this week in web videos

Pumbucha: Not for the Faint or Classy

You’ve met them on your phones thousands of times, these people who hock product on Instagram; spandex or stylish bracelets become hallmarks of a life you should be leading but aren’t. But what if everything you saw on your feed was a lie and the beautiful salespeople didn’t believe in the products they were holding any more than you believed a teaspoon of whey protein could do that?

Enter director Mary Dauterman’s new short Pumbucha about a woodsy influencer (played and written by Jenny Donheiser) who just can’t bring herself to push an all-new, alcoholic kombucha laxative. We toggle between vertical shots of our influencer’s selfie cam as she does her best to market the drink, long-lense spy shots of phone calls with impatient Pumbucha brand reps, and stomach-turning wides of our dutiful Instagrammer in flatulent agony.

Director of photography Kenny Suleimanagich presents an appropriately earnest visual companion to the piece’s Wagner soundtrack in what pretty much amounts to one long fart joke. Well, at least until the very end of the short — no real earnestness in our finale.

With any luck, you may never look at influencers the same way. Behind the posts, they’re unsung heroes.

Luke is executive producer and head of development at Big Breakfast and a watcher of many web videos. Send him yours @LKellyClyne.

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Pumbucha: Not for the Faint or Classy