With Adaptation he changed what a feature film script could be, with Where the Wild Things Are he did the impossible in making audiences cry along with animatronic monsters, and in his new short film Mourir Auprés De Toi, director Spike Jonze has us falling in love with a pair of horny skeletons.
Sunday, October 30, 2011
Prepare to experience a spine-tingling supernatural game at the Storyworld Conference 2011.
It’s Halloween in San Francisco, evil’s lurking in the city & you’re a Paranormal Investigator. Occultist & transmedia producer Oliver Drew has mysteriously disappeared & you’ve got his phone, but there’s a catch - it’s haunted.. Read strange emails, listen to creepy voicemails & find clues to break the hex on his secret documents; but, be warned: a wicked & terrifying force is calling.
Will you answer the phone? Can you save Oliver’s soul? Dare you take a spin with death?
- Wear headphones for horror
* A three-day horror ride through the spirit world to find Oliver Drew
* Decipher his private emails, SMS messages and documents
* Listen to his chilling voicemails
* See who he follows on Twitter
* Scan QR codes to reveal maps & spooky hidden content
* Take freaky calls from ghosts & phantoms
* Discover frightening video & audio content with intense effects
* Access a Storyworld Conference 2011 timetable with a twist
* Solve clues to break in to the hexed documents folder
* Find out what’s behind the mysterious cursed zoetrope
* Inject fear into your conference experience & compete for a chance to decide Oliver’s fate
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Lovely! 'Visual Storytelling': New Language for the Age of Data Overload - Maria Popova - Life - The Atlantic
by Maria Popova
OCT 26 2011, 11:57 AM ET
"We now live in a world where information is potentially unlimited. Information is cheap, but meaning is expensive. Where is the meaning? Only human beings can tell you where it is. We're extracting meaning from our minds and our own lives."
These words of wisdom come from legendary inventor and futurist George Dyson, who in a recent interview contemplated the growing disconnect between information and meaning in the age of data overload. Over the past several years, our quest to extract meaning from information has taken us more and more toward the realm of visual storytelling -- we've used data visualization to reveal hidden patterns about the world, employed animation in engaging kids with important issues, and let infographics distill human emotion. In fact, our very brains are wired for the visual over the textual by way of the pictorial superiority effect.
Visual Storytelling: Inspiring a New Visual Language, from the fine folks at Gestalten, gathers the most compelling work by a new generation of designers, illustrators, graphic editors, and data journalists tackling the grand sensemaking challenge of our time by pushing forward the evolving visual vocabulary of storytelling....
Micheal Andersen, at ARGNet on the game experience:
“For Home: A Ghost Story, direct communications take on a supernatural air as manifestations of a mother’s attempt to drive one of her daughters beyond the brink of madness. As the chapters progress, “mama’s” communications grow increasingly ominous and slowly shift from communicating with the characters themselves to you, the viewer. The story’s omniscient narrator at first provides a voyeuristic view into the digital activity taking place around the house to complement the traditional video narrative. But as the story progresses, it becomes harder and harder to view the messages as being intended for anyone but you.”
read the full post on
Friday, October 28, 2011
All from The Book of Probes (2003).
McLuhan Marshall & Carson David.
Edited by Eric McLuhan and William Kuhns.
Corte Madera, CA : Gingko Press.
Page numbers referenced after each Probe.
The age of writing has passed. We must invent a new metaphor, restructure our thoughts and feelings. (16-17) The new media are not bridges between man and nature. They are nature. (18-19) Societies have always been shaped by the nature of the media by which humans communicate than by the content of the communication. (22-23) When new technologies impose themselves on societies long habituated to older technologies, anxieties of all kind result. (24-25) We have become like the most primitive Paleolithic man, once more global wanderers, but information gatherers rather than food gatherers. From now on the source of food, wealth and life itself will be information. (26-27) The role of the artist is to create an Anti-environment as a means of perception and adjustment. (30-31) Without an Anti-environment, all environments are invisible. [McLuhan Marshall & Carson David. (32-33) Literate man, civilized man, tends to restrict and to separate functions, whereas tribal man has freely extended the form of his body to include the universe. (62-63) Any new technology is an evolutionary and biological mutation opening doors of perception and new spheres of action to mankind. (66-67) The unique innovation of the phonetic alphabet released the Greeks from the universal acoustic spill of tribal societies. (70-71) Literacy, in translating man out of the closed world of tribal depth and resonance, gave man an eye for an ear and ushered him into a visual open world of specialized and divided consciousness. (72-73) Today man has no physical body. He is translated into information, on an image. [McLuhan Marshall & Carson David. (92-93) Unlike previous environmental changes, the electric media constitute a total and near-instantaneous transformation of culture, values and attitudes. (100-101) When the evolutionary process shifts from biology to software technology the body becomes the old hardware environment. The human body is now a probe, a laboratory for experiments. (110-111) Today computers hold out the promise of a means of instant translation of any code or language into any other code or language. (112-113) At the very high speed of living, everybody needs a new career and a new job and a totally new personality every ten years.