Wednesday, June 30, 2010
'"Your secret" is a movie about you.
Something quite different as compared to my other works, this short movie evokes a complicity between the spectator and the narrator. Something cheerful, something mysterious, something simple, something that hopefully maybe brightens your day.
Hope you'll like it.'
(c) Jean-Sébastien Monzani - jsmonzani.com - all rights res
According to the Google Geo Developers Blog post, nearly half of the almost 5,000 mashups on Programmable Web's dashboard use the Google Maps API. In an effort to show the widespread influence of the API, Keir Clarke from Google Maps Mania created a mashup of mashups that we've included below. From real-time tracking of buses in NYC to mapping out news down to a block-by-block level, the mashup shows where across the world Google Maps mashups have been created using the API.
"THQ will use the almanac to transform "Red Faction" into a generational sci-fi saga. The movie will be set after the events of the 2009 game "Red Faction: Guerrilla" and focus on the adult offspring of the game's mining colony inhabitants, while "Red Faction: Armageddon" will take place decades later and feature a grown-up villain first seen in the movie.
"Our job is to maximize the potential of the property as it stands," said Jeff Gomez, CEO at Starlight Runner Entertainment. "We're not here to change 'Red Faction' in any kind of dramatic way. We're here to make it work solidly across different media platforms by developing a resource for everyone involved to be able to tap into the mythology."
That means the artists illustrating the comic book, the screenwriters penning the made-for-TV movie, the designers crafting the next games and anyone else who hammers on "Red Faction" will all be drawing from the same inspiration and adhering to the same continuity, which Gomez insisted will keep savvy fans entertained and, more importantly, loyal."
more details here:
A Girl Story is a unique donation-based film that brings to life the experience of many underprivileged girls in India. This particular story is told through the eyes of Tarla, a young girl who simply wants to go to school and receive an education. Our project's goals are to raise awareness about the challenges that girls like Tarla face, and to drive donations for the nonprofit group Project Nanhi Kali.
Project Nanhi Kali (little bud) was founded in 1996 by K C Mahindra Education Trust to provide 10 years of primary education to underprivileged girls in India. Nanhi Kali has successfully evolved over the years into a national girl sponsorship program, which supports the education of girl children by providing not only academic support but also direct material support in the form of uniforms, clothes, note books etc. The project currently supports the education of over 58,000 underprivileged girl children with a goal to grow this number significantly. K. C. Mahindra Education Trust regularly monitors the NGOs giving technical inputs where ever required to ensure that quality education is being imparted to all the Nanhi Kali girls.
Please see nanhikali.org for more information.
video link not active this am!
"Touching Stories" App Offers Four Interactive Short Films, Designed Specifically for the iPad | InteractiveTV Today
Interactive production company, Tool of North America (note: for more on Tool, see the interview with its digital executive producer, Dustin Callif, that was published on itvt.com, June 9th, 2009), has teamed with "technology-infused" creative agency, Domani Studios, to develop an application, dubbed "Touching Stories," that contains four interactive live-action short films shot by five Tool of North America directors and designed specifically for the Apple iPad. According to the companies, the app allows viewers to "navigate, unlock and reveal unexpected variations" in each of the films by "touching, shaking and turning" their iPad. The app is available in the App Store, free of charge.
More details re. the films here:
Thanks to a pair of knockout fake trailers, a team of Finnish filmmakers will soon start shooting an outlandish sci-fi Nazi movie financed in part by fans who flipped over the clips.
The first teaser for Iron Sky, embedded below, has pulled more than 1.3 million YouTube views since its release two years ago. The follow-up clip (above), released last month, continued the momentum as the project’s website harvested micro-investments from 52 fans enticed by the spooky-sleek visuals.
The trailers also generated buzz on the strength of the bizarrely original Iron Sky premise: During the closing days of World War II, Nazis in flying saucers escaped to the moon. In 2018, they plan a victorious return to Earth.
With 90 percent of the feature-length project’s $8.5 million budget now funded, casting for Iron Sky is nearly complete, with filming set to begin in Australia and Germany this fall.
