The enhance thing

In December last year I was working at MPC in London on Clash of the Titans. I had some spare time in the evenings. One day, after seeing this clip from CSI, I was seized by a strange compulsion to collect every example of cheesy tv and film image enhancement I could find and edit them into a short video.

I started by asking for examples on ask.metafilter.com and the first answer, a link to the Enhance button page on tvtropes.org, was probably the most useful resource. I also used various torrent, subtitle and transcript sites. I spent a few weeks downloading and editing, and managed to get it done before the Christmas break. My brother Joel did some great music in Garage Band which I re-cut the video to. After uploading to YouTube I posted it to my tumblrb3ta and waxy’s amazing supercuts page (to which I’d previously contributed “My Arse!”).

I was pretty pleased with how it turned out but I’d never have predicted that 6 weeks later it would have over HALF A MILLION views. It’s been pretty exciting seeing my little video spread around the internet. It’s unlikely I’ll ever repeat the success of “Let’s Enhance” so I thought I’d use this blog to catalog some of the more interesting or surprising places it showed up. Reading the comments on some of these blogs I’ve found some great enhance clips I missed and even learnt something about Eigenvalues.

waxy.org/links:  Andy Baio got the ball rolling. He’s good at that. He even sent me a nice email.

Boing Boing:  They previously posted my Dance Dance Industrial Revolution pic.

kottke.org:  He previously posted my Bunk and McNulty go skiing picture.

b3ta newsletter:  After a few years of photoshops, my first mention in the “puerile digital arts community” newsletter.

reddit and digg:  Most of the views came from these guys. They are HUGE.

SlateThe AtlanticEntertainment WeeklyThe New York Times: WTF?!

GizmodoBuzzfeed, VideogumMetafilter:  Nice that it made it back to MeFi.

Felicia Day:  Popular actress and geek. I wonder if she knows any of the actors doing the enhancing.

Official Photoshop Blog:  If I ever update this video, Avatar will be the first clip I add.

Motionographer:  I love how someone says in the comments, “Duncan Robson has a pretty solid CV”. Thanks!

A real-life image processing expertThe Vancouver Police MuseumThe CEO of MotionDSP – Makers of actual video enhancement software.

Jesse Thorn:  Host of awesome public radio show The Sound of Young America.

Screenwriter John August.

An interesting essay about “appropriation artists”.

A CBC radio interview with fantasy user interface designer Mark Coleran.

A seminar series on genre fiction at King’s College London is called “Let’s Enhance”.

Clients From Hell:  It doesn’t stop! Just yesterday it was blogged here which means new followers on tumblr, twitter mentions, youtube subscribers and a bunch of comments.

It’s been fun but also pretty distracting, especially when I’m supposed to be looking for work. This is why I felt the need to write all this down, so I can concentrate on the next thing. It won’t be another supercut. It might be an animated short.

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