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NPR Arts & Life

Mad? Sad? Try The Screamotron3000

Billy Hunt wants you to yell and scream. At your cheating spouse, that insatiable boss, your dad who missed the baseball game. And do it for the camera.

His is a converted karaoke boombox that automatically takes a picture when triggered by the sound of a scream.

"It can be a little rough having people yell at you all day," he says, "but I find it so interesting how human emotion plays out."

Though the contraption sounds a bit technical, for Hunt it's more of a psychology experiment:

"I'm trying to get into the amygdala," he says. (That's the part of your brain that stores memories and processes emotions.) "Some people scream inward and some people scream outward ... and some people go to crazy town."

What he didn't anticipate was how much appeal the process would hold for his subjects, who tell him it's therapeutic.

"Everybody screams different — they are all beautiful snowflakes," he says.

The Screamotron3000 in use in the studio.
/ Courtesy of Billy Hunt
/
The Screamotron3000 in use in the studio.

Hunt based in Charlottesville, Va., and describes himself as "one of the top five fake women's arm-wrestling documentarians in the history of humankind."

You can watch a slo-mo video of people screaming for his camera here.

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