Power to the Pixel has just opened calls for it’s annual Pixel Pitch. Now in its second year the Pixel Pitch offers transmedia projects an opportunity to present their work to an international panel of judges consisting of producers, funders, sales agents and distributors. This year’s top project will be award a cash prize thanks to support from ARTE. To find out more read below or visit www.powertothepixel.com
The Pixel Market – How Does It Work?
Power to the Pixel will select up to 20 cross-media projects to be presented to potential international financiers, investors and partners at The Pixel Market, part of Power to the Pixel’s annual Cross-Media Forum held in association with The BFI London Film Festival. Selected participants will also gain free accreditation to Power to the Pixel’s Conference Summit on the first day of the Forum.
The Pixel Pitch, 13 October 2010
Up to half of the selected projects will be presented In Competition at The Pixel Pitch, a public event on the first day of the market on 13 October 2010 at NFT1, BFI Southbank. These project teams will compete for the £6,000 ARTE Pixel Pitch Cash Prize.
Producer-led teams will present to a hand-picked roundtable jury made up of financiers, commissioners, tech companies, online portals and media & entertainment companies.
Each team will have 10 minutes to pitch their project (including visual presentations) with a further 20 minutes for comments and feedback from the roundtable.
more details on website
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Source: Digital Buzz Blog here:
Monday, June 28, 2010
Excerpts (but read the whole speech!)
The bad news:
"...Here’s how bad the odds are: of the 5000 films submitted to Sundance each year— generally with budgets under $10 million—maybe 100 of them got a US theatrical release three years ago. And it used to be that 20 of those would make money. Now maybe five do. That’s one-tenth of one percent.
Put another way, if you decide to make a movie budgeted under $10 million on your own tomorrow, you have a 99.9% chance of failure.
OK, so now that I’ve battered you into severe depression, let’s move on to the hopeful part of these proceedings."
Slightly better news:
"...The sky may be falling, but in the end, it isn’t going to hit the ground. We will be left with a little breathing room. And the question will become: what will succeed in this much narrower space?
I believe that a fair number of people—call them what’s left of the theatrical audience if you like—will always need to get out of the house: in part because they enjoy the benefits of a communal experience.
Clearly, only the better films will succeed in the theaters of the future. Certainly the number of releases will drop—by half or more. Probably everyone other than the folks who work on tentpoles will be paid less. The words “theatrical necessity” will take on greater and greater meaning. Probably a lot of theaters will close. But I think the best theaters showing the best films will always have an audience. And the rest of the films will have their premiere in Walmart, or on your cell phone.
Interestingly enough, in this Darwinian new future, there will absolutely be a premium for good films on tv, pay per view, on-demand, internet—or whatever that large pipe that goes to all of our houses will be called.
Why do I know this? Because one of the big research companies conducted a study recently which gave viewers on-demand everything. No more schedules. No more appointment television. Just tune in anything—any movie, any TV show—at any time. And guess what: the best stuff won out. Hands down."
"...*Traditionally specialized films accounted for 5-6% of tickets sold. In the last few summers, it’s been over 10% on average. And that’s the season when Hollywood is supposed to dominate and indies are supposed to cower in the corners, waiting for the arrival of fall.
*And to back that up, for the first time in the roughly 20 years I’ve been looking at this data, more than 10% of the audience now is telling pollsters they prefer independent films...."
read full article:
CANNES, France (AdAge.com) -- "The Gift," a visually stunning online film for Philips from DDB, London, RSA Films and director Carl Erik Rinsch, won the inaugural Grand Prix in the film-craft category at Cannes.
WHAT IT IS: "The Gift" is part of the "Parallel Lines" campaign touting Philips' cinema-scale TVs. DDB challenged RSA directors to create a series of short films, each around the same six lines of dialogue. From 45 treatments, the agency commissioned five films that could be viewed on Philips' site, enhanced with the "Ambilight" technology used in the TV sets, and elsewhere online.
"The Gift" is a futuristic, visual effects-driven story set in Moscow and features an android butler involved in a spectacular chase scene. The film's slick look earned Mr. Rinsch plaudits from viewers and attention from the entertainment world -- talk of a feature-length version of the "The Gift" swirled after its online launch, and Mr. Rinsch was also tapped to direct the remake of "Logan's Run."