(114-115) The metropolis today is a classroom, the ads are its teachers. The traditional classroom is an obsolete detention home, a feudal dungeon. (126-127) Ads represent the main channel of intellectual + artistic effort in the modern world. (130-131) When technology extends one of our senses, a new translation of culture occurs as swiftly as the new technology is interiorized. (156-157) Each new technology is a reprogramming of sensory life. (162-163) Language does for intelligence what the wheel does for the feet and the body. It enables them to move from thing to thing with greater ease and speed and less involvement. (164-165) All media exist to invest our lives with artificial perception and arbitrary values. (176-177) The media work us over completely. They are so pervasive in their personal, political, economic, aesthetic, psychological, moral, ethical, and social consequences that they leave no part of us untouched, unaffected, unaltered. The medium is the massage. (180-181) The bias of each medium of communication is far more distorting than the deliberate lie. (182-183) With TV, came the icon, the inclusive image, the inclusive political posture or stance. (190-191) New media are new archetypes, at first disguised as degradations of older media. (192-193) The TV generation is postliterate and retribalized. It seeks by violence to scrub the old private image and to merge in a new tribal identity, like any corporate executive. (200-201) The book is a private confessional form that provides a “point of view”.(212-213) In an age of multiple and massive innovations, obsolescence becomes the major obsession. (216-217) Every innovation scraps its immediate predecessor and retrieves still older figures. It causes floods of antiques or nostalgic art forms and stimulates the search for “museum pieces”. (218-219) Obsolescence is the moment of superabundance. (220-221) The meaning of experience is typically one generation behind the experience. The content of new situations, both private and corporate, is typically the preceding situation. (228-229) The audience, as ground, shapes and controls the work of art. (234-235) All words at every level of prose and poetry and all devices of language and speech derive their meaning from figure/ground relation. (236-237) All words, in every language, are metaphors. (238-239) Language alone includes all the senses in interplay at all times.(252-253) Color is not so much a visual as a tactile medium. (254-255) Our senses are not receptors so much as reactors and makers of different modalities of space. Perhaps touch is not just skin contact with things, but the very life of things in the mind. ( 256-257) All media of communications are clichés serving to enlarge man’s scope of action, his patterns of association and awareness. These media create environments that numb our powers of attention by sheer pervasiveness. (276-277) The reader is the content of any poem or of the language he employs, and in order to use any of these forms, he must put them on. (278-279) Typography extended its character to the regulation and fixation of languages. (280-281) At the speed of light, political policies and parties yield place to charismatic images. ( 292-293) By surpassing writing, we have regained our wholeness, not on a national or cultural but cosmic plane. (296-297) Dialectic functions by converting everything it touches into figure. But metaphor is a means of perceiving one thing in terms of another. (298-299) Effects are perceived, whereas causes are conceived. (302-303) Environments are not just containers, but are processes that change the content totally. (304-305) Great ages of innovation are the ages in which entire cultures are junked or scrapped. (308-309) In the electric age we wear all mankind as our skin. (316-317) Man works when he is partially involved. When he is involved totally, he is at play or at leisure. (322-323) Omnipresence has become an ordinary human dimension. (328-329) Paradox is the technique for seizing the conflicting aspects of any problem. (330) Paradox coalesces or telescopes various facets of a complex process in a single instant. (331) Privacy invasion is now one of our biggest knowledge industries. (335) The images of mankind have become the most basic thing about them. And they’re all software, and disembodied. (346-347) The present is always invisible because it’s environmental. No environment is perceptible, simply because it saturates the whole field of attention. (364-365) The specialist is one who never makes small mistakes while moving toward the grand fallacy. (372-373) Visual space is the space of detachment. Audile-tactile space is the space of involvement. (378-379) War has become the environment of our time if only because it is an accelerated form of innovation and education. (380-381) We are swiftly moving at present from an era when business was our culture into an era when culture will be our business. Between these poles stand the huge and ambiguous entertainment industries. (384-385) We look at the present through a rear-view mirror. We march backwards into the future. (386-387)
Thursday, October 27, 2011
"This tax on the financial sector has the power to raise hundreds of billions every year globally. It could give a vital boost to the NHS, our schools, and the fight against child poverty in the UK – as well as tackling poverty and climate change around the world.
Not complicated. Just brilliant."
Excerpt from gigaom.com:
"Aggregating user-submitted videos
For bands and show promoters who want to leverage those videos to engage with their audiences and show fans what it’s like to be at one of their concerts, Veokami offers tools for finding, adding and automatically sorting through and formatting different moments of an event. The platform crawls YouTube looking for videos of a specific event, or users can submit videos that they’ve found. Veokami then arranges the clips based on when they took place during the event, as well as a number of factors, such as audio and video quality.
The end result is an event video page that includes clips from many different videos and camera angles, allowing viewers to skip around and see a show from multiple perspectives. The platform syncs up audio tracks, which lets the viewer watch a continuous stream of user-contributed content by automatically switching between videos whenever one of them ends. Viewers can also flip through various videos in a timeline view.
For an example of how it works, check out this page for Morgan Page’s show at the Avalon in Hollywood, which was part of his “In the Air” tour...."
