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Here is a bit of an off-beat post. It is about Québec’s most trending YouTube video of the last couple of weeks.
Ever since Le Petit petit gamin re-posted this Québec video a couple of weeks ago, I soooooo badly wanted to re-post it myself! (A colleague walked in when I was watching it at work, and he must have seen the look on my face because his question to me was “Are you watching a hamster give birth to an elephant?”).
But in good consciousness I couldn’t re-post it here (…until today). Why? The video was obviously stolen from the person who made it, and was posted on YouTube without their permission. There was a line under the original YouTube posting stating the person who posted it did not know who it belonged to, and that they were more than willing to take it down if the owner comes forward asking for its removal (not very ethical in my books).
In the couple of weeks since the video has been posted, the views are rapidly approaching a million across various internet sites — a number which is very large for Québec.
A couple of days ago the maker of the video (Octavie Côté) finally came forward and has begun to do interviews. She just gave an interview to Monette on CHOI FM (Québec City). So I can finally re-post the video with a clear conscience.
Octavie Côté actually made this video as a serious project with friends, with the sole purpose of seeing just how close they could make it to the original Jason Derulo video with a budget of, well… ZERO (Gee, I never would have guessed).
She filmed the video at a bar she works at named Savini on the Grande Allée in Québec City (Phew!! I would have been concerned if she worked in and filmed it in an old folks home or the National Assembly).
All participants in the video were her friends. The guy dancing with her in the video is Zachary, her friend and a local gym trainer in Québec City.
With both of them having become so well known, they now get approached whenever they walk down the street in Québec City (the power of YouTube) — and it has apparently been great for Zachary’s gym training business.
Today Octavie laughs about the video, but she didn’t at first. The reason: Their first (and only) draft filming was accidentally posted online without anyone (even Octavie) having first viewed it.
Her first reaction when seeing the video online was of sheer horror. The rest of the group in the video also just about died when they saw it.
Her friend who posted it on to YouTube only did so because it was too large a file to email to Octavie for her to review for input on possible changes during subsequent takes. He thought it would be easier to simply post it to YouTube for Octavie to vet (I guess this guy has never really understood what YouTube is actually for). When Octavie saw it, her friend took it down immediately (I wonder if they’re still friends).
But it was too late. Within just a few minutes of being posted, the world grabbed it, copied it, and the rest is history. I mean, with those perfect notes, that perfect rhythm, and such an innate ability to put words to a beat, this is not a talent which comes easy (And the Grammy goes to… ??). Octavie has shown us just what kind of a skill set is actually required.
(Kids, don’t try this at home with a budget of … ZERO!!!)
The video has been the subject of every insult and ridicule you can imagine. Yet Octavie has been an incredibly great sport about it, laughing it off like the rest of us. She simply says “It is what it is.” That’s pretty big of her.
When asked what she believes was the funniest or most disgusting comment, she said it would have to be (my closest translation): “It was so bad that it made me selfie-vomit back into my own mouth.” :0 (C’était tellement mauvais, que je me suis autovomi dans la geule!! — Gotta love how French is such a versatile and beautiful language!).
Octavie has since been receiving many offers of professional help (for making a new video, that is). She’s likely going to take up the offers of help (Yes Octavie… take the help!), and I have a feeling we’re all going to see more of her in the near future.
A star is born? Well, she’s already known to everyone. So now the question is “What will she be known for ?!?!”
Gotta love YouTube!
And Gotta love Octavie! You’re a great sport Octavie! We’re all waiting for your next project! Hammer it!
P.S. Oh! And more thing… pay attention to the “other” guy in the video — the one in the blue shirt. Apparently his dance moves have caught everyone’s attention, starting a new dance trend… La danse Longueuil, sans la coupe! It’s all the rage in the bars now ! (bounce bounce…er, kinda). Give’er man!!
P.P.S. And one more thing… I hear the bar Savini has never been more packed following the spotlight gleaned from this work of magnificence. Talk about publicity and the power of the net !!! I swear the next time I pass through Q.City, I’m gonna stop in to Savini with some buddies, and we’re going to request “Take me to the other Side” by Jason Derulo (a little mood music never hurt anyone). But I won’t dare film it!! Bounce, Bounce… kinda… I say with an out of tune screech!
In French, a “franc-tireur” can have two different English meanings; a “sniper” (mostly a military-type sniper), or a “maverick” (in the sense of a rebellious person seeking to throw a cog in someone’s wheels, or be a thorn in someone’s side regarding issues of importance).