WHY IT WON: Film-craft jury chair Jon Kamen, president and co-founder of Radical Media, said judges were "completely blown away by the entry in terms of craftsmanship in every category" and that the pick was unanimous. The film won the Grand Prix in the directing category and also won Gold in the visual-effects category.
Julian von Bismarck & Benjamin Maus
The “Perpetual Storytelling Apparatus” is a drawing machine illustrating a never-ending story by the use of patent drawings.
The machine translates words of a text into patent drawings. Seven million patents — linked by over 22 million references — form the vocabulary. By using references to earlier patents, it is possible to find paths between arbitrary patents. They form a kind of subtext.
New visual connections and narrative layers emerge through the interweaving of the story with the depiction of technical developments.
Sunday, June 27, 2010
The Philharmonic Orchestra of Hamburg (Philharmoniker Hamburg) merged city and orchestra into one musical experience with Sounds of Hamburg, a web application recognised with a Gold Cyber Lion at Cannes International Advertising Festival 2010. Digital cameras were used to transform the city of Hamburg into a concert hall with online users taking the role of conductor. Custom tailored motion tracking made it possible for users to select moving objects from a live video feed. People, ships, cars and even fish become instruments in a spontaneous concert. Venues include The RauthausMarkt, The Landing Bridges on Hamburg Harbour, The Beatles Platz, and a tropical aquarium.
(Source: PS3 Informer http://bit.ly/bD7muE )
Sitting alone in your room one night, a mysterious crack begins to form in your bedroom wall. The lights flicker ominously. Suddenly, an alien tentacle, belonging to some horrific monster, breaks through the crack. One exploratory tentacle and then another reach into the room, looking for prey. Sensing your movement, they sniff the air in your direction. Terrified, you jump to your feet and use the only thing at hand, an aluminum baseball bat, and begin landing blows on the arms as they dart around the room. Grabbing a ballpoint pen from your desk, you stab it deeply into one of the fleshy appendages and it quickly retreats from whence it came. Having survived another onslaught in the augmented reality game Parallax Shift, you hit the autosave on your PS4 and remove your goggles. Welcome to the future of augmented reality, coming very soon to a video game device near you.
Augmented Reality has been looming on the horizon for a while now, but it is finally poised to become a huge part of mainstream gaming. The basic principal is that gameplay incorporates the player's real surroundings into the action, blending the distinction between virtual and real. Hideo Kojima was one of the earliest to experiment with augmented reality in games. His vampire slaying action game Lunar Knights used a light sensor attached to the Gameboy Advance to determine whether the player was in daylight or darkness. In Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, players could download new game characters by driving around and connecting to new wireless hotspots.
More recent examples range from games that use the player's geographic location via GPS, to games that use camera input to project 3D characters into a local scene. The 2008 game Eye of Judgment used a camera attached to the Playstation 3 console to augment a card game similar to Magic: The Gathering. Players would lay their physical cards down on the game surface, and the Playstation 3 would render the monsters represented by each card, which would then do battle on screen. It was a cool trick, but there are many other ways that game developers can exploit augmented reality.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
The world wide web removed a sense of space from our lives by connecting everyone on the globe to the same content — totalitarian regimes excepted. But the web’s most promising developments of late indicate that we’re entering a new phase where place matters as much as reach.
Perhaps there is a “there” here after all, in other words, to corrupt Gertrude Stein’s infamous aphorism. Craigslist, Citysearch, and other veterans have long profited from acknowledging that web surfers live in geographic locations, but only recently has the shift from globalization to localization become a major driver of innovation.
Witness the ongoing rise of the New York company Foursquare, whose primary purpose is to tell people where you are. The service added its millionth user in April and was used by the Wall Street Journal to spread news about the attempted Times Square bombing, proving that it’s not just about becoming the mayor of your local coffee shop.
After Entrepreneur named Foursquare the “most brilliant” idea in mobile technology earlier this month, Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley said even his team is surprised by the way it continues to grow, over a year after its launch at SXSW 2009.
“Every month, we look at the numbers and think we can’t keep growing at this rate,” said Crowley. “But we do. This thing’s got legs.”
