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KC FX artist credited w/ making 1st viral video

Posted at 6:44 PM, Dec 31, 2015
and last updated 2016-01-01 09:02:38-05

Bruce Branit could be considered a legend in the viral video arena.

Bravo TV recently credited Branit and Jeremy Hunt with creating the first internet video to go viral back in 2000 with “405: The Movie".

“That was before Youtube. Five years before YouTube so that’s originally million, millions views of people downloading a QuickTime and clicking play,” said Branit.

Branit believes the total views could be over half a billion.

“As far as we can tell it’s half a billion views, not counting China because we can’t count China,” said Branit.

Branit says the experience opened up doors for the duo despite already having Emmy nominations under his belt.

In the time since the video, Branit has worked on effects for shows like “Breaking Bad” and “Fringe” but “LOST” was the first time he found himself working on a show that he was a fan of.

“Which has it’s downside because you get to bid on shots that are huge spoilers like four months in advance so you kind of have the show spoiled for you,” said Branit, who worked on three of LOST’s six seasons.

After 10 years in Los Angeles, Branit made his move back to Kansas City, where he has been since 2004.

He says his access to Google Fiber at his crossroads office has given him a leg up on some of his competition.

“The work we do for television in the visual FX realm, we can get up two hours earlier and upload things directly to Hollywood faster than somebody in Santa Monica can upload something to Hollywood,” said Branit.

When he isn’t working on a project for Hollywood, Branit just may be working on the next viral hit. Having roughly five videos with nearly 10 million views.

“The viral videos I’ve done recently are much shorter. People’s attention spans are a lot shorter,” said Branit.

Branit is expanding his body of work beyond visual FX and viral videos.

“When I made 405 it was a reaction to wanting to take what I knew about visual effects, what I knew about filmmaking and just make something. And I am very much at that place again,” said Branit.

Branit is currently working on a short film project and is looking for financing to complete the 10 to 15 minute short film.

Branit filmed scenes for a teaser of “Bully Mech” in the west bottoms with local actors and crew.

“It’s a short film that’s really kind of an inspiring story about a girl who meets a robot and together they kind of make each other whole in a world that’s not very friendly,” said Branit.

Want to see more films?

To see more of Branit's videos you can click here to visit his Youtube page

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Brian Abel can be reached at brian.abel@kshb.com.

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