David Harvey's 2008 essay outlines the inter dynamics of urbanism & capitalism and the recurrent practices that have contributed to the global economic crisis. What is fascinating & key is that Occupy Wall Street as one movement now challenging this system is galvanizing real demands, most recently Adbusters' proposal for The Robin Hood Tax, a 1% tax on all global financial transactions. This concrete demand answers a question Harvey poses below "If they somehow did come together, what should they demand?":
Excerpt from David Harvey's essay:
Unlike the fiscal system, however, the urban and peri-urban social movements of opposition, of which there are many around the world, are not tightly coupled; indeed most have no connection to each other. If they somehow did come together, what should they demand?
The answer to the last question is simple enough in principle: greater democratic control over the production and utilization of the surplus. Since the urban process is a major channel of surplus use, establishing democratic management over its urban deployment constitutes the right to the city. Throughout capitalist history, some of the surplus value has been taxed, and in social-democratic phases the proportion at the state’s disposal rose significantly. The neoliberal project over the last thirty years has been oriented towards privatizing that control. The data for all oecd countries show, however, that the state’s portion of gross output has been roughly constant since the 1970s.  The main achievement of the neoliberal assault, then, has been to prevent the public share from expanding as it did in the 1960s. Neoliberalism has also created new systems of governance that integrate state and corporate interests, and through the application of money power, it has ensured that the disbursement of the surplus through the state apparatus favours corporate capital and the upper classes in shaping the urban process. Raising the proportion of the surplus held by the state will only have a positive impact if the state itself is brought back under democratic control.
Increasingly, we see the right to the city falling into the hands of private or quasi-private interests. In New York City, for example, the billionaire mayor, Michael Bloomberg, is reshaping the city along lines favourable to developers, Wall Street and transnational capitalist-class elements, and promoting the city as an optimal location for high-value businesses and a fantastic destination for tourists. He is, in effect, turning Manhattan into one vast gated community for the rich. In Mexico City, Carlos Slim had the downtown streets re-cobbled to suit the tourist gaze. Not only affluent individuals exercise direct power. In the town of New Haven, strapped for resources for urban reinvestment, it is Yale, one of the wealthiest universities in the world, that is redesigning much of the urban fabric to suit its needs. Johns Hopkins is doing the same for East Baltimore, and Columbia University plans to do so for areas of New York, sparking neighbourhood resistance movements in both cases. The right to the city, as it is now constituted, is too narrowly confined, restricted in most cases to a small political and economic elite who are in a position to shape cities more and more after their own desires.
Every January, the Office of the New York State Comptroller publishes an estimate of the total Wall Street bonuses for the previous twelve months. In 2007, a disastrous year for financial markets by any measure, these added up to $33.2 billion, only 2 per cent less than the year before. In mid-summer of 2007, the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank poured billions of dollars’ worth of short-term credit into the financial system to ensure its stability, and thereafter the Fed dramatically lowered interest rates or pumped in vast amounts of liquidity every time the Dow threatened to fall precipitously. Meanwhile, some two million people have been or are about to be made homeless by foreclosures. Many city neighbourhoods and even whole peri-urban communities in the us have been boarded up and vandalized, wrecked by the predatory lending practices of the financial institutions. This population is due no bonuses. Indeed, since foreclosure means debt forgiveness, which is regarded as income in the United States, many of those evicted face a hefty income-tax bill for money they never had in their possession. This asymmetry cannot be construed as anything less than a massive form of class confrontation. A ‘Financial Katrina’ is unfolding, which conveniently (for the developers) threatens to wipe out low-income neighbourhoods on potentially high-value land in many inner-city areas far more effectively and speedily than could be achieved through eminent domain.
We have yet, however, to see a coherent opposition to these developments in the twenty-first century. There are, of course, already a great many diverse social movements focusing on the urban question—from India and Brazil to China, Spain, Argentina and the United States. In 2001, a City Statute was inserted into the Brazilian Constitution, after pressure from social movements, to recognize the collective right to the city.  In the us, there have been calls for much of the $700 billion bail-out for financial institutions to be diverted into a Reconstruction Bank, which would help prevent foreclosures and fund efforts at neighbourhood revitalization and infrastructural renewal at municipal level. The urban crisis that is affecting millions would then be prioritized over the needs of big investors and financiers. Unfortunately the social movements are not strong enough or sufficiently mobilized to force through this solution. Nor have these movements yet converged on the singular aim of gaining greater control over the uses of the surplus—let alone over the conditions of its production.
"In the future we may be able to wear electronic circuits on our skin, which can record signals from our nervous system during sex and allow us to replay the sensory experience at a later date, according to futurologist Ian Pearson.
Pearson describes a future (by 2030) where sensors will sophisticated enough to detect and map the collection of stimuli that create certain sensory experiences -- be it someone shaking your hand, hugging you, or having sex with you. The idea is that by stimulating your nervous system in exactly the same way -- with the appropriate pressure, warmth and motion -- you can recreate the experience. People might use this sort of technology when they are separated from their partners or, more likely, when they don't have one (which, really, would make this story more about the future of masturbation than sex).
Pearson told Wired.co.uk: "We could record vast libraries of the sensory experiences of celebrity porn stars and be able to experience how they actually feel..."
