Directed by Charlo Johnson Starring Senan Byrne and Eddie Whelan Short Film Review by Owen Herman
Gone Viral is a lovely short documentary that looks into the lives of the ‘Fupin Eejits’, two Irish mental health nurses and viral internet comedians. The Eejits, Eddie Whelan and Senan Byrne, use vine (a social media platform where users post 6 second videos) to make clever and funny content that saw them viewed by more than 300 million people worldwide.
Director Charlo Johnson tells their slightly bizarre story through interviews, footage of their day-to-day lives and the vines that made them famous. Johnson has made something quite intimate, exploring the thoughts and feelings of these funny yet very ordinary men in an honest and warmly revealing way. The informal interviews are shot in such a way that they feel like the two are just having a friendly chat; the close ups and open body positions allow intimacy and create the feeling that the viewer, too, is in on the conversation. The use of the local pub reinforces where they’ve come from and the cuts between the two as they exchange witty lines demonstrates their natural ability as a double act.
Looking into the two’s lives and interests outside of internet fame, from hurling to drumming, helps the viewer understand that Eddie and Senan are just two normal guys who have, even to their own surprise, made people around the world laugh. The juxtaposition of their discussing getting messages from models, with their co-workers talking about how down to earth they are is both humorous and fascinating. Gone Viral is brilliant at giving you a glimpse of the viral celebrity; someone who millions love yet leads a normal, everyday life. It doesn’t do any harm that the vines on display are laugh out loud funny too.
Gone Viral is a must-watch (at 7 minutes long you have no excuse not to watch it) insight into the modern world of a social media celebrity. There is something very heart-warming and down to earth about two people who just did something for a bit of fun but have ended up making millions of people, including myself, laugh.