, Beacon Staff/strong
When senior Claude Zeins finished his BFA film, emTalk to Me/em, he did what any student in the midst of midterms would do— procrastinate.
Zeins and 2011 graduate Lowell Meyer, both visual and media arts majors, were driving back from a film shoot and discussing a YouTube sensation known as “Hitler Reacts,” which uses a scene from the movie emDownfall/em, in which actors portraying Nazis tell Adolf Hitler some bad news and he proceeds to yell in German and become increasingly despondent. Previous clips have depicted his imagined reactions to Osama bin Laden’s death, and Rebecca Black’s “Friday.”
When Zeins thought about how the leader of the Third Reich would respond after being rejected from Emerson College, a campus sensation took root.
The video uses English subtitles to illustrate how disappointed Hitler is at the revelation he will not be able to attend a school that owns a 14th century castle.
Zeins is hesitant to take credit for the spoof. He said he thought of the existing Hitler parodies and followed their lead.
“Bad artists copy, great artists steal. So thanks guys, but I’m kind of a bad artist,” he said.
Chuckle-worthy moments include a mention of the blustery intersection of Boylston and Tremont streets, and the ability to enter Dunkin’ Donuts from the Little Building.
“I didn’t want to paint the school in a negative light,” he said. “Hitler just wants to get into Emerson.”
Communication sciences and disorders majors are lovingly mocked as not being noticed, a joke Zeins credits to his friend Jenn Stanis, a senior in the sometimes forgotten major, while marketing communication majors are singled out as the only students required to take a math course.
In the video, at the prospect of not attending this institution, Hitler takes a jab at Suffolk University and their unimpressive theater, rants about getting a haircut to fit in only to look like an average hipster, and laments not getting the chance to be a Lion.
Zeins is a tour guide for the college.
“A lot of this stemmed from giving tours and the silly things that we tend to brag about on tours,” he said. In one vein-throbbing moment Hitler mentions the eco-friendly toilets in Piano Row, which Zeins describes as awkward.
While a lot of the jokes are recognizable to current and past students, some might not resonate with older generations like when the moustachioed dictator mentions the last semester’s switch to cage-free eggs in the dining hall.
In spite of making the rounds on various social media outlets, Zeins isn’t convinced it’s a big deal.
“It’s not viral, it’s more like a head cold,” he said. “Emerson tends to latch onto these Internet sensations and make them their own, like the Emerson Kid Lion meme and ‘so Emerson.’”
Despite his humility, Zeins will admit that he has had an abundance of Facebook friend requests.
“I didn’t even post my name or put credit or anything,” he said.
No matter how popular his video gets, there is one thing Zeins does not want.
“I just hope it won’t be like Rebecca Black,” he said.
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