Original Post by Francesca Rheannon
Oct 25 2011
"...In that spirit, the Alternative Currencies Working Group at OWS is putting out for consideration by the General Assembly a software-enabled gift currency called PermaBank, that’s premise is “to develop and deploy a set of technologies that align 'financial services' with the principles of permaculture.” PermaBank would enable individuals and groups “to post their wish/requests and gifts/offers and indicate whether they've been completed.” It would also use paper money and credit cards (on a local credit union).
It seems the currency will formalize and organize an economy that has already spontaneously sprouted, enhancing “the efficiency of the gifting culture that currently exists within Liberty Plaza.”
The protestors have already deposited their money into a small credit union on the Lower East Side serving poor people who have been denied loans or accounts by other banks. In an extraordinarily mean-spirited move, Goldman Sachs retaliated against the bank by withdrawing a $5,000 pledge when the Lower East Side People’s Federal Credit Union planned a fundraising event honoring the Occupy movement.
Alternative local currencies are not new – they have been promoted for decades by the Shumacher Society (now the New Economics Institute), among others, and are thriving in the Berkshires of Massachusetts (Berkshares) and elsewhere and in the explosion of time banks around the country.
The Metacurrency Project (whose proponent Arthur Brock was invited to speak to the 99%-ers at Zucotti Park) promotes the idea that “people should be able to decide what they value and how that will be measured and acknowledged. This means they have to be able to create their own currencies.” It aims to create the technology “tools, protocols and platforms” that will enable people to “transact directly with each other with no segment of that interaction relying on a centrally controlled system,” where “all levels are sovereign” (horizontally, not vertically determined).
The horizontal, democratic participation that Web-based technology makes possible is being used by another ad hoc group formed in the wake of OWS. Initially put out into the digisphere by Ralph Meima of Marlboro College’s MBA in Managing for Sustainability, “The American People’s New Economic Charter” is hoping to crowd-source an open, national conversation that develops a plan for redress for 18 of the 23 grievances in the Declaration of the Occupation—the ones dealing with economic issues...."
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Hey G20, Here Comes #ROBINHOOD: 1% tax on all financial transactions & currency trades | Adbusters Culturejammer Headquarters
"As winter approaches, many occupiers will dig in for the long haul. Others will decamp until spring and channel their energy into myriad projects. Many of the big ideas for rejuvenating and reenchanting the world that have been swirling around the left for the last 20 years will pick up steam. From revoking corporate personhood to de-commercializing the cultural commons, to separating money from politics, to the birth of a True Cost Party of America … we are entering a sustained period of boots-on-the-ground transformation.
And every now and again we will have a worldwide blast reminiscent of the global march against the Iraq war eight years ago. The next of these blasts could happen as early as this Saturday when #ROBINHOOD strikes the G20. Imagine a few million people rising up and sending a message to the G20 leaders meeting November 3/4 in France: "This austerity vs. stimulus debate you've foisted on us doesn't mean a damn thing… It's obvious you have no idea how to get us out of this economic mess you put us in. So now we are telling you what we want: a radical transformation of casino capitalism… we want you to slow down fast money with a 1% #ROBINHOOD tax on all financial transactions and currency trades."
#ROBINHOOD marches have already been announced in over a dozen cities. Bring it up at your general assembly … then create some edgy Robin Hood graphics for the world to digest and let's march out there millions strong this Saturday … Let's leverage the G20!..."
Excerpt via Montreal Gazette:
"Graffiti equipment for paralyzed artists and bacteria that diagnose human illnesses are just two pieces in a museum exhibit about devices that help people interact with one another and the world.
"Talk to Me: Design and the Communication between People and Objects" at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) includes pieces designed to appeal to both casual museum goers and design aficionados.
"There are people who are wandering through on their way to see another exhibit, and don't realize what the show is about, and often get really excited," said Kate Carmody, a co-curator of the exhibit with Paola Antonelli.
"We've also had a lot of app designers, theme designers, people who usually aren't represented in museum shows who come here ready to participate on that level."...
Gary Shapiro, Contributor
President and CEO of Consumer Electronics Association
Oct 26, 2011
"Using forceful arguments about the ongoing threat of Internet piracy, Hollywood and its allies are pushing legislation through Congress that would ensnare and criminalize legitimate Internet sites on unproven allegations of content theft. The “Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act” [PROTECT IP Act, S. 968] was rushed out of the Judiciary Committee by voice vote last May and may soon be voted on in the Senate. A House bill may be dropped any day.
Supporters of the bill, including the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), led by former Senator Chris Dodd, argue that film studios are losing money on rogue, mainly offshore, websites that steal and sell their movies. According to one umbrella group, Creative America, which represents proponents of the bill, more than 500,000 movies are stolen every year worldwide. This is a compelling argument.
It’s the cure that is the problem. The PROTECT IP Act would allow copyright owners – movie studios and other content providers – simply to accuse a website of infringement, which could lead to that site being shut down by court order and entire links to the site being wiped clean from the Internet. Any website with a hyperlink, such as Twitter, Facebook or a blog, would be subject to liability. More, non-infringing sites could be inadvertently shut down under the proposal. Indeed, the law is so far-reaching that it would force Internet providers like Comcast to block all access to the allegedly illegal site.
