“Scarface School Play:" Say Hello to My Little Media Sensation


Music video director Marc Klasfeld was looking to drum up a little publicity for his new production company Rockhard Films and he had a sensational piece of content to help him do it: a re-enactment of the 1983 Al Pacino film Scarface with child actors standing in for drug lords, popcorn standing in for cocaine, “fudging” replacing the movie’s most popular profanity, toy guns replacing real ones, etc. While “Scarface School Play” was certainly engaging and humorous, it didn’t necessarily plow new ground: similar parodies, with children standing in for adult movie actors, had been performed going back to at least Wes Anderson’s Rushmore (1998). To really get the attention of the media, and ensure that the video had a shelf life longer than just a few hours, something else would be required.


Initially leaked the footage to online outlets as a shocking piece of hidden video – an actual school play recorded by a proud parent somewhere in Middle America – to amp up viral interest.

Allowed the story to take on a life of its own as outlets dug deeper into the video’s mysterious origins.

Approach and offer the real story behind the video and Rockhard Films to friendly outlets more interested in the story behind the viral content than in the shock value (e.g. Entertainment Weekly and Mashable).

  • Major online viral propagation from outlets like TMZ, Tosh.0, Mashable, the New York Daily News, Newsday, the Los Angeles Times, The Daily Mail (UK), among many, many others.
  • The story followed the SocialRadius “trickle up” game plan to a tee, with the video being the focus of segments on local television stations across the country, CNN’s “Prime News” (where Klasfeld appeared) and FOX News, where the video was debated by America’s lightning rod of moral outrage, Bill O’Reilly, and another program host who begged Klasfeld on-air to appear on her program.
  • “Scarface School Play” was among the most viral videos of 2010, garnering 3,000,000 views in just two days (and its own place on urban legend website