alantutorial is a creative project by artist Alan Resnick. It consists primarily of a series of videos in which Resnick plays a fictionalized version of himself. who is depicted as a reclusive young man obsessed with giving tutorials. As the videos progress, strange things begin happening and Alan's already-tenuous grip on reality begins slowly slipping.
The term "alantutorial" is alternately used to refer to the YouTube channel, the associated Twitter account, the individual videos, the body of work as a whole, and the fictional Alan himself.Story Edit
In the first few videos of the canon, Alan teaches the viewer how to accomplish various bizarre, often mundane tasks such as filling a small box with dirt and crushing soda cans with wooden planks. In one instance, Alan's instructions are interrupted by a loud knocking at the door, and in the next video, Alan appears to have been locked in a closet.
Soon Alan seems to run out of ideas for new tutorials. To make matters worse, something scary finds its way into his room and gives him spooks, and immediately afterwards his beloved blue chair is knocked over. This tragic turn of events deeply upsets Alan, but he soon finds his motivation again and continues making tutorials.
Things soon go awry again as Alan begins inexplicably destroying his room and then "locks himself out" of it. Now stranded in the wilderness, Alan's sanity starts to slip even further. Undeterred, he continues to make tutorials despite his predicament but is eventually captured by an unknown party and locked in a cell where he briefly gives up on tutorials and turns his attention to reporting on news stories. This phase passes quickly, and Alan resumes making tutorials in exchange for monetary compensation from his unseen captors.
During Alan's captivity, he is living in a very unhealthy state. His chance of escaping is starting to seem hopeless. The room is covered in waste and trash and Alan himself is filthy. His videos barely have context anymore other than him talking to himself but in some, you can see an unknown, mangled object spinning in the room during parts of the video.
A ray of hope suddenly appears in Alan's newest video. He seems to have found some motivation inside himself and in a heroic attempt at freedom, he breaks through the wall of his cell. He is last seen crawling out through the small hole.Analysis Edit
On the surface level, alantutorial functions as a parody of ineptly-crafted how-to videos by the likes of Expert Village. Alan's constant solicitation for likes, favorites, and subscribers despite his clear lack of expertise expands the satire to social media in general: it becomes a criticism of internet users' constant desire for viral status and their simultaneous unwillingness to put any serious effort into this pursuit. It also applies to the trend of internet phenomena that become wildly popular regardless of how much or how little talent or effort went into their creation.
Much of the background of Alan's character is a total mystery. Some of the more surreal elements of alantutorial, such as the blue chair and Alan's recent imprisonment. hint at a possible metaphorical significance to Alan's exploits.
alantutorial is an example of metafiction. as the story is meant to take place in reality and the medium by which the story is told is integrated into the story itself.External links Edit Ad blocker interference detected! Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers
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Warning: Needless to say, but spoilers abound. This analysis is based off not only the entirety of the Youtube series, but also alantutorial's Twitter page, which contains what I believe is vital information to deciphering what exactly is going on.
Additional Note: The creator of the series, Alan Resnick, is different to the main character of the same first name. Just to alleviate further confusion on differentiating the two, the character will be referred to as "Alan" and the creator will be identified as "Resnick."A Brief tl;dr as to what Alantutorial is about:
On the surface, Alantutorial is a web series comprising of the titular user who makes poorly done, somewhat surreal tutorials on a varying array of subjects, none of which he seems to have even a beginner's-level grasp of, and are demonstrated in completely incorrect and overly elaborate ways. This is accompanied by a Twitter account, where he posts his videos as well as standalone tweets explaining his current, erratic thoughts. Later on, things start to go awry when he's booted out of his house and ends up homeless, before ending up stuck inside a white room by an unseen, unknown captor(s). After spending about a year stuck in the room, he finally breaks through a wall and disappears into the night.
On a deeper inspection, however, the series is actually an expansive Alternate Reality Game of sorts, deliberately done as Meta Fiction to properly deliver Resnick's commentary on dying artistic integrity, specifically demonstrating through visual metaphor how an artists create their works that will end up being exploited by others against their will (whether they know it or not), leading to their inevitable downfall. Alantutorial is a deliberately-crafted microcosm made to demonstrate this process while also passing itself off (initially) as a legitimate work in of itself, with hidden clues and abstract metaphors providing a basis of what could in of itself work as a standalone Surreal Horror story.What's the deal with Alan himself?
