July 15, 2014

Casey Neistat’s Snapchat Stories

I love this guy’s work. I haven’t tried Snapchat, but my cousin is very into it and I think the idea that the video disappears is cool. But, I liked this video for a variety of reasons including the fact that he is telling the story in a very immediate way but in saving it and posting to YouTube, he is kind of running rings around the ultimate intention of the app. Here is the link to his YouTube page of this material but I am a fan of his other videos on YouTube as well and always use him as an example with my students.

I also love how he holds the iPhone up at the end to film the storeclerk. Maybe he’s onto something here….. I will definitely stay tuned.

March 12, 2014

My friend Antronhy Hodgkinson has posted the first in a series of touring videos on White Hills that you should watch! Antronhy had unprecedented access to the trio so this psychedelic music video, titled White Hills: Starboard 13k4, highlights the band’s private moments on the road and the power in their live performances. I especially like the end at 4:21 where you see the shot from the side of the stage. Wow! Enjoy this 5 minutes of mind-melting trippyness!

February 26, 2014
Lizzie Widdicombe: The Vice Guide to the World : The New Yorker
I thought this was an interesting article as it made me head over to www.vice.com so that I could check out some of their original content. I have enjoyed some of their HBO show so wanted to see their shorter offerings. Their featured video Fresh off the Boat: NYC-Part 1 was the first video I watched as it was the first to come up and seemed recent. It’s a show about Eddie Huang who seems to be a sitcom producer but I didn’t know much more than that from the hip title sequence- maybe he is an immigrant? I guess it’s a travel show where Eddie takes us to local places? I did like the Shanghai episode where I learned he is from Hunan, China and incidently is a restauranteur.
The other video I watched was titled Lebanon’s Illegal Arms Bazaar and I liked that piece much more as it was reported by Aris Roussinos and was a more traditional voice in conflict reportage.  I liked the access they gave me to the gun dealers “behind the news” and how they interjected meaningful questions within the logistics of how all this worked. One of the young masked men that he spoke to was maybe 18 so it drew me in and made me want more.
It reminded me of GNN, or the Guerrilla News Network from years ago. But they aren’t really relevant anymore are they? Don’t get me wrong, I would work for them in a second. I just wonder how they are able to fund all these offices around the world. From the article, I learned that they support themselves from a combination of ventures including an ad agency called Virtue and utilizing sponsored content. The most interesting quote from the article was from Shane Smith, one of the founders who follows two copted internal rules: simplify then exaggerate. “We want you to love us or hate us. We just don’t want you to be indifferent”.

Lizzie Widdicombe: The Vice Guide to the World : The New Yorker

I thought this was an interesting article as it made me head over to www.vice.com so that I could check out some of their original content. I have enjoyed some of their HBO show so wanted to see their shorter offerings. Their featured video Fresh off the Boat: NYC-Part 1 was the first video I watched as it was the first to come up and seemed recent. It’s a show about Eddie Huang who seems to be a sitcom producer but I didn’t know much more than that from the hip title sequence- maybe he is an immigrant? I guess it’s a travel show where Eddie takes us to local places? I did like the Shanghai episode where I learned he is from Hunan, China and incidently is a restauranteur.

The other video I watched was titled Lebanon’s Illegal Arms Bazaar and I liked that piece much more as it was reported by Aris Roussinos and was a more traditional voice in conflict reportage.  I liked the access they gave me to the gun dealers “behind the news” and how they interjected meaningful questions within the logistics of how all this worked. One of the young masked men that he spoke to was maybe 18 so it drew me in and made me want more.

It reminded me of GNN, or the Guerrilla News Network from years ago. But they aren’t really relevant anymore are they? Don’t get me wrong, I would work for them in a second. I just wonder how they are able to fund all these offices around the world. From the article, I learned that they support themselves from a combination of ventures including an ad agency called Virtue and utilizing sponsored content. The most interesting quote from the article was from Shane Smith, one of the founders who follows two copted internal rules: simplify then exaggerate. “We want you to love us or hate us. We just don’t want you to be indifferent”.

January 21, 2014

Steve Coogan, Michael Winterbottom and Rob Brydon talk about their new film, The Trip to Italy at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. I love these guys and what happens when they put their creative genius together. It sounds  like it’s a sequel to The Trip where one of my favorite scenes ever was captured between Coogan and Brydon who have a rapport that just makes me giggle. It’s basically a mock documentary where these guys just travel around, eat and poke fun at anything and everything like Christian Bale and have a good old time. The chat is interesting because you get to hear a little about their process with Winterbottom chiming in to talk a little about how they set up the structure and then let Coogan and Brydon do their thing with improvising. Wow. There is also a fabulous section at 36:00 in where you really catch why they are such a successful comic team. Their personalities are what mesh together so well and their playful jabbing at each-other is what makes us laugh.

