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5-million-plus views for 'A Conversation With My 12 Year Old Self'

July 09, 2012|By Deborah Netburn

(You may wish you too had had the foresight at 12 to make a video tape of your preteen self talking to your imaginary older self, but then again, do you really want to be reminded of your preteen self? Probably not.)

So, how did 12-year-old McDonald get the idea to shoot the video?

"I was just playing with the camera as I normally did," 32-year-old McDonald said in an email to the Los Angeles Times. "I was inspired by a video I'd attempted to make at age 10, where I attempted to have a conversation with an image of myself on TV."

"Two years later, I realized I could use this footage to have a conversation with myself two years in the past, which inspired the idea of shooting video to be used in the future," he said.

McDonald has revisited this footage before, once when he was 13, and again when he was 26. That version, titled "Brush With the Past," is available on YouTube, but it's not nearly as well done as the 20th anniversary edition.

"Not bad, editing could be better. i think you should wait around 5 and a half years and give it another shot," wrote a commenter named Waybeem on the older video on Sunday. 

McDonald said he has been working on the 20th anniversary video bit by bit over a period of weeks, starting with the opening montage, and then figuring out exactly how he was going to use the old footage.

"I was reshooting my 32-year-old footage until about last Sunday," he said. "How it went viral is largely a mystery to me.  I uploaded it, posted it on Facebook, then went to work. To my knowledge it started to catch on when it was tweeted by my friend somegreybloke, and went from there."

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