The most notable thing about both Alan and the series as a whole a new viewer will notice is its immediate "off" qualities. His high-pitched, childish speech pattern. rampant spelling and identification errors, and of course, the subject matter itself. immediately bring to mind that something's clearly wrong with him and is suffering from some mental disorder. In Alan's second video, "how to watch youtube video online," he starts off the video on the Youtube front page, with a sidebar noting that it is Autism Awareness Month (which the video was posted in), which may be a clue left by Resnick to get viewers to draw the conclusion. The idea that he suffers some form of autism will actually fit well with some of the ideas explored further down, so it's a safe assumption to make.
Now as to why he's made to be autistic: This is meant to assist in establishing that Alan, in his own head, at least, is an innocent. Despite what we see of his body not being the case, he himself believes that he's a young boy (even saying "My name is Alan, I'm a little kid!") . who very much doesn't understand what's happening around him. He frequently makes videos with stuff that clearly isn't his (which will be explained below), almost all of the time in ways that are completely nonsensical, and gets into increasingly more and more trouble without deterring him from making his "tutorials."
Alan appears to be a representation of an "innocent, childlike" creator, that which has no actual talent or grasp onto what he works on, but he does it anyway because it's what they enjoy, and/or think they'll enjoy from seeing other people do it. Specifically, he's a facsimile to a large percentage of Youtube creators who don't actually know what they're doing, they just do it because either they like it or they saw someone else doing it and thought it'd be cool to do it themselves (how many times have you seen a lo-fi video of an 8-year old trying to make a Let's Play with no proper recording or audio setup, no plan, and trying to imitate what everybody else does because it's cool without understanding why it works?). The fact that Alantutorial's tutorials have such wildly varying topics is indicative of this, not preferring to tackle any subject he's actually good at, but rather because they're common topics everyone else does, like with artwork, software, cooking, guides on novelty tricks . and trending "challenge" fads.
It is not meant to be a condemnation of this archetype by portraying him as a literal autistic (even if at times the representation of the disorder ranges from realistic to generic public perception ), but rather, it's to emphasize and legitimize how some creators, despite having no typical talent or insight onto the topics they talk about, still have their own artistic integrity because it's what they want to do, and they enjoy it, and it has been shown a common trait of autism is hightened, immovable interests/obsessions in specific subjects. It's basically a case of "We need a good metaphor for Alan to be at the same time so misguided, but so passionate about what he likes doing."What about Alan's surroundings?
Something a new viewer might initially not notice about Alan's early tutorials until pointed out to them is how much expensive and potentially dangerous equipment he has easy access to, including a drill, a circular saw, and computer graphics cards. In "hack 2TB harddrive mod, brother trick, glow in dark", he identifies the hardrive as his brother's, and in "how to make mail into square" around 1:35, a sudden female voice in the background can be heard saying "So, when did you guys get a room together?" Additionally, in "How To Escape a Dark Room and Find Light" . Alan makes it out of his room's window to see the front of the house, but then quietly panics and walks back inside upon seeing a woman walking to the front door.
It appears Alan is living with his brother, who in turn seems to be living with his girlfriend or fiancé. Judging by the amount of 2x4s and power equipment lying around, it appears that the brother is doing some kind of construction work in the shared house (most likely this shed from "how to do a pull-up (summer work-out series)" ), but apparently doesn't care that much that what is clearly a mentally handicapped man is getting hold of them. Judging from Alan's reaction in "How To Escape a Dark Room and Find Light", however, it suggests that they're at a mutual understanding that Alan has to stay the hell away from both him and his SO and pretend that he doesn't even exist. In "desk demo, broken microphone help?" . Alan claims that his audio is broken even though we can clearly hear background noises, he's just not speaking. The reason for this is likely because his brother and possibly her SO are in the house at the time, so he can't speak and let them know he's there, even though he has to make his tutorial video. It seems his brother really doesn't care about Alan, and his only acknowledgement of him is to tell him to stay in his room and remain silent when he's around.
