Saturday, January 10, 2009

No more dancing for Matt? Matt Harding: a fake fake.

*EDIT* - the last line of the post has the most up-to-date version of things.

He finally admitted it. Matt Harding, geek hero, cewebrity and inspiration to many who loved his dancing videos, visited the website and, indeed, reposted his videos on their own blogs came clean recently and admitted that the doubting YouTube commenters were right, and that he is, in fact, a fake.

He is in fact an actor whose previous biggest accomplishment was playing a corpse on CSI: Miami. He is terrified of flying and has never left the US. He was hired by New York based viral ad agency Buzz!Brain to feature in the project, on the basis of his "affably horrible dancing ability".

The project, as this video shows, involved a huge amount of photoshopping, green screens and an army of animatronic puppets (including one called Larry) to maintain the secrecy necessary to create the illusion. He revealed how he almost drowned during the non-gravity scene, which was really filmed in a hollowed out Boeing 727 in an Olympic swimming pool. He also showed the budget, which, though expensive he feels was worth it, and features the costs of the puppets ($8,000,000), secrecy bribes ($2.5m) and robot uprising insurance for $1m.

Click here for larger.

At the Entertainment Gathering (EG) conference in Monterey, California where he revealed the hoax, the actor playing Harding comments on how the original video, which Time Magazine has named the best viral video of 2008, inspired so many comments, that people had

"a profound joy of feeling connected to the whole world by watching this simple act of uncoordinated, unselfconscious silliness shared by everyone"
that he wished the video had been real. "It wouldn't solve anything or change anything" said Harding, "Our problems are still our problems, but maybe there's some value in being reminded of the really basic stuff we have in common." And so invited the audience up to dance with him at the end of his talk.

And then, of course, at MacWorld this year - this video was published a short time ago - he reveals that that hoax was a hoax:

So, there you have it. The Matt Harding videos are not fake. Odd seeing/hearing him speak, eh?


  1. I hadn't heard the original hoax story, so when I saw this I was a bit worried.

    I would have been gutted if it was fake., great video.

  2. Like the commenter above, I got a bit worried when I read the first part of the post; there was something so optimistic and joyous about the videos, I would have hated to hear they were fake.

  3. I would have been gutted too if they were fakes... I'm surprised at how gutted I was actually getting ready to be.

    My first reaction was to disbelieve, not in naive hope but because I like to think I can spot CGI from a mile off and I don't see any there.

  4. Jesus! Why would anyone do that! I was nearly in tears. Those videos were my soul hope for humanity :)

  5. Oh. This is quite sad. I really enjoyed those vids and the story behind them :( Boo.

  6. That comment was a fake. This is real: I am happy the vids were real after all :) Yay.

  7. Yes, when I read it was a hoax, it was like finding out that there was no Santa Claus - quite a let down. I wanted to know for sure and I still was thinking that part of it WAS done with greenboard. I want it ALL to be real.

  8. Xbox: I think I'd have had to hunt him down if they were fake. I'd definitely never had tried Stride Gum anyways!

    Cathy: Same there, definitely. But it was good to see him poke fun at himself.

    Ken: I'd have been impressed at an army of animatronic puppets worth $8,000,000 though.

    Jothemama: Ah look up the Free Hugs one as well. Another one of my favourites.

    Nathalie: Heh. I edited this post for the people who didn't read it through. I should learn to shorten!

    Anonymous: Hi there. I don't think any greenscreen could have been used. It would have taken too much effort, surely?