The Making Of 'Cyber Seniors' Spurs Competitive Videos

May 19, 2014
Originally published on May 20, 2014 7:46 am



Let's use some of these terms and try to get them right. A couple years ago, a team filming a documentary called "Cyber-Seniors" followed a program in Toronto where teenagers teach older people how to use computers.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #1: So, here, I'll get you to hold the mouse, put your hand like this...

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #2: I know how to turn it on. That's all.

GREENE: Now, during the course of the filming, director Saffron Cassaday says the story took an unexpected twist.

SAFFRON CASSADAY: One of the characters in the film, Shora(ph), gets really into watching YouTube videos, and specifically YouTube cooking tutorials, and she decided to make her own.

SHORA: Oh, hi, everybody, on YouTube. I'm here to show you how I have my lunch quite often.


Shora demonstrates how to make a grilled cheese sandwich using an iron.

SHORA: Which is the hottest polyester, nylon cotton. Come on, cheese, start melting.

MONTAGNE: Well, before you know it, Shora's video was getting thousands of hits on YouTube. Soon, other seniors in the program started making their own videos with their teen tutors, and a friendly competition emerged.

GREENE: One woman recorded a rap video about being 93 and still having all her teeth.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #3: (Singing) So, even though I had a filling or two, you'll never be fresher than me.

MONTAGNE: Another man made a video on how he fixed a broken dock after a storm.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: We are now going to add weights to stop the dock lifting with the waves.

GREENE: Other seniors made videos on golf, exercise and how to pick out a fresh fish.

MONTAGNE: Now, we're not going to spoil the ending - that is, who wins the competition. "Cyber-Seniors" is currently on tour throughout North America. You can see it. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.