As to why he seems to be living with his brother rather than his parents who probably know better and aren't as negligent, there are minor implications that both of them are dead, or at the very least out of the picture. Alan mentions his father's "military watch", and in "How To Get Coffee Drips From A French Press" . where when he's hiding under his bed, he shoves a box labeled "DAD" in the way to shield himself, which when combined with the fact that Alan is at a mental state of a young child, would imply he left a long time ago. This also gives further implication that his mother would've mostly raised Alan for most of his life, but as for where she is, there seems to be an explanation with Alan's obsession with the mysterious blue chair.The meaning of the blue chair and blue in general.
"How to Pick Up a Blue Chair Off the Ground" . in addition to being the Wham Episode where the offbeat Surreal Humor of the series slowly shifts to discomfort and mystery. marks the beginning of a recurring motif. In the video, Alan is clearly acting very emotionally to it for an unexplained reason, trying to maintain composure for his video, trying to pick it up, but giving up while in tears and just leaving it. Combined with the description, "if your chair is on the floor, here is how to get it back and pick up all the pieces of something broken and unfair, " it gives the implication that he's reliving some kind of trauma, most likely encountering his dead mother's body and having no idea what to do about it.
In a few twitter posts, it's been established that Alan's code for feeling sad is "feeling blue." Given how the chair appears to be handpainted and appropriate for a young child, it would be understandable for why Alan makes this connection, but interestingly at the same time, blue also represents his innocent joy. Not only is it a childish baby blue color, but a few future tutorials afterwards feature him working with objects of the same color, including a yoga mat.
Going back to Alan's perceived mental illness, a common trait with those affected with stunted mental progression is the need to perform comforting rituals, mostly out of a coping mechanism due to an inability to properly process adult situations, such as the death of a loved one. Alan's tutorials appear to be his ritual, as even though he completely fails at it, he still loves doing it. An important mention about these rituals, however, is that the mentally challenged mostly do it on their own volition; they're more likely to get agitated or even rebel if their ritual is interrupted or forced by an outsider, which ends up being a plot point during the kidnapping arc later on.
But additionally, he also has an attachment for the blue chair despite the massive amount of grief he associates with it, although once he finishes with his tutorial by the end of the video, he goes back to more-or-less normal with his typical asking of his viewers to like and subscribe, because his ritual is complete, and he doesn't feel the need to go back to it yet. In later videos in the same room, the blue chair can still be seen fallen over, as Alan still hasn't picked it up yet, because he can't bear to relieve his trauma, and his tutorial on "How to pick up a blue chair" is, in his eyes, complete.
The blue chair, essentially, represents his childhood, and Alan has grown attached to it in a way similar to a young child with their favorite toy, despite the obvious grief it brings along with it. It both represents his joy as well as his sorrow, and this trait ends up being shared with the color blue in general, which becomes explored more and more as the series go on (yes, this is still relevant to the Meta Fiction angle).A short summary of further, relevant events.
Several videos after the "Blue Chair" video in "Air Conditioner (AC) installation tutorial, proper", Alan makes a tutorial, but he strangely appears to be bleeding for no apparent reason (which will be delved into later). In "reveal slats of wood and dust a bed part2" . Alan is revealed to have gone from interfering with his brother's construction work to actually smashing and destroying the ceiling of his room. This must've apparently been his brother's Rage Breaking Point. because a week later in "Locked Out Of Room Tutorial (what to do)" . Alan's locked out of his room with metal bars blocking his window and his stuff packed outside. Two days later, he's now lost on a highway, and then 2 months later, he's still stuck in the wilderness.
Alan keeps up his Twitter, and posts within two hours of each other these tweets . implying that he was in a warm place, but he did so by breaking into someone's property and was hiding. Additionally, a few days later, he posts a Vine video that shows his hand somehow clean (although it's unclear if he got picked up by a good samaritan or he's just recycling old footage for whatever reason).
Either way, however, his next video, "How To Do Spanish Hair Braid" comes 9 months later, and it shows that he's back in the forest again with a nest of trash he's collected. An interesting thing of note is that even in the wilderness, in this video and the next, the blue chair can still be seen in the background, still tipped over. Unexpectedly, though, his next video, "disk tutorial," features him bloodied and inside a moving vehicle, with a comment below saying "Hey guys, I'm not supost [sic] to do this, thanks guys," and suddenly after a few days, he's unexpectedly in a small, clean room, him clean as well, with a blue chair and small red table.The artist exploitation metaphor and the color red.