Foursquare requires checking in to locations, but Google Latitude does away with that nicety and broadcasts your location to your friends at all times through your phone. Now that the iPhone supports multitasking, it and other apps that broadcast location passively have the potential to work there, too, providing location-tracking apps with a significant boost.
In other local news, one of the largest providers of ISP routers in the world plans to tag users with anonymous, zip+4 codes so that advertisers can advertise to them locally (or by targeting hundreds of specific neighborhoods nationwide) — even if they’re visiting a general interest website. Our photos and tweets are part of this trend too.
Geo-tagging technology stamps the location where a photo was taken or a tweet was written, forever binding that piece of media to a specific location, so nearby users can access them easily. Flickr was an early supporter of geo-tagging, and as the equipment we use to take photos and send tweets increasingly includes location-aware connectivity if not outright GPS, the trend is set to explode.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
An installation involving reams of marbled contact paper, dozens of household appliances, and white women’s shoes. The work was installed in the lobby of the building in a storefront window. A video camera captured reactions from the street audience and projected them inside of the installation. At the end of the installation, the Household Creatures performed “Waiting for Godot” by Samuel Beckett.
Love this - Free Fear from the USA (if you take it) | from The Institute for Infinitely Small Things
"A reverse shoplifting experiment to bring American fear & insecurity to Canadian bookstores. The Institute for Infinitely Small Things deposited over 40 copies of their self-published “New American Dictionary: Security/Fear Edition” into Vancouver bookstores & educational institutions.
In October 2007, the Institute for Infinitely Small Things reverse-shoplifted over 40 copies of The New American Dictionary: Security/Fear Edition into bookstores and educational institutions in Vancouver, BC.
The dictionary catalogs over 60 terms related to fear and security which have entered American English since 9/11, including new terms (”freedom fries”, “islamofascist”) and old terms which have been redefined (”torture”). The books are for free in Vancouver or on amazon.com for $19.95."
Monday, June 21, 2010
This sounds reasonable, except that all iPhone users who want to download applications or media via the iTunes Store are forced to agree to the policy. Otherwise they are blocked from downloading anything, so it really isn’t an option.
Apple assures its users that all of this data — especially the data it is sharing — is completely anonymous. But as if enough information is provided, it might not be that difficult to pinpoint who people are based on where they go."
"Editor’s note: Guest author Steve Cheney is an entrepreneur and formerly an engineer & programmer specializing in web and mobile technologies.
On the heels of the latest Android phone, the Sprint HTC EVO, and as we approach iPhone 4, it seems like mobile devices and platforms are innovating at about five times the pace of personal computers.
Rapid advancement in mobile is often attributed to the natural disruption by which emerging industries innovate quickly, while established markets like PCs follow a slower, more sustained trajectory.
But there are deeper fundamentals driving the breathtaking pace of smartphone advancement. Component vendors supplying to smartphone OEMs have evolved a much different DNA than those supplying to PC makers. Smartphones are an evolution of embedded systems, not PCs, and embedded markets have long favored vendors who don’t simply provide the most highly integrated chipsets, but who can also partner with OEMs to drive system-level integration and software at a rapid pace.
Hardware / Chipset Integration Differences in Smartphones vs PCs:
Intel’s monopoly in PC processors and peripheral chipsets has caused PC innovation to stagnate. “Chipsets” sit alongside a CPU and integrate auxiliary functions such as wireless and peripherals. By “bundling” chipsets with processors, Intel neutralizes competition on PC motherboards. Exceptions such as graphic chips exist, but Intel essentially “decides” 90% of what will (and won’t) be included on next generation PCs.
A great example of this is the notable lack of GPS chips in laptops. The fact that I have to type in my starting address on Google Maps on my $1,500 MacBook Air serves as a constant reminder that PC innovation has plateaued (even Mac hardware is controlled by Intel). It’s no surprise people reach for their iPhone when in front of a computer—the mobile experience is often better.
GPS is just one example of the ever-widening gap between PCs and smartphones. Sure, PC makers could add a separate GPS chip to the motherboard, but why hasn’t Intel pursued location as a core piece of IP in its chipsets to drive a better mobile experience for laptops?
It’s simple – they don’t need to. Intel loves high margins, and their market monopoly allows them to pursue margin at the expense of innovation.
