A video that lasts just 3 minutes and 47 seconds, has become a YouTube sensation racking up over five million views in just five days. Thirty-two-year-old Jeremiah McDonald from Maine posted a video last week that featured him engaging in an onscreen conversation with himself. Nothing too amazing about that in the video age, except that one half of the conversation is conducted by the Jeremiah of today, the other is Jeremiah in 1992, age 12 years old.
It appears that the juvenile Jeremiah knew what he was doing and actually intended to create a conversation with his older self. At the time of recording the first half of the conversation he was just looking forward a year or two and hadn't considered that he might revisit the old VHS tape in twenty years: "I wasn't thinking that far ahead when I was 12. Just long enough so that there would be a noticeable difference, as there was when I hit puberty not too long after."
The video is fascinating not just because it is technically so well done (you don't see the join) but also because it shines a light on both the aging process and the aspects of personality that don't alter. Jeremiah's science fiction fascination and obsession with Doctor Who hasn't dipped in the two decades that divide the discourse. Anyone that has seen the brilliant 7 Up series of films by Michael Apted that has followed the lives of fourteen children since 1964 will be familiar with the impact. What is incredible is that McDonald achieves this in under four minutes.
Some people will view the success of the clip as a combination of luck and some tricky editing. That would be a major underestimation of the Jeremiah's talent. A quick look at his channel on YouTube reveals that he is both a very able actor and a highly talented filmmaker. You don't get a million view a day without a bit of publicity. He's been interviewed on the NBC Today Show and the Nightly News, and been publicly endorsed by Steven Moffat, the head writer and executive producer of Doctor Who.