The point where Alan ends up captured by an unknown captor(s) is where the artistic commentary starts showing more and more. For context, everything previously shown was a point where, if they were to be compared to a typical "innocent Youtube artist," would've begun pursuing their interest and creating for their own sake. It would also be where Alan would've bought up his initial fanbase, as by this point he received a small following (mostly thanks to Cracked giving its blessing note I can't actually find the original article(s?) that evinces this, as they may possibly be archived. However, if you look in some of the earlier comments on the channel's earliest videos, you'll find a lot of comments along the lines of "Cracked brought me here! ). By the time Alan was kicked out of his home and left in the wilderness, this would be the point where the channel became infamous among viewers, trying to decipher what exactly was happening (much like the viewers in actuality) and trying to get a hold of him during his 9-month disappearance.
As it will be further explained, Alan's capture and placement in a cell are done by superiors who want to exploit Alan's fame and popularity in making "tutorials" for themselves. In his first video since his capture, "simple tape tutorial (easy)" . Alan quickly goes through a tutorial using random items placed before him on the red table, then almost immediately retreats back to his blue pillow (notice the Color Motif ). In the next video, he starts it off by saying "Guess who's got to do a tutorial?" and commenting on the video "I upload tutorial," as if to say "There, I did it, are you happy?" At this point, Alan has made it clear that he's not interested in making tutorials anymore, and using the items given for him in the next tutorial, which include blue paint, he announces he's going to stop making tutorials and instead report on the news, which he follows through with in the next few videos.
As the videos go on, things slowly start to change. The formerly red table has now been painted blue, and he even painted a small blue chair symbol on the wall, but the captors have stopped giving him news cutouts and have given him increasingly more malicious items, including a set of box cutting knives, and a cup of a red liquid that actually might be blood. With "the story of the 3 balls (news)" . Alan is stuck making a sort-of tutorial/news story hybrid using what's given to him as he doesn't have any actual news cutout anymore. But in the next video, he's discovered that for his compliance in what his captors want from him, he's given a reward: a dollar.
Within the same video, he performs another tutorial thinly disguised as a news story about an umbrella, and he ends up getting another dollar for it. Over the next few videos, he becomes more and more open to what he's doing being "tutorials," and he continues being awarded for his compliance, and by "how to make a terrarium (TUTORIAL) simple" he's given in, giving up calling it "news" and freely calls it a tutorial. However, once he finishes, he gets another dollar, but he starts inexplicably bleeding, and by the end of the video, he suddenly threatens to commit suicide if he doesn't get enough subscribers.
If you haven't caught on to the Color Motif. red is being introduced more and more of a literal opposite to blue and what it symbolizes. Once again, Alan's joy and innocence is represented by blue, but red is starting to appear more and more as a sign of corruption of the innocent. With Alan's initial capture, he was expected right from the get-go by his captors to make his popular product so they can exploit it, but Alan refused, defiantly painting their red table blue and deciding to do something else instead. However, his captors gradually cut down on extraneous privileges, giving him only things he could make "tutorials" on, and even though he's denying to himself that what he's making is actually a tutorial, he still makes it anyway, and they reward him with, what else? Money.
Going back to the analogy that Alan's life is representative of an "innocent artist's" lifecycle, this would've been when he already achieved a decent amount of subscribers and this would be an outsider's first attempt to exploit them. It's clear that he did the video against his will by some outside force, who saw the popularity Alan was gaining doing tutorials and forced him to more, and cover up the fact that he doesn't want to, and as a result, Alan bleeds red. But unlike his newer situation, he easily shows his defiance in the video right afterwards by smashing parts of the room that he's in . implying that the outside force might actually be his brother, and Alan is willfully destroying his construction work just to spite him. But as the final result shows, this ends up being the brother's Rage Breaking Point and Alan is locked out of his house. Alan suffered from an adult attempt to take over and exploit what was considered just his innocent fun ritual, and now, he's homeless, and he doesn't seem to fully understand why.