In contrast, smartphone vendors have traditionally competed in a much more fragmented supply chain, integrating at a breakneck pace just to survive. Today’s 3G wireless chipsets integrate GPS, Bluetooth, and 802.11n on a single chip. And the competition between great companies like Qualcomm and Marvell not only spurs further innovation, but also drives vendors to differentiate in system integration and software.
System Level Integration and Support Differences in Smartphones vs PCs:
System integration is the term for how hardware and software combine to create a finished platform. In PCs, Intel dictates the pace of hardware releases– OEMs essentially wait for CPU updates, then differentiate through inventory control, channel / distribution and branding. Intel and Microsoft win no matter which PC makers excel – they literally don’t care if it’s Asus, Dell or HP.
In the smartphone world, it’s the opposite. Dozens of component vendors fight each other to the death to win designs at smartphone OEMs. This competitive dynamic forms an entirely different basis for how component vendors approach system integration and support."
Ahead of Thursday's release of the new and improved iPhone 4, Apple is today launching a series of software improvements collectively known as iOS 4 to owners of older generation iPhones and iPod Touch devices. iOS 4, the updated form of the iPhone operating system, brings over 100 new features, some big - like folders for apps and unified inboxes, some small - like home screen wallpapers and threaded email, and some - like multi-tasking - which your old iPhone may not be able to run at all.
Multi-tasking, iPhone's Newest Trick, Doesn't Run on Older Devices
Announced in April during a presentation on Apple's Cupertino campus, iOS 4 delivers several long-awaited features for many iPhone users, the most important of which may be "multi-tasking," the ability for apps to run in the background while you launch and use additional applications in the foreground. Developers must first update their iPhone apps to take advantage of this new feature but after doing so, those applications become accessible via a "task menu" that appears at the bottom of the iPhone's screen, launched by double-tapping the iPhone's "Home" button.
Although multi-tasking is arguably the standout feature of the iOS 4 software, users of older iPhones won't be able to take advantage of the new functionality. Multi-tasking won't work on the iPhone 3G or second generation iPhone Touch devices. And those who still have the original iPhone can't run the new software at all.
Other Top Features
Along with multi-tasking, iPhone OS 4 apps can also be configured to run in the background, a helpful feature for music applications like Pandora which, before, would stop music playback when you exited the app. Now, you can continue streaming tunes while checking email, browsing the Web, texting, playing games or doing anything else you want. Even better, location services such as those used by turn-by-turn applications like Tom Tom will also be able to run in the background, meaning you won't get lost just because someone calls you while you're navigating via GPS.
Kickstarter Summer Projects by Marina Zurkow, Joe Winter, Thom Kubli by Marian Spore - very interesting!
ABOUT THIS PROJECT
WHAT IS MARIAN SPORE? Marian Spore is an accumulative museum of contemporary art in Industry City, Brooklyn founded by Michael Connor in September 2009. New artworks are regularly added to a steadily-growing exhibition housed in a 16,000 square foot space.
IS MARIAN SPORE A COLLECTION? We think of Marian Spore as an art collection, although the works have not been purchased. Instead, they are all on loan from the artists until the space closes in December 2010. At that point, we aim to sell the collection as a whole into the care of a larger institution.
PROJECT 1: FLOAT! BY THOM KUBLI One at a time, members of the audience float in a custom-designed isolation tank, listening to an audio composition about politics and zero gravity. The tank was originally commissioned by RPI in Troy, New York. We need $2200 to bring this unique project to Marian Spore. This will go towards tank transport, installation, salt and equipment.
PROJECT 2: PARADOXICAL SLEEP BY MARINA ZURKOW Zurkow will 'submerge' Marian Spore by digitally compositing floodwaters into video footage of the space. The resulting videos, which may be taken as haunting visions of the future, are played on monitors that hang on specially fabricated steel armatures in the space. We need $1000 to pay for a professional videographer and camera rental as well as the modification of the steel armatures.
PROJECT 3: MODELS FOR A HISTORY OF LIGHT BY JOE WINTER Artist Joe Winter makes beautiful abstract photograms (cameraless photographs) by exposing ordinary construction paper to household lights over long periods of time. The work has been on view since December at Marian Spore; we need $800 to pay for installation materials (wood, display cases, framing, further light fixtures).
