If leisure is the basis of culture, and necessity is the mother of invention, then unemployment and boredom can spark the genius of a man.
This piece of convoluted illogic comes to mind after reading the account of Nick Confalone, a Los Angeles-based freelance writer (read: unemployed hack), househusband and dad to a three-month-old son. He won fame and a bit of a fortune after producing a series of six-second video clips using Twitter’s Vine video sharing mobile application.
It’s tough being left alone at home with your kid, counting the hours and minutes before your wife comes home from work. One day, while watching a Vine clip of a lovely sunset over the ocean, he realized that he had been cooped up inside the house for so long and he began to feel sorry for himself.
He cried, but then he also realized there was no use crying over milk spilt by his baby. So he decided to do something, anything, to get the depression out of his system. He thought of movies. Yeah, why not make movies? At home? Yes, why not? And that’s just what he did.
He gathered everything he could find inside the house for props, including the stuffed animals and plastic toys. For the cast, there’s of course his one and only star, his baby.
But it was the Vine app that allowed him to put everything together. “It was my perfect medium, combining my love of storytelling with my impatient desire to finish something quickly,” Confalone writes in online magazine Slate. “I’d written cartoons for Disney, so I knew that there’s no better way to quickly convey an idea and make people laugh than with fast cuts, silly voices, whip pans, and sound effects. A cute baby helps too.”
Without him realizing it, he’s posting so many episodes of his domestic adventures with his kid, and his followers started to multiply — first dozens, then hundreds, then thousands. Soon his videos were being featured on CNN, Ellen DeGeneres’ show, and in the Tribeca Film Festival.
Big corporations also started knocking on the door, asking him to make his baby wear this brand of clothes or drink that brand of milk. There’s money in this silliness, after all.
Friends told him that a great part of the videos’ appeal was seeing what a dad was doing with the baby when mom’s not around. “I let him lick money (oops); I propped him up, but he fell over (oops); I let him suck on a peanut butter jar lid (oops).”
Despite all the lapses of parental judgment, Confalone said, most of the video reviews were positive. He’s been keeping his baby happy with all their silly antics. He’s a great dad.
Confalones’ video clips
Confessions of a Vine Dad
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