Over a year ago, Brooklyn Photographer Noah Kalina posted his video self-portrait on YouTube and named it "Noah Takes A Photo Of Himself Everyday For Eight Years". As of today, that video has been viewed almost 8 million times and has spawned a number of imitations, references, and a whole bunch of "everyday style" commercials. Like this one for Dunkin Donuts, and this one for the LA Dodgers.
The video was compiled of over 2,300 melancholy self-portraits, which Noah took daily for six years. Somewhere along the line Noah had a girlfriend who made music. So, she recorded a tune for the video, and once the video was posted it went viral within two weeks.
Then, fame happened. In this case, Internet fame, and it got to their heads. Noah toured the globe meeting with reporters, screening in museums, and living the life of a Welebrity while his girlfriend Carly Commando stayed at home, getting e-mails about the music and the video and all the time wondering when her credit would come.
"At first, we would argue about whose contribution was more important," Comando said. "In the beginning, it was all in good fun. I'd get all these e-mails about how great the video was, and Noah would get e-mails asking about the music." Early last year, VH1 asked Kalina to appear on its awards show in March, and Comando asked to be included. "I really wanted to go," she said. "I asked him to at least take some of my CDs and give them to the VH1 people - just leave them in the bathroom, even. That's where the relationship started to go wrong."Eventually, she cashed in.
"Then I got an e-mail from a German bank," she said. "The woman wanted to pay like $20,000 for my music, so I started talking to lawyers," she said. Comando licensed her song for commercials. Movie directors have called. She sells her song on iTunes and the sheet music on MySpace. Her big moment came Dec. 17 when "The Simpsons" used it in a Homer Simpson parody of the video.In the end, the Internet fame proved too much. The pair are still riding the coat-tails of the phenomenon they created, but are no longer riding each other. They've since broken up, and while Noah's back to a twenty-something photographer in Brooklyn, Comando's tasted the big money, and she wants more. Her parents, of course, are a little more supportive these days.
"When they saw the kind of money people were offering me for my song, they became way more tolerant," Comando said with a satisfied laugh.Here's the video which started it all:
The quotes are from this NY Daily News article from today's paper.