OUR NAMESAKE The space is named after the wife of Industry City's founder, Irving T. Bush. Spore (1878-1946) was a visionary artist who claimed to commune with the spirits of dead artists. Working from their instructions, she made surrealist-tinged paintings that offered stark visions of the future. She is our 'patron saint', but there is no direct connection between the space and her estate.
"For the exhibition Sketches of Space, Mudam has invited eight artists to occupy the museum with projects specifically conceived for the occasion. Presented in all the rooms devoted to temporary shows, the installations enhance different approaches to the notion of space through their diversity.
Physical intervention to the architecture of Ieoh Ming Pei, game of construction and deconstruction, relating the interior to the exterior of the building, immersive environment, installation disorientating the viewer, response to the institutional context... Each of these propositions sketches another perception of the museum by redrawing its contours.
Faithful to her usual approach which consists of taking the context of her intervention as a starting point, Luxembourg artist Simone Decker has come up with a large-scale installation for the Grand Hall that echoes the previous exhibition, Brave New World (from the perspective of Mudam Collection). A tower, mostly composed of storage cases for artworks from the museum’s collection, allows visitors to climb to the heights of the Grand Hall and reach the summit of the atrium. From here, they may discover a new point of view on the building and the exterior, as well as on the collection and, generally, the museum as an institution."
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Real-Time, 24/7 Interaction. Virtual Street Corners is a digital media public art project by John Ewing, in collaboration with Carmen Montoya, Kevin Patton, Christopher Robbins and Minotte Romulus.
Beginning in June 2010, a storefront in Coolidge Corner, Brookline, and in Dudley Square, Roxbury will be transformed into large video screens, providing pedestrians of each neighborhood with a portal into one another's worlds. Running 24/7, life-size screen images and AV technology will enable real-time communication between residents of the two neighborhoods.
The neighborhoods we have chosen to connect are transportation and cultural hubs with rich and intertwined histories. They are only 2.4 miles apart and a city bus runs directly between them, yet very few people from either neighborhood visits the other. Using technology developed to bridge geographical distances, Virtual Street Corners instead traverses the social boundaries that separate two important neighborhood centers with significant historical connections.
Saturday, June 19, 2010
More details on Mashable:
Friday, June 18, 2010
Margaret Stewart: How YouTube thinks about copyright - culture of opportunity creates new audiences, revenue, & joy
(source: Shapeways http://bit.ly/cc4j9W )
"Joris Peels: Why stop motion?
Johnny Kelly: Het Klokhuis is aimed at a younger audience and all about how things are made and how things work, and for this reason it seemed suitable to create a title sequence using something as handmade and process-driven as stop motion animation. I made sense that the first rebranded episode was all about how we made the animation. In addition to this, stop motion is interesting because it looks quite fresh on television, in contrast to a lot of the slick graphics we are used to seeing. As an older generation, when we watch stop motion it triggers happy memories because it reminds us of television when we were growing up, which featured a lot of this type of animation. For younger audiences it is interesting because its different to the other programs they see."
Hey all you video artists! Guggenheim and YouTube Seek Budding Video Artists for biennial exhibition
Beginning Monday anyone with access to a video camera and a computer will have an opportunity to catch the eye of a Guggenheim curator and vie for a place in a video-art exhibition in October at all of the foundation’s museums: the Solomon R. Guggenheim in New York, the Deutsche Guggenheim in Berlin, the Guggenheim Bilbao in Spain and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice.
The project, called YouTube Play and conceived as a biennial event, is intended to discover innovative work from unexpected sources. It is open even to entrants who don’t consider themselves artists, and actively encourages the participation of people with little or no experience in video. “People who may not have access to the art world will have a chance to have their work recognized,” said Nancy Spector, deputy director and chief curator of the Guggenheim Foundation. “We’re looking for things we haven’t seen before.”
For YouTube the project is one in a series of experiments in tradition busting. In late 2008 it created the YouTube Symphony Orchestra, which allowed any musician to audition for a concert at Carnegie Hall conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas; the previous year it helped create the CNN/YouTube debates, giving everyone with a Web cam a chance to ask a question of a presidential candidate.
