5-Second Films

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5-Second Films or 5 Second Films or simply 5SF is an American film group and website that develops and produces an online comedy web series of five-second long short films as well as a series of long films that have been viewed over 115 million times on YouTube.[1] It was started in the dormitories at the University of Southern California in the spring of 2005 by Brian Firenzi. The website went live in October 2008. They feature a new film every weekday with the only rules being two seconds of opening titles, five seconds of film consisting of a quick set-up and punchline, and one second of end titles.[2]

The films are mostly unrelated to each other but did have some running gags and films that are part of a larger continuous sketch as well. The website has been featured on G4's Attack of the Show!, Comedy Central's Tosh.0, Last Call with Carson Daly, Spin, CNN[3] and Wired.[4] The films sometimes featured guest stars like Patton Oswalt, Doug Benson, Eddie Pepitone, "Weird Al" Yankovic, and Andrew W.K.[5] Time put 5-Second Films on its list of the top 50 websites of 2013, calling it "addicting" and writing, "You'll probably never find a better way to waste a few seconds of your life."[6]


5 Second Films usually are very surreal. For example, in one film two men are sitting writing, one asks about Cinco de Mayo and the other replies "Shut. The. Fuck. Up." while beer cans appear in his hands. The shorts are usually disconnected, but several characters show up in various different films (examples are the Renegade Pervert, Kelsey Cat, Officer Sminkle). Often, film collections were released as single videos (such as Snake Attack and Dimo Higgins: Goblin Hunter). These featured one character or scenario, and were usually four or five five second films working into a larger plot. Many of these collections are parodies of movies, such as Fight Club and The Avengers. There is an element of dark comedy to all of the 5 Second Films, many of the jokes are centered on murder or sexual violence. Very rarely the surreal nature of the films is explained. Sometimes the darkly comic element moves in to genuine horror (She Won't Stop Crying) or genuine tragedy. Two weeks were centered on "Bummer Week" where the films made were very, very dark.


5-Second Films is made up of a group of writers, directors, filmmakers, actors, and actresses, most of whom lived in the same house where they plan and film the shorts.[2]


  1. ^ "5 Second Films". Youtube. 
  2. ^ a b "About Us". 5 Second Films. 
  3. ^ "Video - Breaking News Videos from CNN.com". CNN. 
  4. ^ "5 Second Films". Tosh.0. Comedy Central. 
  5. ^ McGlynn, Katla (July 13, 2011). "Patton Oswalt's 5 Second Film: You Got Mail". Huffington Post. 
  6. ^ Fields, Jim (May 4, 2013). "50 Best Websites 2013". TIME.com. Retrieved May 12, 2013. 

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