The “Charlie Bit My Finger” video has made the Davis-Carr family an inspiration over the years, but it was really just for family and friends.
In July 2007, before TikTok or Keeping Up with the Kardashians, a 56-second grainy video of two kids effectively hit the internet.
It was a home film shot on a video camera by UK man Howard Davis-Carr, in which his one-year-old son Charlie bit his three-year-old brother Harry. This resulted in the now iconic words: “Charlie bit my finger”.
However, in May of this year, the video was sold in the form of a non-fungible token (commonly known as NFT) for $994,000.
Speaking on the podcast, i have news for youMr Davis-Carr says the only reason the video’s privacy settings were changed from private to public was that it could be viewed by close friends and family.
“(Like) my parents who didn’t understand logging into YouTube and all that stuff,” says Mr. Davis-Carr.
“We went public thinking that nobody would really be interested in it except friends and family.”
Then the video views began to “doubling everyday” and by December, six months after it was posted, it was viewed a million times. This made “Charlie Bit My Finger” one of the first and most successful viral videos of its time.
Charlie the NFT: ‘Nobody else really understood’
However, the decision to sell the video as NFT required little convincing to Mr. Davis-Carr, as many were confused as to what was actually being sold.
“(The idea a) came from a mix of me and someone I worked with, legally called Damien Collier, and he created a company called Viral Spiral.
“He manages viral videos back, you know, like 10 years ago and beyond, we were talking and the whole idea of NFTs came out.”
One of its kind, digital assets are traded, bought and sold through blockchain. NFTs can be digital art, music, memes and videos. Some of the high-profile NFTs include Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey selling his first tweet for over $4 million and Paris Hilton’s collection of NFTs, the most valuable of which is selling for $1.5 million.
Mr Davis-Carr describes it as a “certificate of proof”.
“With an NFT, you are buying a digital certificate and that digital certificate is saying that you bought this original thing, and you are the rightful owner,” he explains.
“That you have purchased sitting on the cloud, and that you are able to see and view it, or use it for the rights for which you have purchased it.”
Even though the original video has been unlisted on YouTube, with the stars – Harry and Charlie – now all 17 and 15 respectively, Mr. Davis-Carr admits that the viral clip will always be a part of his life.
Recognized globally, the family has filtered requests for footage to be used in commercials, product sponsorships and films, as well as on 2014 spots Jimmy Kimmel Live, in which Chris and Liam Hemsworth played the role of two brothers, with Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep playing the roles of parents.
“He did like 30 years from the video. It’s great. It’s a great video to watch,” says Mr. Davis-Carr.
Fortunately, the reception to the video has always been “really positive.”
“Our lives never revolved around one video, but it’s always been part of it.”