All publications of erfan shams . تهران , Jomhūrī-ye Eslāmī-ye
The videos of eggplants raining down from Tehran’s sky became viral on its first day of release on social media on March 15. It captured the attention of many local and international news agencies as well as the national television of Iran. This project is a product of an effective team of VFX students, and as a member of this team and the director of the videos, I’d like to share my opinion about the story behind it and the factors that led to this popularity.
The first factor is the timing of publishing the videos. Everyone was quarantined at home and was spending their time more than ever with their cell phones; all we needed was to wait for a cloudy day to come. We also did a lot of research to find out at what time of day it would be most effective to start publishing the videos on social media.
The second factor concerns the composition of the people that the videos were sent to first. Since the films demonstrate that the incidents are taking place in the west of Tehran, we decided to send out the videos first to those living in the west neighborhoods. We figured out if we could convince them, it would be easier for others to believe. The first video was sent to 10 people simultaneously. Some of them started sending it to others and the first wave of spreading started. As expected, some weren’t involved as they didn’t believe it, so after 90 minutes, we sent them the second video asking them what is going on in the west? The second group got involved, and at the end, the last group also got engaged after releasing the final video.
It took 4 hours for the videos to go viral and after 6 hours we were on the domestic news. Finally, after gaining such recognition on the media, Iranian cyber-security police intervened and that is how the third factor stepped in to capture the international attention as well. From BBC to The Guardian and many other international agencies the headlines were almost the same; a team of filmmakers was arrested over producing a prank video. We weren’t indeed arrested but we received a warning to not repeat the same conduct in the future.
You can search eggplant/aborigine rain in Google or Twitter (or its equivalent in Persian: بارش بادمجان) to find out more about this story you can refer to the link in the following:
If you’ve had a common experience, I’ll be happy to hear it.