It’s been almost 14 years because I uploaded the original video and to this day it tho prompts questions. That was the guy who acquired punched?
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In November 2007, an entirely contextless video clip of me being punched in the confront went viral. You can have seen it. The still walk the rounds every couple of months, often when miscellaneous notably bad happens the warrants a an answer of disbelief. In these strange times, it’s controlled to remain endlessly prescient.

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For the uninitiated, the video in question is an 11-second clip in which, aged 16, I appear wearing a dressing gown cord roughly my head, a chain necklace, some children’s sunglasses and also a black color T-shirt. Ns sit down and deal with the camera, ostensibly around to phone call the viewer what i was thinking. I am immediately interrupted through my girlfriend Tim, who appears stage left and lamps me. Quite than reaction in ache or anger, i err more towards disappointment and also dismay, bewildered the something prefer this might happen. “Ah fuck. I can’t think you’ve excellent this,” i said. Finish scene.


It’s been practically 14 years due to the fact that I uploaded the original video clip and to now it still prompts questions. That was the guy who gained punched? Why walk he gain punched? who punched him? What was he thinking? Why go he react that way? Why go he leave YouTube? 

In current years I’ve come to appreciate and even enjoy its bizarre standing as one enduring piece of net history, however my partnership with the clip in the te that complied with its inexorable increase hasn’t always been easy. To know why, it’s advantageous to remember that the web in 2007 was, for much better or worse, a an extremely different place. 


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Having spent the best part of my school years filming stupid skits v mates instead of studying, there to be something semi-appealing about the prospect of gift able to placed videos online to share with friends. It began in mid-2003, when myself and also a team of friends would have remained in our at an early stage teens. Inspired by the likes the Jackass and also Bam Margera’s CKY movies, our impressionable young selves collection about skip all relevant safety warnings, hurling ourselves out of trees, talk scooters right into curbs, and racing tyres under hills ~ above skateboards.

At the period of 14 or so, I had actually envisaged cut the footage into a chaotic feature-length video clip of “stunts.” I’d probably have actually soundtracked it with music native the Tony hawk games, alongside numerous other homemade ice scating videos civilization made circa 2003 that more than likely featured a mix the Ace of Spades or Guerilla Radio. I still have actually a box full of VHS-C tapes kicking about somewhere, which have the right to only be perceived on among those certain insane VHS adapters. Having actually not watched any of that in fine over a decade, I can safely say the the content contained within those tapes is unequivocally shit.

All the a suddenly you"re everywhere and also it"s out of her control. Girlfriend either try to hit it and also get destroyed, or take on it and shot to cash in.

Looking back, the entirety endeavour was totally aimless, however aside from comes away with mild head injuries from time come time it to be an innocuous way to spend my childhood. In ~ the very least the also way I have a bizarre, tangible record of my youth the I’ll have the ability to laugh at one day when I’m old and wizened.

By summer 2004, we had actually started filming ~ above Mini-DV, which opened up a whole new world of editing and enhancing possibilities. Plugging a video camera into a computer and capturing footage straight to editing and enhancing software is pretty lot a given for today’s generation of contents creators, but ago in the beforehand 2000s, this was revolutionary. 


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We’d ultimately gravitate away from ‘stunts’ towards much more structured skits and also sketches. Nothing was ever scripted every se, however we’d usually start out v a rough idea of something and also see how it played out.

There was an ambitiously misguided 'silent horror' short, soundtracked by Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells, in which who chopped off ‘my cock’ (a banana) v a garden shear. We taken into consideration this to it is in the absolute pinnacle that comedy. 

There was an ill-advised 'Ballers' skit in which we ventured out in sports equipment to do a mock training video clip taking the piss the end of a male at school who fancied himself together a little of a gangster; this pains middle-class white son who listened to rap metal and liked basketball. That obviously never ever saw it and also there's no inquiry that us looked choose idiots filming it at the regional park. It’s more than likely quite offensive in hindsight.


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Mercifully, none of this stuff ever made it online, however I did market a pair of DVDs to civilization at school who rightly/probably/hopefully never watched them. In an ideal world, I'd very own the only copies. I'm also fully aware the writing around this currently only renders it much more likely that one of the four people that still have a copy will dig theirs out. Please do not carry out that.

In 2005 and also 2006, YouTube was an extremely much in that is infancy. This was the time as soon as clips were limited to around 100mb and also you can only upload around 30 secs worth of clip at a time, which basically made it perfect for bursts that frenetic, inane content. As the communication grew, it ended up being a dumping ground for skits and also footage that we’d gathered over the coming before years. Much of the went totally unnoticed till late 2007, in ~ which suggest things began to get a bit weird.

The fact is that, practically a decade and a fifty percent later, I’m still processing it.

The clip that world have involved know started out as an aimless skit filmed in Summer 2006. Us hadn’t planned anything, the very least of every me being punched. In the footage building up to the event, I pushed Tim off the chair, the fell and hit his head ~ above a filing cabinet off-camera. Rather than react to Tim, ns sat down and proceeded to advertisement lib something the I’d venture to assumption: v would have actually been considerably less funny than the plot of violence that followed. Unprompted, Tim upsided me and I reacted with an inexplicable, completely incredulous response, i beg your pardon has complied with me online ever since.

The footage sat on a tape till July 2007 once I determined to upload a brief segment under an ambiguous title. Fast forward to November and also the video had in which method blown up, had its comments ar relentlessly spammed, to be ripped plenty of times and also had offensive Wiki pages written about it. I additionally received a few direct message which might at best have been explained as ‘worrying’ and also at worst ‘threatening,’ which was nice.