“What we’re doing is removing the middle man,” said Hunter Walk, director of product management for YouTube. “Whether it be Carnegie Hall or the Guggenheim, we’re giving people a way to see the aspirational light on the hill. And not just online but in the physical world too.”
While the company does not publicly discuss it, some of its officials say it is also hoping that collaborations with august institutions like Carnegie Hall and the Guggenheim Foundation will attract high-end advertisers.
Applicants will be able to submit their videos (only one entry per person) starting Monday, uploading them on a channel created for the initiative, also called YouTube Play (youtube.com/play). The works must have been created within the past two years and cannot be longer than 10 minutes, made for commercial use or excerpted from longer videos. The deadline for submissions is July 31.
A team of Guggenheim curators will look at all the submissions — the foundation is expecting many thousands, Ms. Spector said — and narrow them down to 200, which will be seen by a jury of nine professionals in disciplines like the visual arts, filmmaking and animation, graphic design and music. (Ms. Spector, who will be a juror herself, is putting the group together.) Although the jurors will know the names of entrants, Ms. Spector said, the makeup of the jury should be diverse enough to prevent art-world or other biases from infecting the process.
Then, in October, the jurors’ final selection of 20 videos will be on simultaneous view at all the Guggenheim museums. And the 200 that made it through the first round will be available on the YouTube Play channel.
There will be no first prizes or runners-up among the 20, Ms. Spector said, “because this is not about finding the best, but making a selection that represents the most captivating and surprising work.”
That work could come, the foundation and YouTube say, from any quarter. “Within the last few years you can get a camera and for a few hundred dollars get the tools to create Hollywood magic,” Mr. Walk said. And Hewlett-Packard, which is collaborating on the project, is not only providing hardware to all the Guggenheim museums for displaying the videos, it is also offering online tutorials on YouTube Play to teach skills like editing, animation and lighting to the video-naïve.
While Ms. Spector and YouTube say they created the project as a way of breaking down traditional art-world boundaries, some in that world question how meaningful it really is.
“Hit-and-run, no-fault encounters between curators and artists, works and the public, will never give useful shape to the art of the present nor define the viewpoint of institutions,” said Robert Storr, dean of the Yale University School of Art, the organizer of the 2007 Venice Biennale and a former senior curator at the Museum of Modern Art, in an e-mail message from Europe.
“It’s time to stop kidding ourselves,” Mr. Storr added. “The museum as revolving door for new talent is the enemy of art and of talent, not their friend — and the enemy of the public as well, since it refuses to actually serve that public but serves up art as if it was quick-to-spoil produce from a Fresh Direct warehouse.”
But those involved in the project, naturally, see it differently. “If this is all the Guggenheim did, it would be a problem,” Ms. Spector said. “There are many layers to our programming. And we can’t say at this point that this won’t spawn ongoing relationships with people we discover through this process. One can only hope that it will.”
Thursday, June 17, 2010
By Scott MacaulayThursday, June 17th, 2010
The recently concluded IFP Narrative Lab was a dense week of study and mentorship as our participating filmmakers, all with films somewhere between rough and fine cut, were given guidance about picture lock, sound design, scoring and music licensing, festival strategy, distribution deals, and DIY, self and hybrid distribution efforts. Amy Dotson and Rose Vincelli from the IFP did a fantastic job of putting the program together. Susan Stover, Jon Reiss and I were the lab leaders. In addition, an inspiring group of editors, filmmakers, producers and industry vets came in to lend their expertise.
At the end of the Lab I emailed Susan and Jon and asked them to tell me a few things they’d want to stress. Along with a couple of my own, below is that list. It’s not a summary of the week by any means. Rather, these are 13 points, some obvious and some not, that we wanted to emphasize one more time.
Understand Your Goals. Why did you make this film? To tell a personal story? To experiment artistically? To score a commercial success? To break into the industry? Some combination of the above? Understand your own reasons for making the film, and try to make sure that you are aligned with collaborators in the post, sales, distribution and marketing spheres who understand that vision and are working towards it with you.
