Improv Everywhere: Spinning Beach Ball of Death

by
Filed under: Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking, Practical Jokes and Mischief

From Charlie Todd of Improv Everywhere:


Spinning Beach Ball of Death

For our latest mission, a presenter at the TED conference has his talk interrupted by the Mac spinning wait cursor, commonly known as the “Spinning Beach Ball of Death.” As he stands awkwardly and waits, things get weird.

Enjoy the video first and then go behind the scenes with our report.

For the uninitiated, TED is an annual conference in Long Beach, California that focuses on “Ideas Worth Sharing.” I gave a talk at a TEDx event last year that was promoted to TED.com. For the conference this year, the TED curators approached me about staging something unexpected to surprise their audience. We had previously staged a musical prank at a conference, but I wanted to do something new and different for TED. I came up with the idea to have a fake speaker give a talk and make it seem like his big moment in the spotlight had been ruined by a computer crash. Apple users love to hate the notorious Spinning Beach Ball of Death. I started with that image and set out to heighten it to absurdity.

Produced by: Charlie Todd and Cody Lindquist; Shot & Edited by: TED; Starring: Eugene Cordero as Colin Robertson; Animation by: Bob Bonniol; Song by: Tyler Walker; Still Photos: James Duncan Davidson, Charlie Todd

Click here for more about Improv Everywhere.