And at 51:35 Coogan delves deeper inside his development as an actor in films, “Irony is really satisfying but ultimately it’s limiting, because irony is like a parachute so you say… it’s like the cowards way out. And I was thinking, how does it feel when you say something sincere and then you DON’T undercut it with a joke. Because that’s REALLY hard to do. And we do that at the end of Philomena, but that’s difficult, it’s important to know when NOT to do the joke.”

Oh and you can fast forward to about 15 minutes in for the conversation to start.

January 22, 2013

The Art of Doing

My friends Josh Gosfield and Camille Sweeney are getting wonderful buzz about their new book, The Art of Doing, and this past week Forbes did a little video and Camille wrote a piece for the NY Times. Smithsonian Magazine's Amy Crawford also did a piece on the book that I found interesting in that one of the questions asked was if there was a difference between the people they interviewed and the rest of us: Camille's intriguing answer:

"No! It’s interesting. I think when we started out I might have thought that. But after talking to them and really thinking about their lives, I don’t think that they’re different. When they arrived at what they thought they were going to be doing, they just kept at it. They kept up the energy. And when all the doubters and the haters were saying, “This isn’t going to work,” they didn’t listen."

Terrific, powerhouse couple, that is doing a great job at inspiring the masses. I continue to be impressed by their work and FOCUS! Can’t wait to get my book signed next week at their party: Tuesday 1/29/13 at 6pm: Steven Kasher Gallery, 521 West 23rd Street, NY, NY.

Oh, and here is their cute ad for the book.

August 21, 2012

Vertical Video Syndrome & the iPhone

I have shown this video to a number of my friends who are showing me videos that they are shooting on their iPhones. It seems like it’s the easiest way to get the information out there in a gentle way with cute puppets……..

Basically, Vertical Video Syndrome (VVS) is a rash on our society, so I am out to correct it any way I can.  My friend, Lester Munson showed me this cool video above entitled “Rocket Man” from our ‘cabin society’ in Northern VT and while I LOVE this video, I do wish I could see what happened to that amazing rocket……(Click on Rocket Man above to see it).

I can’t remember who sent me this video a few months ago, but it is my go-to ‘show and tell’ YouTube video I share when one of my contemporaries shares a video shot in “portrait mode” rather than “landscape”. Basically, turn your iPhone on it’s side to get the full effect that video can offer.

This rocket was built using materials from Michael’s Crafts Stores which I was told actually has a “Rocket Building” section which can be found in stores near the model airplane supplies area.

June 16, 2012

Janet LaBelle “Just a Little Rain”

My friend Chris Carlone shot and edited this video that I really like.  His shots are cool and the song and idea really work well.  It’s cool how the guys behind her come off as so cool and aloof in contrast to this perky personality with her little rockin’ moves back and forth. The camera moves work really well too and I think the space is awesome.  Love how it looks and flows. Kinda catchy huh?

June 15, 2012

Susan Selects

Here is the first promo that we cut of the material that we have been shooting of my dear friend Susan Carman, who is a single mother ‘to-be’ and is due in August. Susan and I started working on this in February and her Wordpress video-blog has more details if you missed it. She is an amazingly strong woman and I know that you will respond to her story. Tune in…….

June 9, 2012

THE DIRTY PROJECTORS
Gun Has No Trigger

I really like the song and have discovered over the last few plays that I REALLY like this video.  It’s neat how they made it look a little like projected film and it’s cool how everyone is in darkness as it makes you want to see their faces. The pacing of the video is maybe the coolest thing about it as when we get to around 1:38, we get to see his face lit up and it’s shockingly interesting and bright. Like the simplicity of the video and how it matches with the song somehow. I also love how it ends.  Extremely satisfying video……

March 26, 2012

NY Times: BIKE THIEF
OP DOCS

Casey Neistat steals his own bike in NYC to make a point as a follow-up to a film he made in 2010, The Ethics of Stealing a Bike. I thought this new video was cute and it made me want to watch the original which made me laugh a lot more.  I especially like the meter he makes for showing the kinds of tools to use to steal bikes…….

In his new film, I liked the fact that no one on foot stopped him.  Started to chuckle when he brought out the power tools at 2:45 when he talks about how he tries to look ‘as criminal’ as possible.