In case you don’t know who Vic Berger is, I’ll fill you in here: he’s basically the Kanye West of video editing. To elaborate, I mean, like Kanye West’s songs featuring previous artist’s work, Vic Berger’s videos have always been huge, elaborate affairs that either build off of existing content or pick out parts of others’ creations in effort to create hilarious new content. I must note that I genuinely do think that his edits are hilarious and that finding these comedic opportunities takes skill. This is something we refer to as “finding the funny,” as I’ve mentioned in previous blogs about our editing/production style.
I first came across Vic’s work by way of Super Deluxe. At the time, Super Deluxe wasn’t even verified on Twitter, nor did it really seem that organized. After some research, I realized this was a previous failed project of Turner Broadcasting/Adult Swim back in 2006, but then relaunched in 2015. Before I found his work, I actually reached out to them to see if they’d be interested in us working with them, but never got any sort of response. Anyway, I started seeing the name Vic Berger popping up and decided to give him a follow. I found his work amusing and overall, pretty genius.
That was until one day, when I saw this:
— Vic Berger IV (@VicBergerIV) December 24, 2015
I’m not a fan of Ted Cruz, nor am I a republican. (I’m actually a centrist that believes politics are rigged and most everyone else is an extremist in a never-ending battle of being right or wrong.) My problem with this video was that I couldn’t stand the fact that Vic Berger made the decision to exploit this 4 year old girl for a cheap laugh. I have a sense of humor. I see why it’s funny, but as a father, it really bothered me to think that someone could do this legally and not suffer any consequences. I don’t know if Vic is a father or not, but I just don’t get why anyone would do this without feeling some sort of guilt. Maybe I projected something on him. I don’t know. And I do know we write a lot of retarded shit, that to some, might be offensive, but we still guide it with some sort of moral compass. I mean, comedy is really not off limits to any subject, but when it comes to using innocent children to make a political point, that’s where I draw the line. I promptly tweeted him and then this happened:
— Vic Berger IV (@VicBergerIV) December 24, 2015
Essentially, Vic justifies his decision by shifting the focus to Ted’s hateful politics, instead of the issue I addressed. To him, that’s what the video is about, but if you step back and watch it (pretend you don’t know Ted Cruz), this video says nothing about politics and only makes a cheap joke at the expense of a defenseless child. He essentially says it’s okay to make this 4 year old girl the butt of a joke, because her daddy is a bad man.
Look, I get it. He probably meant no harm to this girl and I do believe he has good intentions. He’s great at finding awkward faces and gestures, which is what he executed here, perfectly. And, he fervently believes that Ted Cruz is a horrible man who forces his kids to endure political trauma or whatever. I’m not debating yes or no to that. However, when you break it down, it’s very clear that the only gain from this (no matter what Vic’s intentions were) was a laugh at the expense of this little girl. As a father of a 3 year old girl, I couldn’t stand there and just be one of his worshiping followers.
Prior to this, I just followed him. I never said anything to him before, other than a like or heart to his videos. As you can see, his immediate response was a request to unfollow him. There is something about the left (especially comedians and celebrities active on social media) where they collectively have an inability to accept other people’s opinions. Instead of hearing someone out, the usual response is a personal insult, a block, or in Vic’s case, a request to “stop following” him. I have had similar conflict with Tim Heidecker, among many other left-wing celebrities on Twitter. Regardless, at the end of it all, it seemed (to me) as if we had squashed everything. I didn’t stop following him as he requested, because I like his work (as a whole) and wanted to see his content. Being a video editor, part of me was a bit in awe that he was on the rise, because from a technical standpoint, I don’t really see what he does as that difficult. It’s just a few keyframe animations and scaling/resizing the already existing content. I do that in my personal work all the time— work that I wrote, produced, directed, and edited. As much as I admired him, I was equally perplexed at what was getting him so much recognition. The more and more I looked into it, I started connecting the dots from Vic Berger to Tim Heidecker. That’s around the time I made this tweet:
Maybe we should stop creating our own content and just steal content, re-edit it to be funny, and maybe we’ll get noticed. #kanyewestofvideo
— UDCM™ (@OfficialUDCM) December 24, 2015
@OfficialUDCM all good, man. No worries.
— Vic Berger IV (@VicBergerIV) January 7, 2016
You see that one lone heart? Vic Berger liked it. I didn’t mention him, he doesn’t follow us, and had previously commanded us to unfollow him, but he liked it. The heart from him is what prompted my apology, because clearly it was about him and everyone else behind this whole found footage movement, but it’s very odd that he saw the tweet. I was bitter (because at the time, I was unemployed and desperately seeking any type of work) and then I moved on. Deep down, I was really kind of happy he saw the tweet, because it meant he was seeing our work. That’s all I really want is for someone that understands what we do, to see our work.
Time passed and Vic never followed any of our accounts back. I would tweet to him from time to time, commenting positively on his videos:
— Marshall Malone (@Marshall_Malone) January 12, 2016
I didn’t really sit on pins and needles, hoping one day that Vic Berger would follow our account. I guess, being that he’s established himself in the industry, that I would have liked it for the validation and recognition in our attempts to create decent content. Anytime anyone likes our work, it makes me happy, because that’s why we do what we do, but it seems the closer and closer we get to the existing industry (in big markets like LA, NYC), the more I want to stay away from it because of the saturation and weight of politics within it. I can’t stand politics.
Anyway, a couple weeks ago, I saw a really brilliant edit of Oprah Winfrey and Michelle Obama. As soon as I realized it was Vic Berger, I went to tweet to him how amazing I thought it was. As I clicked on his feed, I then realized he blocked me.
At first, I thought it was a mistake, but then, after logging into my UDCM account, I realized he blocked me there. I even contacted Rob to let him know and he then realized HE had been blocked. Rob and Vic never had a single interaction, so that was when we realized that this was just odd.
Does Vic Berger think I’m a troll? Did he visit my feed and see something that offended him? Did he see a video of ours and think to himself, these guys are fucking idiots? Does the fact that Tim Heidecker and I had a few negative tweets give him a bad impression of me? I don’t know. Maybe one day, I’ll find out. All I know is that I am horrible at communicating my opinion to people on social media. Maybe I’m an asshole? It is not my intent, though.
I thought about reaching out to him via other forms of social media, but instead, I thought I’d capitalize on this moment by dedicating a whole video to him and my experience in getting blocked by the one and only, Vic Berger. It’s an honor. Enjoy.