The Télé-Québec interview show Les franc-tireurs probably has a closer fit to the “maverick-type” definition, although they definitely pull out a sniper’s scope when they decide to delve into certain issues.
You’ll recall I wrote an earlier blog post on the subject of Radio-Canada’s interview show Tout le monde en parle (TLMEP). Well, if TLMEP had an alter-ego on a competing network, Les francs-tireurs would be it. However, the show’s format is very different from TLMEP. It’s not filmed in front of a live audience, and it most often features one-on-one interviews with the host seated in a chair directly facing his seated guest, knee-to-knee.
The show has had four main hosts/interviewers during its 15 years on air. They are all well-known personalities in their own right as political & current-events columnists/commentators/journalists in the newpaper, television and radio press; Benoît Dutrizac, Richard Martineau, Laurent Saulnier, and Patrick Lagacé. Of these four, the current host, Benoît Dutrizac, has hosted the show for many years (although he left the show for a few years, but now is back). Richard Martineau is also one of the current hosts.
Invitees are generally political personalities, newsmakers, or figures who have some public controversial aspect to them. The questions asked of the interviewer will often have a sarcastic, cynical and political feel to them, and can therefore ruffle feathers if certain political camps, individuals or groups feel they’ve been targeted. Nonetheless, the show is hugely popular, and its hosts, past and present, are regularly invited on television and the radio to give their views. — They have the public’s attention —
The questions asked of the interviewees are very pointed, direct, frank, and sometimes nasty… especially if you get the feel that the host’s political views differ from those of the person being interviewed. But at other times, certain interviewees seem to get off easy – which is why the show might be considered to have a political bias. Personally, when I see that a guest or topic is taking a nasty thrashing, or se faire varlopper (in this case the French word probably fits better here than the English one), I can’t help but wonder if the interviewer is simply playing a very cruel devil’s advocate, of if the interviewer really has it out for the guest or the topic being discussed (especially if people from the same political camps or topic of discussion seem to be subject to the the same treatment over and over).
Regardless, the public knows guests will often be asked very intense questions, and topics of controversy will be scrutinized to the letter. It should stand to reason that the public is interested in viewing how the episode will unfold, and so it should come as no surprise that Les francs-tireurs is one of the most popular, quoted, and talked about current events interview programs on television in Québec. It also stands to reason that the show would hold political sway with the audience – especially if certain figures or topics come off in a negative light. Those who don’t fare so well on this program may even suffer when it comes to polling time (never forget that holding a pop-culture microphone means holding soft power).
If you agree with the interviewer’s line of questioning, then wonderful — you’ll enjoy hearing the answers. But, even if you don’t agree with the direction the interviewer takes the interview, the show will offer you a new and different perspective which will make you think of issues in a whole new light. Objectively speaking, the interviewer’s questions are intelligent, thought provoking, sharp, and well laid out. All-in-all, Les frans-tireurs represents arguments which are constantly put before the Québec public, and which are regularly discussed, debated, and important in Québec.
As a guy who considers himself as a rural-bred, Anglophone Albertan who’s been around the block a few times, here’s my message to Federal politicians of all political stripes (I’m not singling out any one political party), especially if you feel you’re having difficulty getting or maintaining a foothold in Québec: All of us who hold a Canadian passport are taking this journey together which we call “Canada”. So I would strongly recommend that you pay attention to this show, take notes, and learn from it. To fall out of touch with many of the issues and arguments brought to light in this program frankly means you will not be in touch with much of your potential base electorate, to whom you are ultimately accountable, responsible, and to whom you’ve pledged to make their lives a bit better. If you’re not up-to-speed or in tuned to the issues being discussed, it should therefore come as no surprise if you are left wondering why certain parts of your platforms run into a brick wall with this portion of the Canadian electorate. As a politician for “all” Canadians (Striped, Polkadotted, Fracophone, Anglophone), if you haven’t taken the initiative to understand French — the “other” language of “your own” country, electorate and compatriots, well… you have parliamentary staff who do, and who can translate for you.
Les francs-tireurs airs on Télé-Québec Wednesday at 9pm, with rebroadcasts on Thursday at 1:30, Saturday at 8pm, and Tuesday at 11pm. You can also watch the most recent episode online on Télé-Québec’s website by clicking HERE.