Filmmaker converses with 12-year-old self in viral video
Published Friday, July 6, 2012 10:01AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, July 6, 2012 6:44PM EDT
As adults, we often wish we could go back in time and share some life lessons with our younger selves. Filmmaker and actor Jeremiah McDonald has turned that wish into a reality in a funny, bittersweet YouTube video that has gone viral.
In 1992, McDonald, then 12, taped a VHS video of himself.
“I think I’d like to talk to myself in the future,” McDonald announced to the world in his opening remarks on the VHS tape.
Twenty years later, the 32-year-old filmmaker spliced that footage into this YouTube project to create a surprisingly realistic, present-day conversation with his 12-year-old self.
McDonald doesn’t share many nuggets of wisdom with his 12-year-old self. But what they do discuss is amusing and sad at times.
“You look different,” says the precocious 12-year-old.
“No s**t. I’m 32,” replies McDonald.
“You look older. You’re getting older, man,” the innocent youngster blurts out.
With a nostalgic jazz tune playing in the opening minutes, McDonald’s video feels like something Woody Allen would have created had YouTube existed when the Hollywood director was in his 30s.
McDonald’s time-defying exchange with himself covers several topics, including their love of the British sci-fi hit, “Doctor Who.”
McDonald also clues his former self into several things that have changed in the world since 1992, including the fact that his pet dog is dead.
“Is Molly still alive?” the child asks.
“No, dogs don’t live that long," McDonald said.
McDonald also informs his 12-year-old self about the Internet, and what life is like living in the age of technology.
“Life before the Internet is kind of a blur to me. It’s going to completely take over your life. You’re going to spend many hours sitting in a room staring into a screen,” the man tells the child.
McDonald’s disappointments in the life are also conveyed in this video. That is particularly evident when 12-year-old Jeremiah holds up a big cartoon that he drew years ago.
A sudden pang of regret crosses the grown man’s face.
“I wanted to be an animator. I got lazy,” McDonald says.
That admission is not unfamiliar to many adults, and gives the video some surprising gravitas.
As of Friday morning, McDonald’s YouTube video had racked up more than a million views.
McDonald’s quirky look into his past has also earned the filmmaker the admiration of Irish comedian Graham Linehan. After seeing the video, “The IT Crowd” actor tweeted he was “speechless at how good this is.”
McDonald has yet to reveal if there will be a sequel. But McDonald’s first exchange with the child that he once was does shares one illuminating nugget worth remembering.
“Apologize to yourself…I’m the result of every decision that you make,” said McDonald the man.