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To this day, I’m none the wiser regarding how it go out up in the way it did. I originally uploaded the video under the title ‘ ___________’ but the video clip somehow found its method onto 4chan whereby it spread choose wildfire. The more quickly mirrored attach I can find was from January 2008, by which time it had actually been re-uploaded by lot of accounts, the most influential of i beg your pardon had currently clocked increase almost twin the variety of views compared to my original upload.

At the time, going viral wasn't really equivalent to any other experience and also it certainly wasn't something ns could talk about in solidarity through my friends. All of a suddenly you're everywhere and also it's out of her control. Friend either try to struggle it and also get destroyed, or adopt it and shot to cash in. ~ yanking under several other videos on mine YouTube channel, ns opted for the latter.

When the video clip blew up, I obtained a contact from a friend who informed me the the video had made the front web page of Break.com. Ns peripherally knew what that meant: they offered a buyout plan for videos the made the front page, which intended that I could make part money indigenous it.

As it transpired, this wasn’t such a an excellent idea. After ~ signing a release form with part pretty appalling terms, end the following months I had several unnerving interactions with researchers for various TV mirrors looking to license the clip. Each available far much more favourable terms 보다 those that Break. One of them harassed a bunch of my mates ~ above Facebook. Ns think he even readily available to pay one of them because that my call details.


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By that point, it was all too evident that i had completely fucked it. Break had actually the rights and also I couldn't do anything v it also if I wanted to. At simply 18 year old, I had actually sold out. In the quick term, I offered the money to buy a TV, which to be great, but I quickly started to get the creeping feeling that this was a decision the would concerned haunt me. At the point, it was easier to disassociate myself indigenous the clip, abandon YouTube, and move on v my life. 

And yet, for the best part of 14 years the questions have actually kept coming: no, that wasn’t staged or scripted, that wasn’t a set-up, i didn’t recognize it was coming and, yes, the hurt. It was also very funny, i beg your pardon is maybe why ns felt the should upload that in isolation in the first place. Incidentally, Tim and also I room still friends and also contrary to few of the absolutely insane comments human being leave ~ above YouTube I have the right to confirm the neither of us are in prison, the punch wasn’t a reaction to some type of disagreement and also he’s a lovely bloke.

To it is in clear, the lack of context wasn’t a deliberate choice to include intrigue either. I’d never even thought about the possibility that anyone exterior my circle of girlfriend would watch it. To me it was just an additional daft clip that a few mates would discover funny.

Around the time I’d started to make tranquility with the issues around ownership, in 2018 it concerned my fist that Break had shut down and its owner Defy Media had gone bust. The website was consequently purchased through Yeah1 Network, yet to this day I have no clarity whatsoever on my legal rights to the video. Any type of attempts to get guidance have actually either turned increase dead ends, or caused suggestions that ns speak come IP lawyers, who I have neither the way nor the moment to transaction with. Incidentally, if anyone has any kind of insights in that area, I’d love come hear them.


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Having claimed this, there’s something rather empowering in taking something embarrassing and also admitting to it before someone else can suggest it the end to you—a little bit like acquisition ownership of an amusing surname. I’ll leave it come you to number out what gags have the right to be make from the name ‘Weedon,’ but I learned quite beforehand that if you make the joke yourself and also beat rather to it, no one can fucking touch you. It’s much less complicated nowadays to host my hands up and also admit that ns shouldn’t have sold the rights, make a joke of it and also move on. At the really least, it provides for a great anecdote at parties.

As I doubt is probably the instance for old content creators, if you have the right to even call us that, the genuine story around I Can’t believe You’ve done This isn’t in just how it’s aged and endured, or even how it’s impacted my life. For me, it’s tied increase in concerns of rights, ownership, and monetisation. Together mercenary as it could be, I’d be lying if I said that i didn’t regret absent out ~ above a part of the pie as soon as it came to YouTubers gift able to monetise their contents sooner. On the one hand, that's probably a very cynical view for something the was produced by a bunch of teenagers who were fooling about making videos for fun in the noughties, yet on the other, that's just the civilization we live in now.


Perhaps the strangest thing about my experience with it recently is the way people engage with that on a day-to-day basis. The comments differ from young human being discovering its origins for the very first time, surprised to find that the is in reality a 14 year old video clip and no a recent development filmed because that Vine or TikTok. In ~ the other end of the spectrum room those who room incredulous the someone v a video clip that has actually 9.2 million views and also an account that’s amassed over 15,000 followers without yes, really trying would action away indigenous the platform and not want to make content.

The truth is that, nearly a decade and also a half later, I’m still processing it. Ns love seeing exactly how it’s to be re-interpreted in modern-day mediums and also that hopeful association has actually made it simpler to accept. Charles Cornell rotate it right into a sad song. It got sampled in a kill The Noise track. I had a nice interaction with The Sidemen around it. Will certainly Smith also featured it in an insane Instagram short article during the pandemic. Ns DM’d him to say thanks and also he clearly didn’t reply.

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To the end, a little group that us have recently started work on a movie project exploring the nature the the meme, exactly how it grew, its impact on mine life and also my relationship with the internet at large. In doing so, the expect is that, when answering several of the burning inquiries that other human being still seem to have, I’ll ultimately be able to make tranquility with the entirety thing.