Discovery Channel’s Shark Week: Seven days of hammerhead close-ups and swarming great whites. Revision3’s spoof of the yearly TV event: 90 seconds of kittens and puppies wearing foam dorsal fins, licking their prey to death.
It’s the latest online video from Revision3, an Internet television network (owned by Discovery). The parody sees a hapless diver trapped in a cage (really a dog crate) deep underwater (in the production manager’s backyard), circled by blood-crazed sharks (pint-sized pets being prompted by off-screen chew toys). Called "Animals Acting Like Sharks Week," it’s the fake show that has “all the thrills of Shark Week—all the budget of the Internet.”
“I love how everyone here is just so into it,” says Anthony Carboni, who starred in the spoof as the snorkel-wearing shark bait. He’s a producer and host at Revision3. “Why wouldn’t our execs come out and make a silly kitten video? This is the Internet. We are in the kitten video business.”
The piece blends the DIY spirit of YouTube with the production value of broadcast sketch comedies, which seems to be Revision3’s goal. The San Francisco-based company calls itself “television for the internet generation.” Zeroing in on the videogame-savvy 18-35 male cohort, Revision3 airs daily HD content on its website, on multiple platforms like iTunes, and across several YouTube channels. Programming ranges from mobile app reviews, hot topics in gaming news, tips for foiling hackers, dispatches from Comic-Con, gadget giveaways, and other fare designed to lure the online dude demo.
Shark-kitties aside, other recent Revision3 creations include a Nokia 3310 phone undergoing a “destruction test” (i.e., seemingly smashed by a sledgehammer), plus a sketch called “What If Batman Was Your Roommate?!” When creating his own video ideas, Carboni says, “I just always try to come up with the most insanely silly ideas I can. Then they tell me whether I’m being ‘good stupid’ or ‘bad stupid.’”
The real Shark Week kicks off its 25th year Sunday, August 12 on Discovery Channel.