The potential for abuse by the notoriously litigious content industry is clear. Last year, when the government sought to shut down one child pornography site, it ended up affecting some 70,000 legitimate sites for several days, even notifying visitors that the sites – many of which were business sites – were purveyors of child pornography.
For instance, the bill is so broadly written that, in theory, it would allow any copyright owner to shut down a legitimate retail website, such as Amazon or Best Buy, by alleging that one product being sold on the site could “enable or facilitate” an infringement. It could even allow any content owner to block access to the Patent Office website if it receives and posts a patent application for a product that is believed to use content without permission...."
15. Ok, so let’s go back to strategy and game design for a bit. How did you structure the experience in terms of having to decide when to release new material and in what platform, etc?
Ok, so here’s Rich’s crash course on how you write an Alternative Reality Game:
The first thing I do is come up with a treatment for the entire story that runs 10-15 pages. Then I break that down into a bullet point timeline that includes the main background story in chronological order all the way to the present.
Then I look at it in terms of the three main acts of the story for the ARG and how to divide these into the actual timeline of the experience. I knew I had 3 months to tell the story, so I scheduled the 1st month as preliminary to set up background story and buzz for the ARG. Then the next 2 weeks were devoted to Act 1, the subsequent 4 weeks were devoted to Act 2, and the last 2 weeks for Act 3.
Then, I looked into the time span of those weeks and settled on a release schedule. I find that the best days to release material are Tuesdays and Thursdays cause it doesn’t conflict with the work week too much or the weekend – on Mondays people are more focused on getting back to school or work and on Fridays minds turn toward the weekend. This is pretty standard. Then you have to decide how the narrative is layered into the release schedule and what beats need to be followed up in real time, especially for the live interactive challenges.
For Go BZRK I focused roughly on three interactive game challenges per week. The first challenge was a crossword puzzle devised by a character before his rather suspicious death. That mechanic started at the end of Act 1, with a couple clues released each week that led to grid solutions. Solving two of the crossword questions revealed a bitly address that dropped a zip file on the user’s computer filled with more content. Running parallel to that was the Nexus Humanus website, which is set up as an organization in which you have to move up the different levels by doing some weekly tasks in order to unlock more information and clues about the story. In addition to that, we also had an additional weekly interactive element that tied into all the new story content released for any given week.
16. I have to say that my favorite part of the experience was the Nexus Humanus website you built because it was utilized as a way to further the plot of the experience by creating character profiles within that network that interacted with the players. I think it was cleaver because it also provided for a way to contain the audience interaction in this particular platform and obtain some sort of metrics. Was this successful or did you find the audience going to a separate forum or wiki by themselves?
Excerpt from an Interview by April Arrglington:
"1. How did the idea of the ARG came to be? When Michael approached you did he have a clear concept of what he wanted to do, and just needed someone who knew how to execute it? Or did you have to conceptualize all the material for the experience from scratch, making it completely separate from the book?
Michael and Alex LeMay, the CEO of the Shadow Gang, the company that produced this experience, had wanted to do a Transmedia experience for the book for over a year. Michael is a successful novelist in the YA world and Alex is an accomplished documentarian and filmmaker, but neither had created or produced a transmedia project before. Fate brought us together at the Transmedia Hollywood event at UCLA earlier this year. We hit it off immediately and they brought me on to develop, write, and co-produce this experience from the ground up.
They pretty much gave me carte blanche for that, which was great and quite possibly unprecedented. I’m used to layers of approvals and bureaucracy, but we were able to cut through all that and focus on the creative, which is more like how a book writer works as compared to someone in film or a creative working on an ARG for a marketing campaign.
Basically, Michael handed me the rules of the universe and a bunch of backstories and characters that he created that are not necessarily included in the novel. At least not in the first book. I went through this material and cherry-picked certain elements and characters that I thought would be compelling in an ARG… then went on to adjust timelines, character details, and create new characters and situations that sort of hung on some of his pre-existing mythology.
Michael was very open to my ideas and re-working. When I pitched my three-month narrative for the ARG Michael loved it and let me run with it on my own.
2. How many characters or plot points from the novel are integrated in the ARG? Since the novel hasn’t been released, there is no way for the audience to know how the storyline for the ARG is connected to the novel. Or how many questions raised by the ARG are going to be answer in the novel, etc...."
Werner Herzog Says Independent Film Is a Myth (and 7 More Good Ideas From the FIND Forum Keynote) - indieWIRE
Independent film is a myth, but self reliance is real. “I’m not an advocate [of independent film],” Herzog said. “I don’t believe there is such a thing as independent cinema. It exists only for your last Christmas video or your beach party in Cancun. That’s independent cinema. All the rest is dependent on money, on distribution systems.”
However, he acknowledges that “There are degrees of dependent film. In the studio system, you can’t change a screenplay unless there’s a boardroom decision that the line can be modified. It’s more self reliance. Look for self reliance. For my first eight films, I used a camera I’d actually stolen. If you have your own production company, your own distribution company, you have a certain amount of self reliance. The tools are inexpensive. You can do a feature for $10,000.”
