Every now and then I’m reminded how tenuous this whole system of ours is, and how the tiniest of details can derail an entire process and cause all kinds of problems. Kind of like when a tiny pebble under your Rollerblade wheel changes the rest of your night and earns you a new nickname. Kind of like the time a no-name Serbian insurrectionist stepped out of a restaurant to find none other than the Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, sitting in a stalled car right in front of him, and he pulled a pistol out of his pocket and blasted him and his wife, launching Germany, France, Britain, Russia, and pretty much the rest of the world into Armageddon. It’s funny how omitting something as simple as the three letters in “not” can make something turn out vastly different from how you intended it.

I was musing on these things because of the way a tiny detail in my request was interpreted. See, we’re putting together a set of videos promoting Houston IMA’s Interactive Strategies Conference, and I wanted to do a cool background effect on the homepage of the site, which we’re also putting together. So I shot Caleb the following note: “Will you put me together a 60s reel of B-roll, with no sound?” He writes back “Sounds like fun.” That should have been a clue that something was amiss, because compiling a bunch of B-roll isn’t something I’d call “fun”. But Caleb’s one of those sunny, people pleasing types, so I didn’t think much of it at the time.

Until I saw the result.

At first I scratched my head. I saw that he had titled it “60s-Placeholder.mp4”, and when the thought struck me, I just shook it off. “It couldn’t be.”

But on further inquiry, I discovered that yes, Caleb had gone and dug up a bunch of actual sixties footage, cut it into this little masterpiece, and dropped it in a folder to be published along with a bunch of dinosaur videos. Gawdluvim!

See what happens when the wires get crossed? It’s kind of like the jet that was just one degree off course and flew that way for fourteen hours, except in this case the compass had two of every number placed pretty much at random and he just picked one and ran with it. All I could say (via email–I was remote at the time) was “I’m laughing real hard right now.” Once we got it figured out, he went and made this 60-second reel, which is more along the lines of what I was asking for.

This is how much fun we have! I felt that this was indicative of the breadth of our work, and how varied and interesting it is every day. It’s truly a testament to Melaroo’s quirkiness that either of these results would be reasonable for one of our people to expect from a request for a “60s reel”.