskotten, Terrible Labs's Director and Principal Rails Developer, is a master of asking provocative questions, but his greatest asset on camera is his deadpan reaction to something absurd a guest may do or say.
Take for example his reaction to Ty Danco's dime in the scotch glass feat. Does he laugh? Does he jump out of his seat and scream 'Holy Shit!"? No. He calmly grabs the glass and drinks down the scotch with the Danco-infused dime. Again, brilliant.
And his interactions with the Scotch O'Clock guests, some of whom are trying to out-funny Weiskotten, makes the episodes laugh-out-loud funny. Everyone seems to know what they are getting into, and yet, most of the guests are often shocked by Weiskotten's out of left field questions and non-sequitors.
Culture - Is Terrible Hiring?
You can't watch these videos without thinking, man, Terrible Labs seems like a place I'd love to work.
Known for getting shit done, Terrible Labs's comes across as a fun company to be involved with through these videos as well as their non-Scotch O'Clock films.
Particularly, the "end credit Cort Johnson carousel of roles" recurring bit shows that the company is not afraid to make fun of itself. Whether listed as "Hair and Make-up," "Waterboy," or some other absurd title, Johnson, Terrible's Director and definitely Weiskotten's cohort in the Scotch O'Clock hilarity, slyly stays off camera but pops up in every end credit.
Unfortunately, Johnson said that the Scotch O'Clock thing has run its course, but knowing Terrible Labs, they will have something else for our enjoyment in the near future.
The entire collection is just pure entertainment. For a look at how the concept evolved over time, check out the two Dave Balter episodes:
So most likely, I just ruined your day because, just like Pringles, it almost impossible to enjoy just one of these episode without tearing into the whole lot of them. All of the Terrible Labs films can be found at Cort Johnson's YouTube page. For some reason, I found it appropriate, that among the top five suggestions for videos to watch next, the absurd Prancercise video was recommended along with the Scotch O' Clock episodes.
Let your Friday procrastination session commence.
Dennis Keohane is a staff writer for VentureFizz. You can follow Dennis on Twitter (@DBKeohane) by clicking here.