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If you’ve been online in the past couple of days, you’ve probably come across the infamous “Telekinetic Coffee Shop Surprise” video on YouTube. Thinkmodo, the viral video marketing agency responsible for the publicity campaigns for films like Chronicle and The Last Exorcism 2, took over the ‘Snice Coffee Shop in the West Village to stage an elaborate prank to promote the upcoming Carrie remake. The set-up is simple: a disgruntled costumer with telekinetic powers loses control of her emotions while hidden cameras catch the reaction the coffee shop patrons.
If you think that these customers reacting to the terrifying events unfolding before them are actors, think again. How are we so sure? Mallory Lance, our very own Programming Operations Manager at TFF, was one of the victims! She described the circumstances that brought her to the coffee shop at that exact moment: “My friend Sam, who used to work for the festival, asked me to come meet him for coffee because he had some down time during a shoot. As soon as I ordered my chai latte, I witnessed a girl at a nearby table let loose on this guy for spilling his drink on her. When the telekinetic stunt shortly followed the scene, I was just floored.”
When asked what the scariest part of the prank, Mallory did not hesitate: “The tables flying wildly about really got to me. I was scared shitless. Only when the crew applauded did I realize that I was the victim of a really elaborate prank. It took me a little while to get over the experience, but everyone was super friendly and it turned out to be fun. However, I’m not sure if I'll be meeting Sam for coffee again anytime soon.”
So what are the repercussions of being one of the featured faces in a video that goes viral (the marketing stunt currently has 17 million views and counting)? Mallory mused, “What is totally crazy is how many people have seen it and reached out to me. Since the day it went up I've had at least a hundred people post on my Facebook and send me emails and texts just to say that they saw it.” Mallory added, “Even my Grandma said she saw me on TV! I guess I'm ‘that girl from the Carrie remake viral sensation’ now.”