Mighty Engine


Climbing the Vine: Matt Goold Finds Fame on the Internet

Being famous on the internet is no easy gig. With Amanda Bynes hosting weekly Twitter meltdowns and Rihanna Instagramming photos of questionably legal activity, it’s hard out there for a regular guy or gal to find fame among the unfathomably insane.

But if anyone can do it, it’s Mighty Engine’s quick-witted art director Matt Goold, who has mastered social media’s latest tribute to the Me generation: Vine.

For those not already familiar with Vine, it allows users to create and share 6-second videos with their friends and followers. But what could easily have become an amalgamation of banal videos has been taken up by creative folk, like Matt, who instead have turned daily life into cleverly-fashioned quips. And with an account full of well-watched gems (see here and here) and hashtags taken up by Vine users across the globe, Matt’s dream of full-fledged internet stardom may not be so far off.

Of all the ways to become famous on the Internet, why Vine?

Well, when it comes to my plan of action for getting famous on the internet, I sort of just throw it all on the wall and see what sticks. Vine just happens to be where things stuck. Which, I’m happy about because I find the app really fun and creatively challenging. Also, I started using it as soon it came out, so getting in on the ground floor has certainly worked to my advantage.

Is the six-second limit a blessing or a burden?

I love the limit. I think restraint forces creativity, so I gladly embrace the format.

Making a Vine is truly an art form. What’s your process look like?

Just like anything else, Vines are at their strongest when there’s thought put into them. I do my best to avoid just making these for the sake of making them. I see a lot of content that just looks like the user was bored and wanted to use the app. Putting in some thought and effort is, I think, what pushes a Vine toward becoming an art, versus just being a novelty.

Sometimes the idea is easily engineered and sometimes it requires a bit more setup. I pride myself  on executing every Vine on my own, which is another restraint that fuels my fire. When I start adding music and costume, it might be a few takes before I get it right. The video I made for my 100th Vine–which was a celebration of 100 Vines and 500 followers–took about a half  hour to do and had a somewhat involved set up. See below.

Photo May 04, 10 16 21 PM

Hashtags seem to have provided you with a way to meet Vine users around the world. What makes something hashtag material? Do you have a favorite?

I usually have the idea for the Vine first and then figure out a hashtag that makes sense for it. However, once a hashtag exists, I’ll add more Vines that fit within it.

For example, I made a Vine that was a close up of a wooden cabinet and as the camera pans the detail, I’m describing its beautiful craftsmanship, and then mid-sentence the camera quickly moves to a mirror where I’m making a specific face and laughing a specific laugh. Though I’m still not exactly sure why, this was really funny to me, and so I hashtagged it with what it essentially was: a #surpriseselfie.

I’ve made other #surpriseselfie Vines since then, and soon, other people started making them too. At last count, there were almost a hundred Vines made with the hashtag, which is pretty cool. It’s a simple but equally strange and, to me, funny idea that’s easily executable. I think that’s why it’s caught on in the way it did.

It’s so funny to see people try to make the same face and recreate the same laugh as to stick with the established format of the hashtag. There is a group of Australian guys who make them now and I find that really insane but very awesome. I think any hashtag that engages people and pushes them to join in is a successful one.

You’ve racked up over 500 followers pretty quickly. Have you received any odd comments or videos in response to a video?

I made a video called “Hashtag Puffy Vested #puffyvested” which was a J. Lo song playing while I grooved to it in a puffy vest. Some people did their own versions of that and one of them was a dog in a puffy vest wearing sunglasses while the same song played in the background.

That was odd but also the highest honor you can receive as a person who makes Vines.

Of the 105 videos you’ve made, what’s your favorite Vine?

I made this Vine which was a remake of the movie, “The Master”. Although it looks very simple, it actually took the longest to make, and I’m probably most proud of it.

Are you planning to shoot one tonight?

I’m planning to make one EVERY night. But we’ll see how it goes.

See if Matt keeps his word by following him on Vine. And if you’re not on Vine but still want to tune in, follow Matt on Twitter (@magicdad) where he also posts his videos.



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