While Herzog no longer relies on stolen goods, he’s increasingly interested in controlling more of the filmmaking process. “I’ve started getting into producing films again,” he said. “I’m raising money outside the United States and I hold all rights except for North America. A year ago, I went to MIPCOM and you have 10,000, 11,000 sales people from TV stations all over the world. A director hardly ever shows up. And everybody knew there was a new film by Herzog and everybody knew to look out for the booth of the salespeople. I would like to take control of distribution. it’s not easy, but maybe I’m going to found a distribution company.”
Make mistakes. “I accept all my errors and my films are full of them. Just accept it: The child has a squint. This child has a stutter; this one has a limp. I love them even more for it; I accept them as they are.”
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Excerpt from Lance Weiler's essay:
"... In some ways I’ve felt that my own work has been constructed for audiences that don’t yet exist. Often they are designed in fragments pulled together using a variety of technological and physical elements in order to build narrative experiences. It struck me recently that the rapid prototyping I have been merging with my storytelling is like making little bets. This revelation came while I was reading Peter Sims’s book titled, in fact, Little Bets. At the time I was preparing for a class I’m now teaching at Columbia University about storytelling in the 21st century. Sims explains how small discoveries can lead to big breakthroughs. By throwing caution to the wind, you can break the confines of perfection, risk aversion and excessive planning. In other words you can open yourself to discovery through experimentation.
This fall I’m jumping into deep water with an ambitious project that is under funded, short on time but big in heart. I’ve decided to experiment with a trilogy of participatory storytelling projects. The three works are experiential educational efforts that combine film, gaming, collaborative problem solving and creative writing. At the core of the trilogy is the desire to teach media literacy across generations while at the same time discovering what it takes to build a collective narrative.
Prototyping an experience that can work across languages, generations and devices is the goal of the first installment of the trilogy. Robot Heart Stories (robotheartstories.com) begins when a robot crash-lands in Montreal and must make her way to L.A. in order to find her spacecraft and return home. Two 5th-grade classrooms in underprivileged neighborhoods, one in Montreal (French speaking) and the other in L.A. (English speaking), use math, science, geography, creative writing and collaborative problem solving to help a robot make her way across North America...."
"It’s often said that we’re in the midst of the information age, which may help explain why there’s been a surge in infographics in recent years – they make data just that little bit more…palatable. But if you’re more of a spreadsheets kind of person than an artist, this application could be what you’re looking for.
DataAppeal is a Web-based, data-design visualization application that allows users to transform their location-based data into infographics through the creation of 3D and animated maps.
DataAppeal transforms data into what it calls “artful information”, letting users share these visuals with anyone they wish. So you can help people visualize diabetes rates, traffic volume, tree coverage, car crashes…whatever you hold data for, and all by location. Check this London crime map above..."
Ellen Lee, June 13 2011, The Chronicle:
"For children growing up in the digital age, the next generation of trading cards will no longer be just about collecting them all, but also about linking them to the iPhone and iPad to make them come alive.
That's the premise for San Francisco startup Nukotoys, which plans to launch two projects this fall that marry the real world to the digital one, using old-fashioned trading cards and an interactive mobile game. Today it is formally announcing one of them, a partnership with the Discovery Channel's Animal Planet.
Children will be able to purchase packs of trading cards, much like Pokemon, which they can collect and swap with their friends...."
Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/06/12/BU791JSJQ6.DTL#ixzz1bnDV3mdM
Children's conference: transmedia is essential
07.10.11 | Benedicte Page
Publishers must explore transmedia approaches to engage children whose lives revolve increasingly around gaming, online communities and social networking, The Bookseller's annual children's conference, sponsored by Huzutech and Dubit Research, heard last week (29th September).
Jeff Norton of Awesome Media & Entertainment urged delegates at the event, held at the British Library, to "think not about platforms, but audiences". Peter Robinson of cross-media research company Dubit Research said: "Kids expect a presence for a story across platforms. There are so many ways that kids can consume a story."
Egmont m.d. Cathy Poplak said BZRK—the company's first experiment with transmedia, which has seen a young adult thriller series launch as a cross-platform project, beginning with an alternate reality game and social networking—has had 87,000 visitors to website www.gobzrk.com since its September launch.
"In the industry we want to turn children on to the joy of reading. I still believe in the universal appeal of a good story, but have to accept that some children can't see the story for the book," Poplak said. However, she stressed the need to remain grounded in the storytelling basics publishers know best, with BZRK's plotline and characters created by "practised, professional" writer Michael Grant, working in a traditional relationship with his editor.
Andrew Piller of new media production company FMX Fremantle described the art of telling stories in the digital space as a "creative model which is the future of storytelling". Online teen dramas like "Freak" and the forthcoming "Threads" include a linear story told by online video content, boosted by non-linear backstory content such as blogs and webcam footage, plus interactivity allowing the audience to get involved by becoming extras in the TV filming or providing music for the soundtrack. Money is made through commercial partnerships with the likes of Tampax, with a "loyal audience ready to follow us to branded microsites", Piller said.
