922. Internet Story – Adam Butcher

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SUMMARY: A narrator tells a supposedly true story about an online treasure hunt and the vlogger who became obsessed with it.

WHY IT’S HERE: Like ‘The Blair Witch Project’, Adam Butcher’s ‘Internet Story’ is a very cleverly marketed film that sets up a supposedly true story and then challenges the viewer to dispute it. In telling the tale, which involves one man’s obsessive quest to solve a series of online clues to find buried treasure, Butcher uses several storytelling techniques including a Flash animation by Jonathan Harris which tells the story of Chaucer’s ‘Pardoner’s Tale’, which is a key piece of the jigsaw. Although the animated portion of the film is brief, it recalls Ari Gold’s ‘Helicopter’ not in style but in highlighting what an excellent medium animation is for aiding storytelling. Like the film as a whole, the ‘Pardoner’s Tale’ animation is grim and funny. The rest of the film also brings to mind Ian Gouldstone’s BAFTA-winning animated internet tale ‘Guy 101’, a film I was less convinced by. Butcher’s film became a big online talking point, although the potential for it to actually be true was debunked early on when someone pointed out a gaping hole in the logic of the story, something which Butcher probably left there deliberately to prevent things getting out of hand.

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