In his white room situation, however, Alan is still a childlike mind susceptible to getting huge rewards to do things against his will, and becomes more and more open to his captors' demands as a result, but when he finally decides to give in with his terrarium tutorial and give his captors what they want, he gets the money, but he bleeds as well and smears it next to his blue chair painted on the wall, representing his corrupted innocence and in turn, artistic integrity. Alan was ready to defy his commanders and refuse to give them what they want, deciding to pursue new interests, but with the allure of money, he eventually gave in, and beneath his still-cheerful exterior, he bleeds now, because he's now given up his integrity and pure innocence in order to please his captors so they can give him cash.
In other words, Alan has become a Sell Out. Unfortunately for him, he's about to realize it.Alan's collapse and OH GOD ARE THOSE HUMAN F*CKING LEGS ON A MEAT ROTATOR?
After the terrarium tutorial, Alan states he's been "feeling blue" and noticeably becomes less willing to actually try and do a tutorial, only doing it for the money. In his next 2 videos . he barely tries to make a tutorial, but once he states he's done, he gets another dollar, but he really has to reach for it under the door. He's also scrawled over the walls and floor with blue lines, as if he's trying to convince himself that what he's doing his still his.
The following video, "How to watch youtube clips in HD 720p (computer tutorial)" provides possibly the series' biggest direct Mind Screw. in where Alan shows how to watch Youtube videos on a laptop, before suddenly cutting to his terrarium video, but at a different angle and with distorted audio. This is a reference to a problem many popular Youtube creators face: Plagiarism. There have been many cases of people who make big-name content complaining about people who steal their videos in an attempt to gain a large portion of their ad revenue through views. This would ideally be caught by Youtube's automated copyright detection system, but content thieves have gotten crafty, altering its visuals and audio just enough so that it flies under the radar, and by the time they're noticed, they've already piggybacked off of the success of whoever they stole from. In the description, Alan posts "Alantutorial is popular and is i guess in or on other youtube channels. sorry guys," indicating that because he's become popular now, he's now a victim of theft, yet another crushing blow to Alan's innocent psyche.
At this point, Alan is slowly cracking under the pressure to find ways to be able to stay relevant, and resorts to posting irrelevant "gimmick" videos in order to stay psyched, including a grossout food challenge, doing a video hanging from the ceiling . and a Google+ Livestream where he doesn't really do anything except talk to his dollar-bill man and unnoticeably knocking over urine bottles. Unfortunately for him, it seems that they don't work, mirroring how real-life content creators end up looking desperate for attention doing forced videos. He also posts a curious tweet of emojis that actually represent his current story and more: He made videos, ended up in the woods, got kidnapped, started doing the news, was beaten for it, and finally got money. But then, after betraying himself, he slowly succumbs to a depression, and after time becomes enraged with several lines of nothing but fire, with a final "runner" emoji that indicates that he wants to run. By "ARM tutorial," he effectively snaps, ruining his room, smashing over urine bottles with wooden mallets.
His next light of activity doesn't come until nearly 8 months later in "V-2014-83-4324", where it shows that under his Sanity Slippage. he's now living in a disgusting absolute hell, stuck there for almost a year, including being stuck with a meat rotator with what might actually be human legs on them. With Alan's final video, "tutoiral," he finally gets his wish, breaking through his captors' wall and running off into the night with his dollar-bill man. While it's unclear if there's any more to the story, he's gone completely silent on both his Youtube and his Twitter, and on its own, the story still stands.
This would be the point where the artist has completely given up on trying to run with the program any more. He betrayed himself just to get money from abusive captors, and while he initially tried to distract himself from it with cheap gimmicks, his sanity ended up being crushed by this realization, turning his life (and the room he's trapped in) a complete nightmare. Alan's only solution at this point is to drop everything, forgetting about tutorials, his captors, and money, to completely purge his life, and finally manages to bust a hole in his wall and disappear, possibly forever. He'll take the money he's earned, but he refuses to stay in his nightmare any longer, and has disappeared from the scene completely.
Alan's metafictional horror story of what just started as his fun ritual. turning into a forced ritual devolving into an absolute hell. is finally over.