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Film / Unedited Footage of a Bear

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Unedited Footage of a Bear is a 2014 short created by Alan Resnick and Wham City Comedy that aired as an "infomercial" on [adult swim]. The short is exactly what you'd expect it to be...

...well, at first. The short does start with footage of a grizzly bear while the cameraman comments on the size of the bear's ears. However, the short interrupted by a commercial for a fictional drug called "Claridryl." Donna, the main protagonist, tells the audience about how much better her life is after she started taking the medication. As the short draws on, it quickly becomes clear that something is very wrong. What results is a downward spiral in to madness, anxiety, and much more.

Watch the short here.


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Unedited Tropes of a Bear:

  • Alternate Personality Punishment: Donna, who is addicted to the fictional decongestant Claridryl, has multiple "clones" running around during the short; the main one, who is depicted as cruel and abusive to her children, representing her addicted personality. She hits Donna with her own car and then leaves to torment the children, leaving Donna to crawl back home. When Donna makes it, it's clear she's too late to do anything, as flashing red and blue lights approach her. In her addictive state she'd at least hurt her kids, causing police intervention, but it's staged as though the sane and injured Donna is innocent and the cruel, abusive Donna clone is the criminal.
    Donna: "I don't have a gun... I don't have a gun..."
  • Artifact Title: Taken Up to Eleven. The title of Unedited Footage of a Bear gives no indication that said footage will be hijacked by an extended Claridryl commercial.
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  • Big Bad: The evil Donna chasing around Donna to kill her, who may or may not be a manifestation of her drug addiction.
  • Creator Cameo: Many Wham City regulars have quick scenes throughout the short.
    • Alan Resnick voices the cameraman filming the bear.
    • Ben O'Brien plays a detective at the crime scene and is the voiceover for the Claridryl commercial.
    • Robby Rackleff plays an officer in tears at the sight of the crime scene and the head sticking out of the floor in the basement of the interactive house.
    • Cricket Arrison plays one of the Donna clones.
    • Dan Deacon plays the criminal investigator at the crime scene.
  • Disappeared Dad: The father is nowhere to be seen in the commercial. Various cluesnote  indicate Donna is a single mom. One of the Donnas in the basement starts whispering to the walls about meeting a guy, indicating she's actively dating.
  • Downer Ending: Donna's addiction to Claridryl likely caused her to murder her own children. The last shot we see is of the original Donna, beaten and bloodied, resting against the stairs to her house while police surround the area, all while weakly whispering, "I don't have a gun."
  • Drugs Are Bad: The whole short is implied to be about the dangers of prescription drug addiction. Donna, the woman in the commercial taking Claridryl, has entire boxes of it in the backseat of her van, and slowly goes insane as a result of what is implied to be the drug, with an evil doppelganger, possibly representing her addiction, coming after her. Ultimately, she winds up killing her children and doesn't seem to realize she did it.
  • Easter Egg: Clicking enough times on the house on Claridryl's website opens an interactive version of the house seen in the short.
  • Enemy Without: Possibly. Somehow, the negative aspects of Donna's addiction have manifested itself as an evil clone of Donna.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: If you're looking for unedited footage of a bear, you've come to the right place! for about 30 seconds, that is...
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Donna drives past a crime scene where it's heavily implied that the crazed rambling man seen being arrested murdered everyone inside and possibly murdered himself/his doppelganger, as seen by the fact that he and the corpse and wearing the same shoes..
    • The first line of the commercial is "Sometimes being a mom is like having to be in two places at once," foreshadowing the appearance of evil Donna.
    • The backseat of Donna's van is covered in boxes of Claridryl and her children are nowhere to be found. This shows how bad her addiction has gotten and foreshadows the children eventually being murdered.
  • Gloomy Gray: The Claridryl ad starts with Donna's world being full of gray and muted colors, until she "stands her ground" with Claridryl and lights everything up. As the film is a parody of drug commercials, there are numerous hints that Donna is suffering from depression after the death of her husband, and the grayscale beginning of the commercial symbolizes this issue and how Claridryl helps her...with some side-effects.
  • Infant Immortality: Very, very heavily implied to be averted- a Claridryl-addicted Donna murders her own children and is arrested for it.
  • Interface Screw:
    • The bear footage gets interrupted by a YouTube ad, on television. During said commercial, the counter goes up instead of down.
    • The fine print at the bottom of the screen keeps going even long after the commercial is supposed to have ended.
    • The tie-in website also contains this. Clicking on the links will cause them to randomly fly off, the tabs at the top to slowly disappear, and the Claridryl bottle will eventually begin to grow until it takes up the entire screen.
  • Madness Mantra: Donna keeps repeating "I don't have a gun" at the end.
  • Meaningful Background Event:
    • Look closely at the start of the Claridryl commercial. You can see the evil version of Donna standing in the background at one point.
    • When Donna is driving off in her van, her children are not with her. Instead, the back seat is covered in boxes and boxes of Claridryl, signifying how bad her addiction has gotten.
    • A man in a baseball cap and safety vest can be seen running through the crime scene. No one seems to notice or acknowledge him in any way except for the man being arrested.
    • If you look closely you can see that the man being arrested has the same shoes on as the man murdered on the ground.
  • Mind Screw: A lot of weird and bizarre things happen throughout the short.
    • The fact that a YouTube commercial skip counter goes up instead of down is the first indication that something is not right with whatever universe this takes place in.
    • The multiple Donnas. It's never made clear if they're physical manifestations of Donna's addiction to Claridryl, hallucinations, or if there's just one Donna and Claridryl has caused her to have some severe mood swings.
    • Somehow, the guy being arrested as Donna drives by the crime scene killed himself/his doppelganger. Whether or not this is literal or metaphorical is never explained.
    • Evil Donna somehow acquires the keys to Donna's minivan following the No-Holds-Barred Beatdown. There's no indication of how; they just appear in her hand, and even she looks surprised to find them there.
  • Motion Blur: When Donna picks up the phone, even though it isn't a very fast motion.
  • Number of the Beast: The product code seen on the insanity-inducing Claridryl box contains the number 666.
  • Running Over The Plot: It gets started when Donna runs into her evil clone in the street, who attacks her, forces her out of the car, and then hits her with said car. This allows the clone to take over her life for a while and do something to her kids, while the real Donna is stuck crawling home.
  • Shout-Out: "See our ad in Tables and Chairs Magazine."
  • Shown Their Work: Some of those horrifying side effects that can occur when taking Claridryl? They're real. Many antidepressants can potentially cause manic episodes, thoughts of suicide, and heart problems.
  • Side-Effects Include...: The side-effects of Claridryl include some pretty horrifying things including a warning to call your doctor if you have "someone's face all over you."
  • Sudden Soundtrack Stop: One of the first signs that something is very wrong is when the cheerful ad music suddenly fades away, leaving nothing but the sounds of Donna's car and the ad-announcer's voice coming quietly through the radio.
  • Surreal Horror

 
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