Monday, March 27, 2006

It's all about the Media

Well, isn’t that just TYPICAL. JUST as I finally start to get the hang of this whole blogging thing (STARTING to, I said! I know I still have the Lamest! Blog! Ever!), I find out that the COOL bloggers have already moved on to something much more interesting.

I mean, who wants WORDS when they can watch pretty pictures? Nowadays, it’s all about the movie clips. A blog with nothing but acres of verbiage smattered with links and peppered with a few images just doesn’t cut it any more, OH no. That’s old hat. You’ve got to either include a fragment of some show you enjoyed (“fair use”???) or you actually have to produce something original of your own to share. And people are doing so. In spades.

I think I first started catching on to this when I came across a link to the hilarious and clever Brokeback to the Future trailer at YouTube.com that made the rounds a few weeks ago (there are actually literally dozens of Brokeback See this movie's record at the Internet Movie Database -spoof-trailers, though most of the others I looked at range a little more towards the mean-spirited or even simply plain spiteful).

You can find a little bit of ANYTHING at YouTube. You can spend hours in a slack-jawed fog, eyes-glazed-over stupour, as you discover that people are willing to record themselves doing anything. And it isn’t even necessarily all porn! Some of it is mind-bogglingly stupid, some of it extremely clever, and a lot of it is very funny. Youtube is of course where I found that fantastic live-action intro for the Simpsons that I posted about earlier (and which Fox actually used this last Sunday as the intro to a real Simpson’s episode!!).

This is a pretty natural outgrowth of the online audio streaming that’s been going on and getting increasingly popular over the past couple of years, with “podcasts” and shows available on iTunes, etc., but it’s just taking it to the next level (if you have the bandwidth and hardware for it).

In FACT, I've been meaning to write about this topic for several weeks now: but now I know I'm really lame if it's being going on so long that even the newspapers have already caught wind of it. The Globe actually scooped me on this one (“Clip and Play”, March 26) this last Sunday before I had a chance to blog about this new trend. In addition to YouTube, they mention AtomFilms.com, Ebaumsworld.com, thelonelyisland.com and Channel101.com, none of which I had heard of, in my lame, brain-dead way.

The Globe article isn’t as interested in the dissemination of videos on the web as in what to them is this development: the appearance of these videos on “real media” like TV. Something which was news to me, actually:

''South Park," aspiring animators know, had its origins as an online Christmas cartoon. The 21-year-old creator of the short film ''MySpace: The Movie," a massive YouTube hit, recently got a development deal from mtvU. Last year, ''Saturday Night Live" hired a trio of roommate-filmmakers -- Channel 101 veterans -- who posted their work on their website, thelonelyisland.com. Now, they're largely responsible for SNL's infectious ''digital shorts," such as ''Lazy Sunday," a rap starring Chris Parnell and Andy Samberg on a trip to see ''The Chronicles of Narnia," or this month's ''Natalie Rap," with Natalie Portman in gangsta mode.

Yeah, I guess that’s kinda interesting.

But I’m still more interested in the proliferation of online videos on the web itself, something which seems to be accelerating. In addition to YouTube, two sites I have stumbled across recently are:

  • OneGoodMove: a progressive political blog that provides a regular digest of clips from shows like The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and Bill Maher. Now, if I miss these shows, I can just go to this blog to see what I missed. Very useful!! (The Daily Show, by the way, is available on iTunes, according to this blog.) This is a great blog!
  • The Malcontent: Video: producers of little clips they call “Malcovision”. This is a gay-themed site that I discovered when I was googling Brokeback in the days after I had seen it. I was particularly interested in finding out what was behind all the buzz about Heath Ledger being accused of “homophobia” for the way he introduced Brokeback at the SAG awards. You can find the “malcovision” version of Heath’s performance here. (Sorry, I just don’t buy it that he was “playing gay” there. He just looks a little drunk and — as he has said in interviews — completely unprepared to do the introduction. No homophobia here, as far as I can tell.) There’s also clips from a hilarious Oprah show with Heath, Jake, and Anne Hathaway here: well worth watching just for the way Anne gets embarrassed out of her skin. It’s adorable. Don’t remember if it’s in one of the shorter clips or in the whole video that they have a link to there. (You have to be old enough to recognize the theme music for the beginning credits of these “malcovision” shorts. Funny.)

Well, as long as I continue to use Blogger I don’t think I’ll be posting too many videos. Besides, I still have a lot of catching up to do before this blog becomes worth reading anyhow!

Update March 30, 2006: I didn't quite put two-and-two together yesterday when I finished up this post (which has been in draft mode for over a week), but what I touched on here is merely the tip of the iceberg in a creative revolution that's been going on for a while now: just google terms like "social media" and "open source filmmaking". In fact, this dovetails with another post I've had in draft mode for a couple of weeks now, inspired by my encounter with the King Kong Production Diaries (plus the post-production diaries on the movie DVD: ) and by this post (and this follow-up) at gapingvoid, and the new blog from the filmmakers of Hallam Foe. More on this later! Categories: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comments:

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At Sat Apr 01, 01:28:00 PM EST, Anonymous Margaret said...

Hmm, excellent post. I've often wished I could upload my videos to my blogs. I have the Kodak V550 which allows me to easily make short videos now ... so I went to Google Videos just now and created an account. I am uploading my first video now. Will post a link here if I like it. Thanks for the idea!

 

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