FMX Fremantle is also responsible for Sorted, the online "cooking community" set up across YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and its own site, which offers the 15–30 demographic an "immersive entertainment experience" and now has 80,000 subscribers in the UK. It recently signed a book deal with Michael Joseph for 2012.
Fascinating: 80 Million Links A Day Don't Lie: How Bitly Reveals The Web And The World | Fast Company
"It's been fascinating to watch Bitly grow from a purely engineering orginzation into something where we're able to say, 'OK, there's still a lot of work that goes into that, but we're pretty good at that core piece of infrustructure--what can we build on top of it?'" says Mason. "Our products are starting to grow up and become adults."
Click play on the video below to learn more about Bitly's mission and what inspires Mason to keep innovating.
Excerpt via mashable.com
Dot represents the collective intelligence gleaned from Kogeto’s experience building Lucy, an advance desktop panoramic video camera designed for professional and educational use.
“We wanted … to put a panoramic capture device in everyone’s hand, and Kickstarter allowed us to do that,” Glasse explains.
Glasse started Kogeto and initially launched Lucy with his entire life savings. And while Lucy has been successful enough to keep the small company afloat, Glasse knew that Kogeto would need to take on more capital to turn the Dot prototype into a product that consumers could buy in stores. But he didn’t want to take on venture capital at the time.
Enter Kickstarter, the crowd-funding service making it possible for small startups like Kogeto to finance their dream products — just so long as the community believes in the mission too. Kogeto sought to raise $20,000 via Kickstarter to fund and produce Dot. More than 1,000 backers had a better idea: They pledged a total of $120,514.
“We started with a $20,000 goal and we were hoping to beat it … to raise $40,000. We raised $120,000,” Glasse says. “But more importantly, we knew there was a demand for Dot.”
Monday, October 24, 2011
By Chris Morris
October 24, 2011
"The introduction of the Kinect For Kids initiative certainly sounds wise, given the company's push in that direction. After all, who can argue with creating family-friendly titles with some of the biggest names in family entertainment?
The problem is: When you look at Microsoft's longer-term goals, things become a bit squishier.
While the company would never come out and say it directly, this push for the toddler and elementary school gamer is as much about making hay today (as the Xbox 360 hits price points that are affordable for the mainstream audience) as it is about setting up future generations of players.
Basic advertising theory holds that brand loyalties run deep when they're formed at an early age. It's why geezers like me argue the merits of King Vitamin and Boo Berry breakfast cereal vs. today's Honey Kix and Banana Nut Cheerios. And it's the crux of the never-ending debate over whether the Nintendo Entertainment System or PlayStation 2 was the "best console of all time".
By offering games from Sesame Street, Pixar and other companies, Microsoft wants kids to get used to playing with Kinect - and develop a devoted attachment to the Xbox brand.
That might sound a little sinister, but it's pretty standard practice in both the business and gaming worlds. (Let's face it: The Game Boy was one of the more obvious gateway drugs to hit store shelves in the last quarter century.)..."
David Lynch: mild at heart, coolest hair yet, & an obsession with dentistry...(& did I mention Peter Frampton?) - Telegraph
"...In a voice that has been described as “Jimmy Stewart from Mars”, he rhapsodises about the “old, large, stainless steel contraption” with which Dr Chin holds his “super-sharp needle… And the thing is filled with Novocaine. So he first puts a little bit of something on your gum to deaden just the surface. OK? Then he introduces the needle into that gum. And just presses a little bit of Novocaine,” he whispers again. “And you don’t really feel it. But now he’s numbing as he goes. He’s numbing as he goes,” he repeats, and, coffee notwithstanding, I’m starting to feel sleepy.
“So that needle could come clear up through your brain and you wouldn’t know it! He numbs as he goes. It’s so fantastic. I love going to the dentist.”
The late writer David Foster Wallace defined the word “Lynchian” as referring to “a particular kind of irony where the very macabre and the very mundane combine in such a way as to reveal the former’s perpetual containment within the latter”. And this seems a pretty accurate description of my morning at Lynch’s house...."
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Saturday, October 22, 2011
"Iconic designer Paula Scher is one of my big creative heroes, her thoughts on combinatorial creativity a perfect articulation of my own beliefs about how we create. Since the early 1990s, Scher has been creating remarkable, obsessive, giant hand-painted typographic maps of the world as she sees it, covering everything from specific countries and continents to cultural phenomena. This month, Princeton Architectural Press is releasing Paula Scher: MAPS — a lavish, formidable large-format volume collecting 39 of her swirling, colorful cartographic points of view, a beeline addition to my favorite books on maps..."
Love Love: Mourir Aupres de Toi- Long Version of Spike Jonze & Olympia Le-Tan StopMption | www.portable.tv
Friday, October 21, 2011
Following the success of i-Docs 2011, we are delighted to invite your participation in i-Docs 2012, a two-day event dedicated to the rapidly evolving field of interactive documentary.
i-Docs is convened by Judith Aston and Sandra Gaudenzi on behalf of the Digital Cultures Research Centre, University of the West of England, Bristol. The event will be held at the Watershed Media Centre in central Bristol on Thursday 22nd and Friday 23th of March 2012.
