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WTF of the Day: WonderGlen

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WonderGlen Productions. Any ideas? Screenshot of the site courtesy LAist/Farley Elliott.

So-called 'viral marketing' has become such a pervasive element of the media landscape that it's almost become a parody of itself. It is being utilized, to varying degrees of success, on almost all levels; the broke artists love being able to throw up a couple of websites and cryptic messages to start a movement, while the studio bigwigs can't argue with the bottom line and the intriguing ability to mobilize a mass of people with one stick and a few well-placed carrots.

What all of this does, however, is dilute the landscape as a whole, and blur the lines between legitimacy and ad hoc marketing tactics. This is where WonderGlen comes in (we think).

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The website in question purports to be 'WonderGlen Productions', and classifies itself as a 'film, television, and new media company' that has its fingers in every pie from cutting-edge drama to "ATM/kiosk infotainment pods", whatever that means. But it doesn't take a genius to click the slightly ominous employee 'log in' button plastered in the middle of the front page. Once you're 'inside', the site opens onto a whole slew of WTF-able links, including some clearly bogus TV pilots, internal bulletin boards, and something called Zulu Council, where the 'employees' get to air their grievances.

The site has been gaining steam over the past few weeks, due in no small part to this video, which shows James Franco awkwardly (and hilariously) showering praise on WonderGlen co-founder Aidan Weinglas. In fact, WonderGlen has its own YouTube page, a number of Twitterers, and no small amount of conspiracy theorists. Right now, because of the Franco vid, the prevailing argument is that Judd Apatow is somehow involved, and the whole thing is set to be revealed quite soon as a lead-in to a comedy film of some sort. This may or may not be the case, but it sure seems like some cloaked comedy minions are lurking just underneath the surface here.

Truth be told, we don't know what to make of it. It stinks to high heavens of viral marketing, but for what? The clues either dead-end quickly, or circle back in on themselves, leaving no clear outlet (at least not yet) for there to be a strong connection made. Even without it, though, WonderGlen is something to be seen. It is quirky, funny, confusing, and more than a little interesting. You can click around the site for hours, reading all the small bits and nuggets available. You can scroll through the videos on their YouTube page. You can even try to follow the clues yourself to other sites like MySpace or Reel Management. Just don't be surprised if you find yourself sitting back and saying 'What The Fuck'?