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5 Second Movies is a video blog series that offers reviews and commentaries on popular films by compressing the storyline into five-second clips that can be seen as the essence of the said films. Following its launch in April 2008, the series became quite well-known for its humorous editing of full-length films into rather short and often exploitable clips. In addition, the popularity of these videos lead to other YouTube users creating their own 5 Second Movies.
The web series was originally launched by film reviewer Doug Walker, also known as “That Guy with the Glasses”, via YouTube channel FiveSecondMovies in early 2007. According to Walker, the series was inspired while discussing Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan with his brother Rob and making fun of the line “KHAN.” Walker’s original five-second long movies included titles like Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings and Batman films; the most popular instance to date is the 5 second version of James Cameron’s 1997 disaster film Titanic, which was uploaded on February 19th, 2007.
The series was well-received on YouTube and spread quickly through other forums, introducing Walker’s YouTube comedy channel to a broader audience for the first time. Throughout 2007, 5 second movies became a widespread genre of user-generated videos on the site and a playlist of notable selection was compiled by YouTuber IberiaSumergida. In November 2007, The Guardian wrote an article about the series, reporting on its online popularity as well as the debate over their copyright status on YouTube. In May 2008, The Times posted an article titled “Microtrends: Hyperediting” highlighting Walker’s series as the trendsetter of quick-paced and frequent editing.
Despite the popularity of the videos, they were frequently removed from YouTube for copyright infringement, which led Walker to break away and set up his own website ThatGuyWithTheGlasses.com in April 2008. In response to the takedowns on YouTube, Walker published a video parodying Chris Crocker’s “Leave Britney Alone!” titled “Leave 5 Second Movies Alone!”
Following the release of the 101st episode in June 2008, Walker announced the suspension of the series, stating his concerns about the show growing stale and that he will only make more episodes when there is a good idea. In late 2008, Walker hosted a community contest called “Users in 5 Seconds,” calling on his audience members to send in 5 Second Movies of themselves. As of February 2012, there are a total of 131 episodes hosted on his website.
Although Walker stopped producing the series in 2007, numerous contributors on his website TheGuywiththeGlasses have started their own versions of 5 second movies, most notably by Suede and Film Brain among others. In addition, contributor Benzaie went on to launch 5 Second Games, Linkara began posting 5 Panel Comics and CR branched off with 5 Second Character Analysis.
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