Noah Kalina started a photography project called "Everyday" back when he was 19 years old on January 11, 2000. The idea was to take one picture of himself everyday in the same framing without changing his facial expression.
"A couple of years into it, a friend convinced me to make it a time-lapse," Kalina told us over the phone.
So, he took all of his pictures that spanned over 6.5 years and took just an hour to edit all the photos into a time-lapse video. Around 2,400 photos flash by in less than five minutes.
He uploaded his video on August 26, 2006 first onto Vimeo under the title "everyday" and then onto YouTube as "Noah takes a photo of himself everyday for 6 years." Kalina had no idea his video was about to go viral.
"Overnight, I wake up and I had hundreds of emails... My website was shut down," Kalina told us. "It basically got over 1 million views overnight."
The video was featured on YouTube's front page for the world to see, and he had countless requests for interviews. What certainly contributed to the video's popularity was the original score composed by Kalina's then-girlfriend, Carly Comando. In one take, Comando recorded a song that had been running through her head before going off to her part-time job as a waitress.
The visual and musical creativity of Noah Kalina and Carly Comando has certainly paid off—to an extent.
Once his video turned into a viral hit, Kalina received offers to appear on popular talk shows like Oprah, the Ellen DeGeneres Show, and the Rachael Ray Show. Instead of maximizing his video's exposure and spreading the Noah Kalina name, he declined almost all offers to appear on television. Despite the self-portraits, Kalina apparently gets uncomfortable when a video camera is focused on him. Kalina also told us that he will never place Google ads on his YouTube video.
Not all was lost though as Kalina revealed to us that he licensed "Everyday" to Sony for a commercial in Chile for $10,000. Time Warner also paid him $1,000 to use the video in a commercial, and Break.com also gave him $1,000 just to show up at a party.
Most recently, Kalina directed a commercial in the style of "Everyday" for Austrian bank Raiffeisen Meine Bank. He declined to give us an exact figure but did say he was paid in the "mid-5-figures."
As for Carly Comando, she told us through email that her song, also titled "Everyday," has been licensed to the likes of the NBA and DEKA Bank in Germany. She also licensed her song to an episode of "The Simpsons" that went on to win a Primetime Emmy award.
"Obviously these opportunities help me pay my rent, but only so much," Comando told us. "I have to keep working to get more licensing deals and get my name out there."
When we asked Carly Comando for exact figures of these licensing deals, she declined comment and responded simply: "I am still a waitress." Her record label, Deep Elm Records, also declined comment. Along with her part-time waiting job, Comando also plays in an indie rock band that "tours pretty frequently."