A strange phenomenon happened to me this past September 7th. It’s nothing that the community at wide would have noticed, but if you are from the digital age, and you frequent social media sites like Twitter/Tumblr/etc., you may have witnessed a strange Hashtag trending on Twitter: #ProjectWendy
I had recently started a YouTube multi-editor project group (MEP group for short) dedicated to one Thomas William Hiddleston (yes, it’s Tom for short). Now, you maybe asking yourself: “Who is Tom Hiddleston? What does he have to do with this ‘phenomenon’?” The answer is: EVERYTHING.
Tom Hiddleston dropped by MTV a few months ago to do a skit with Joshua Horowitz, host of MTV After Hours, a nightly program that bases itself in comical interviews with the hottest celebrities. Tom’s skit, named “Loki’d” after the television series “Punk’d” with Ashton Kutcher, involved Tom running around playing pranks on Josh, and raving about how he was “the bad guy! The god of mischief!”. Those who have seen The Avengers will recognize Tom as just that, Loki, the god of mischief who causes trouble for the uncooperative heroes.
At one point in the skit, Tom dons a UPS uniform and a ridiculously large fake mustache, which he fondly named “Wendy” on the spot. When pressed by Mr. Horowitz about whether or not that was really his mustache, Tom replied: “Yeah, this here’s my pride and joy. This is Wendy.”
Tom’s army of fans, which is a large one, caught on to the “Wendy” joke, and soon the internet was filled with references to pride, joy, and over-sized mustaches. Here’s where Project Wendy comes in.
My friend Kate, a lovely young woman from Seattle, Wa., who goes by the Twitter handle of @LokiIsMyCoPilot, asked me if I would like to participate in a project she was organizing called Project Wendy. Now, as I am naturally curious as to why anyone would want me to be a part of anything (given that I was always the last one picked for the kickball team in school), I asked her what it was about.
She explained that, given the breadth and diversity of Tom’s fanbase, and how big the fandom is, she wanted to bring everyone together to show their appreciation for him. Understandable, given that his sweet way of speaking can make any woman melt to her knees, and his cheekbones are sharp enough to cut paper.
In order to show appreciation, she had the idea to have all Tom’s fans take a picture of themselves wearing a mustache, a “Wendy” and send it in to her. She would then put the pictures into a book and mail it directly to Tom. She was already collaborating with Tom’s top Twitter fan account, HiddlesArmy. I wondered what she could possibly want me to do that was special.
“Would you be interested in putting the pictures into a slideshow?” she asked.
It took me the longest two seconds of my life to say “YES. DEFINITELY YES.” How could I say no? How could I turn down such an opportunity to have my work seen by Thomas William Hiddleston???
By picture slideshow, I mean something a little more advanced then just Picture 1, Picture 2, Picture 3, etc… that’s boring. I mean a full digital music video creation using Sony Vegas Movie Studio. Some Sony Vegas users are so advanced in their editing, they can make a simple picture slideshow into a 3D movie experience. This was a perfect opportunity to let my MEP group, Hiddlestoned Productions, really stretch its wings. I and my group of 15 members and 2 co-founders would put together the most amazing photo video the YouTube community had ever seen.
Well, the day came for all the photo submissions to be in: September 7th. A disappointing count of only 200 submissions had come in, and it was time for the Project Wendy Twitter flashmob. The flashmob was simply a continuous posting of the hashtag #ProjectWendy to attempt to get Tom Hiddleston’s attention, and make him aware of the project.
Well… we got what we wanted. Josh Horowitz picked up on Project Wendy, and sent a tweet to Tom:
And then Twitter exploded.
It was Project Wendy EVERYWHERE. Both Josh and Tom have Twitter followers in the hundreds of thousands, so it spread like wildfire. Pretty soon, hundreds more people wanted to be in on the project, and the deadline was extended til September 16th.
Once Tom discovered exactly what Project Wendy was, he even sent in his own picture:
Project Wendy began popping up everywhere. Tumblr began filling with images of Tom wearing a mustache, as well as hundreds of others who posted their own. The project made papers in Hong Kong, got honorable mentions from The Mary Sue, WhoSay and We Love Fine, but the most surprising was an article that popped up on MTV Splash Page: (Read Here)
Joel Hanek, co-writer of the “Loki’d” skit, which can be viewed in the article, talks about his surprise that fans would take to the skit as well as they did:
“Consider us Loki’d! You can see more photos of people wearing their Loki inspired mustaches by searching #ProjectWendy on Twitter. And for anyone who’s ever watched an After Hours segment, I very sincerely say thank you! You’re the best.”
A couple other famous faces have appeared in the Project Wendy inbox, including Ian Derry (famous London photographer who did Tom’s promotional pictures for his role as Henry V in Shakespeare’s “The Hollow Crown” TV movies), and Ryan Penagos, the Executive Editorial Producer for Marvel. Even Italian comedian Daniele Rizzo showed his appreciation for Tom with a mustache bigger than he was!
Which brings us to today, the day after the submission deadline. Total submissions are now almost 1500, with a few stragglers adding to the count, and Kate, Hiddles Army and I have our work cut out for us.
For updates on Project Wendy, please stay tuned to Eclectica! It’s sure to turn out amazing!