This year’s symposium will be organized around four topical questions that emerged from i-Docs 2011. Each question will be covered by a keynote speaker, a panel-based discussion and one (or more) workshops. We welcome proposals for papers, panels, presentations of work and other alternative forms of debate around the following questions:
1. User participation in i-docs: how can the act of participating change the meaning of an i-doc?
- Where is the participation happening: within the i-doc or around it?
- When and why do people want to participate? Is participation an inherently good thing?
- What are the ethics of participation: where to stop and where to push?
- How do strategies of participation affect the creation of meaning within an i-doc?
2. Layered experience, augmented reality games and pervasive media: are locative i-docs changing our notion of physical experience and space?
- Is pervasive technology an effective way to layer the experience of reality?
- How does our perception of space change in locative and augmented reality i-docs?
- What are the consequences and ethics of tagging content to a place?
- How do user experience and design issues effect the planning of a “real world” experience?
3. Activism and ethics: how can i-docs be used to develop new strategies for activism?
- Is combining information with role-play opening activism to a younger audience?
- Is implicating the user in moral dilemmas an ethical /effective strategy?
- Where does an i-doc end and social media activism begin?
- How does activism fit with emerging business models for i-docs?
4. Open source and the semantic web: how are tagging video, HTML5 and the semantic web opening up new routes for i-docs?
- What new relationships are being created between documentary recordings and live data feeds?
- Where does the role of the author lie in an open source i-doc? Are producers becoming curators?
- What is the production cycle of an open source i-doc? Is it a finite or continuously evolving entity?
- Are users browsers or co-creators of meaning? How can deep engagement be encouraged?
Proposals for both paper and project presentations should be sent to: email@example.com by Monday, 21st of November 2011. The proposal should clearly outline your intentions in no more than 300 words. Links to further visual materials may be provided, where appropriate. Proposals for alternate formats and/or workshops are also welcome.
The full two-day delegate fee including lunch and refreshments is £150. Some reductions are available for postgraduate researchers on a limited basis.
Download the pdf here:
Via the Rumpus.net:
"Tom Gauld is an illustrator, cartoonist, and publisher. His finished pieces range from animated advertisements to book illustrations, as well as the weekly comic strips he produces for the Guardian. Whether he’s drawing a campaign for one of the UK’s largest drug stores or illustrating a book of monsters, Tom’s drawing style is intimate and concise, reflective of an artistic process that uses technology without relying on it. As a publisher, he and Simone Lia run Cabanon Press. Tom has released his work through Cabanon with aptly titled collections like First, Second, and Three. The Rumpus harnessed the power of the internet to talk to Tom across the ocean about art, publishing, the balance between commissions and passion projects, and his upcoming book, Goliath, which will be out next year from Drawn and Quarterly...."
At Popcorn.js Hackathon, Coders Team With Filmmakers to Supercharge Web Video | Excerpt via Wired.com
Popcorn.js, which few outside the web-development world have ever heard of, could be the next big thing in internet video. It’s a simple — for coders, at least — framework that allows filmmakers to supplement their movies with news feeds, Twitter posts, informational windows or even other videos, which show up picture-in-picture style. For example, if a subject in a film mentions a place, a link can pop up within the video or alongside it, directing the viewer to a Google Map of the location.
Popcorn-powered videos work in any HTML5-compatible browser and are easy to navigate for anyone who has ever used the internet. The tools the Popcorn coders are creating could lead to far more interactive online experiences, not just for movies and documentaries but for all videos. Want to make a cat video replete with recent updates from Fluffy’s Facebook page and all the latest tweets tagged #cats? There could soon be an app for that.
It’s an ambitious goal, not unlike asking filmmakers to hunker down with coders they’ve never met to crank out new web concepts for film in 15 hours, which all six teams did. So there must be something to be said for the simplicity aspect of Popcorn that Waldron mentioned.
It’s easy to envision Popcorn helping filmmakers with their productions as well as creating communities for films after their release. At least one documentary project, One Millionth Tower, has already made use of the tools, coupling Popcorn with 3-D graphics generator WebGL to create a web-ready documentary that shows what would happen if the residents of a Toronto highrise were allowed to participate in re-creating their home tower.
Another film at the hack day, 18 Days in Egypt, created a site that pulled in Flickr photos, newsfeeds and other data from around the web (see the 18 Days prototype from the hack day). The revolution in Egypt that ousted President Hosni Mubarak in February has died down, but if the filmmakers tool had been live as events were unfolding, it could have functioned as a massive media-collection tool (and can now be used to follow the events in Egypt as they continue to unfold).
Popcorn’s toolkit could also be used to build related mini-documentaries after filming has wrapped on a feature — or even long after the original film has left theaters. Aman Ali and Bassam Tariq, the creators and subjects of 30 Mosques, wanted their web experience to help people re-create and share in the trips they took to break the fast in a different mosque for each of the 30 days of Ramadan. Their first journey in 2009 was just around New York and captured on Tumblr; the second was a cross-country trip that they blogged; and the third journey was a transcontinental trek captured by their filmmaker friend Musa Syeed.