2 Birds, 1 Whale: A Story About Twitter

When Twitter–the popular microblogging platform–is down for the count (something that’s been happening a lot lately), they display this charming image on their website:

I think it’s quite lovely, in a surreal sort of way. And it always struck me as a bit existential. I started to wonder about those eight little birds, and how they must feel about their workload. So, I made this 2-minute video, which features the worst animation you’ve ever seen:

2 Birds, 1 Whale: A Story About Twitter from Darren Barefoot on Vimeo.

Apologies for my pitiful reading–I’m an awful actor. An actress friend of ours, Mercedes Dunphy, was in town for the weekend, so I got her to do the other voice. She raises the bar considerably. I lifted the opening lines from the seminal first episode of Red vs. Blue, and stole a couple of other lines from Waiting for Godot. There’s also a Douglas Adams reference which, given the presence of a plummeting sperm whale, seemed like a must.

I was a little disappointed by the way both Vimeo and YouTube processed this video. YouTube wouldn’t remotely keep the audio and animation synchronized, and Vimeo cut out the open three seconds of video (hence the overlapping groans), which shows the whale image above to aid with context. I’m pretty new to this video stuff–any recommendations as to how I can upload this to a video-sharing site without it getting all bollocksed up?


  1. I used to think those graphics and twee messages (“Flickr is having a massage”) were cute. Now I’ve realized that they’re just feeding me cute to stop me from being mad. No longer…make your damn service work properly!

  2. Haha, that was funny, Darren, thx for posting it! Especially loved the ending line(s), and also the petunia/Douglas Adams reference…

  3. Hi Darren,
    I wish I could help more, but I’ve never heard of You Tube having synchronicity issues, much less Vimeo cutting off the first part. I assume you’re uploading a .mov? The support folks at Vimeo forums are pretty responsive, you might ask them.

    Also, really funny video!

  4. Very nice – your theater background comes through in the voicework 🙂

    For video services, give Viddler a try. They’ve been doing some hot stuff with their player and the encoding always goes smoothly from my experience.

  5. Darren, I think you’d be able to nail a Kermit the Frog impression.

    Have to say most of the references in the dialog were lost on me, but liked the ending.

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