Or… Make Sure Your Film Knows What It Is. Another way of saying the above — make sure your film knows what it is and is comfortable in its own skin. Is it a flashy commercial proposition or an intriguingly reticent festival flick? Make sure to have an understanding of the current film ecosystem and know where your film sits on the food chain, who its natural audience is, and who its potential supporters will be.
Make the Best Film You Can. A seemingly obvious point, but one that can be hard to achieve. Have you cut short your creative options because you’ve rushed to meet a festival deadline? Or, even worse, is your festival premiere your first test screening? Have you sought out the opinions of both people you trust as well as everyday viewers before locking picture? In short, it’s tough out there, and all the self-promotion in the world will be for naught if the film doesn’t impress.
Make Your Title Compelling to an Audience. Participants in the IFP Narrative Lab heard from mentors and speakers various tales of title trauma. Bland titles, confusing titles, inscrutable titles — all can hurt a film as much as a sensational title can help. And, yes, the thing about films starting with the letter A and VOD sales? It’s true.
Bring on Board a Producer of Marketing and Distribution. Preparing for self or hybrid distribution is an overwhelming prospect while you’re finishing a film. But if you don’t do it then, you’re wasting time and the resources of your crew, post house, production office, etc. Consider creating another producer position for someone whose job it is to oversee the publicity, marketing and distribution chores.
Know How Your Audience Receives Information. Will you have to reach them through the major media? Will you need a healthy paid advertising budget? Or do they congregate online? Or in Second Life? Or at live events? Do they organize themselves around meet-ups or clubs? Know where you’ll target the people you want to see your film.
Delivery is a Nightmare — Start Early. Delivering a film to a distributor is one of the toughest parts of making a movie. You’re tired, stressed, and often out of money, and the legal and technical demands can be overwhelming. Don’t wait until the last minute. Start during post-production and make sure your vendors know that they’ll need to be creating materials like an M&E mix and video masters. Also, and this is very important: make sure your contracts with talent and crew are in order. If you don’t have signed agreements with people, go back and get them before your festival premiere, not after. If you had an artistic collaborator, make sure you’ve executed a written collaboration agreement between the two of you. Ideally, this should be before production. But if you haven’t done this, iron out whatever disagreements may exist between you before festival acclaim makes it more complicated to do so.
Make Sure You Have the Time and Funds to Deliver Your Film. One speaker told a story about how he chose a distributor based on a promised release date, but then wasn’t able to deliver the film in time. Before you agree to a distribution deal, know how much delivery will cost and how long it will take. Negotiate for the longest delivery period possible; complications can easily ensue.
Know Thy Distribution Deal. When considering a distribution deal, make sure you understand all the terms on the table as well as what might be missing from your contract. Is there a minimum P&A commitment? Is there a maximum P&A spend, beyond which approvals are needed? Is your film guaranteed a certain number of markets? What sort of approvals do you have on marketing materials? Is there a VOD date? Box-office bumps? Know what’s on the page and what’s not so you aren’t surprised down the line.
Scrutinize a Distributor’s Marketing and Release Strategy. When choosing among distributors, the strength of a particular distributor’s marketing and release strategy should be strongly considered. Who has the best plan for reaching the highest number of eyeballs? Prioritize a distributor’s well-considered strategy over vague promises.
If You Have Your Own Strategy, Make Sure a Distributor Understands It. If you have been building your own marketing plan, aggregating your audience, seeding materials, then make sure your distributor will not only bless but comprehend and participate in these strategies going forward. If it’s important to you to reach a specific niche audience through grassroots marketing or targeted outreach, make sure the distributor is on board and, if necessary, is willing to bring on the appropriate additional personnel needed.
Play the Long Game. Yes, point number one is still valid — obsess over your film until it is the best it can be. But, once it’s done, understand that you have a potential career going forward no matter what the reaction is to it is. Build on your successes, learn from your mistakes, and move forward.
Don’t Become Bitter. A related point. The film business is a tough one. No matter how well you do, there’s always something more you could have gotten — better reviews, more festivals, a bigger box office gross, a cooler agent, a Guggenheim, that hot spec script for your next film. It’s easy to lose yourself in competition and bitterness. Be happy with all that you achieved, look forward to achieving even more next time around, and don’t look for comfort in negativity.
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