Thursday, April 24, 2014

Rifftrax with Teens - Library Life

I was a teenager when I discovered Mystery Science Theater 3000 for the first time. It was pretty magical. While channel surfing I came to the sci-fi channel and found a bad old movie on. I soon realized that people were talking over it and making funny jokes! I think a bunch of my friends discovered it around the same time because we would talk about it and have inside jokes influenced by MST3K. Fast forward a few years when as an adult I mentioned to someone how much I loved MST3K. The friend I was talking to, Mark, said "hey those guys are still riffing movies." He showed me RiffTrax. I was ecstatic! It was just like MST3k but with newer releases!

Since it was something I loved so much as a teen, I thought the teens at the library might also get a kick out of it. After mentioning it to the teen librarian, we set out looking up what riffs we could use. We did Avengers first and got a 'meh' review from the kids. We tried it again with the Hunger Games and I was thrilled to see them enjoy it. Here is a trailer for your enjoyment.

This is such a great simple idea to do with teens! All that is needed is a viewing space, a copy of the movie, the audio commentary and a speaker system. We are lucky enough to have a TV in the teen center and showed it on that. I downloaded the commentary from RiffTrax. They cost around four to five dollars. I then put that track on an iPod and used an iHome to play it along with the movie. The hardest part was getting the commentary and the movie in sync, so at first some of the jokes didn't match up. However I had one teen who was hell bent on getting them to match!

Afterwards they asked when we were going to do RiffTrax again. Librarian win! So head on over to RiffTrax and try it out at your library. This could also work with millennials because, like me, they grew up watching MST3K and miss it. If you try it in your library, let me know how it works out!

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