SONY HC1 HIGH DEFINITION FOOTAGE
Check out my new video camera! It's so tiny, and so high-def baby. And it was pretty cheap on the eBay. It's not my dream camera, but it'll serve me well for lots of things right now, including Minnesota Stories. My man on the west coast Eric Rice is picking one up and wanted to see some footage. Unfortunately I screwed up the compression, and there's some blue screen noise, but this will have to do. For some reason it's really difficult to find sample HC1 footage - I hope to have plenty more.
I thought I'd do a little test run of Vlog Santa, who will be making his debut this Friday on MN Stories. This is more like Gay Santa - a work in progress, obviously. Plus a little bonus high-def acne footage at the end - eww!
Sony HC1 test footage [11 MB, requires Quicktime 7]
DIGITAL THINK LAUNCHED
From the mind of Nora Paul: The Institute for New Media Studies at the University of Minnesota and The Media Center has launched Digital Think, a collection of essays written by 22 digital media designers, editors, artists and producers who come from various backgrounds including journalism, art, gaming, academia, activism, and design. "These are their thought and ideas on conceptualizing digital content, what makes digital storytelling different from legacy media, how new tools for crafting stories are changing content forms, or what still needs to happen to fully realize the development of this fourth medium."
Oh yeah, I'm featured in it. Yes. (Also available in rare print version.)
PriceRitePhoto Is Evil
Thomas Hawk's Digital Connection explains why. One of the most empowering traits of blog power is giving the smackdown to shitty companies who think you can't stop them. Think again.
VERDI IS LUCKY
Vlog superhero Michael Verdi looks back on the year of vlog, and looks forward to the year ahead. It's short and really sweet. So much has happened in the last year, my head is starts spinning if I think about it. I'm not ready to reflect on the year yet, but this gets me in the mood.
I think it all started a year ago when I was enthralled with the idea of being a "Digital Correspondent" for INdTV, which is now Current. That's when I met Verdi, and lots of other amazing DIY mediamakers. By the time rejection letters rolled around (we all got one), I didn't care. I knew in my heart that videoblogging was my path, and the path for any independent spirit with a camera.
The rest, as they say, is mathematics. I mean art. I mean history. All of that shit.
MIND THE GAP: THE PAKISTANI EXPERIENCE IN LONDON
How immune are we to the messages that are sent out to us with hidden agendas. Do we possess the ability to filter out what is relevant to us and make our own assumptions at the end of the day? Do we see someone we meet as a person first and then their background? In short do we know when to mind the gap?
Set aside 20 minutes and watch the entire film, or watch the individual vlog chapters. It's a timely reflection/reaction/exploration that further blurs the lines between "film" and "vlog."
Minnesota Stories is down due to the popularity of this video (now hosted on Blip.TV). An Ethiopian videographer took my vlog workshop for the purpose of informing people in his country about protests and activities going on here in the States. His first video was of a protest outside Jimmy Carter's book signing at the Edina Barnes & Noble. The Carter Center legitimized the recent Ethiopian election, but the new regime murdered protesters and put the opposition leaders in jail. This is why they protest.
I should have anticipated the potential popularity of this video, given the very motivated audience. It caused an even great traffic spike than Rocketboom's link to me this summer! Nevertheless, it's a strange kind of success to have this kind of otherwise unavailable content be so popular. Videoblogs are a simple and powerful means to create an international information network for affinity groups.
GREEN MACHINE UNVEILED
Wind-up networked computers for all!
"Every single problem you can think of, poverty, peace, the environment, is solved with education or including education," said Professor Negroponte. "So when we make this available, it is an education project, not a laptop project. The digital divide is a learning divide."
LAME BLOG HQ
Hello blog, it's me. Fonzie. I mean Chuck. I know you don't recognize me. I made a documentary about you guys, once. It's funny now, thinking about all the wild times we've had. And here you are, all moldy and covered in dust and rat poop, but still you wag your tail when I walk in the door. It's fricking adorable. I don't deserve you. C'mere, let's get you cleaned up. Let's go out riding. I don't care if people see us together! Our lips, so close now... so close...
Tonight I felt warm, fuzzy and connected to the local art scene, and all the really cool people making small passionate media in the middle of it. I met some of them tonight, and some of them I already knew. Like: Karen Kopacz [Mental Contagion], Rich Horton [Rift magazine], David DeYoung [How Was the Show.com], Anna Lee [Voltage + lots of local fashion], my man Brian Dehler [DV-Cinema, Sleep Runners], Emma [mpls art], photographer Tobin Russell Brugunnier, Kris Knutson [Robot Love], and other people I'm totally forgetting.
We're all in a similar boat, doing what we love and struggling to find ways to pay for it. I had to leave early, but I meant to suggest an idea: Trading banners and print ads. Let's promote each other. Not all at once, necessarily, but we should band together and support each other. Our audiences have huge overlap, but probably don't know about all the cool arts coverage and exhibition going on in this town. There's a world of possibilities. Excitable life forms bubbling under the surface.
I had to leave this arty gathering early to learn about the McKnight Filmmaking Fellowship. Yes, I could use a cool $25,000 next year. It's tough to get, obviously, and meant for "mid-career artists." Is that what I am? I don't know, but I can make a strong case. I probably shouldn't say anything yet, but that kinda dough could fund a most improbable and absurd cadenza: a Komedy Koven feature film (?!).
VISITING CARLETON TODAY
One of my first public Blogumentary screenings was at Carleton College on Oct. 7, 2003 [photos]. Now the good Prof. John Schott has invited me down to blabber about my new hottie, videoblogging. I never pass up a chance to visit the lovely Carleton campus in autumn.
MINNESOTA STORIES STILL SCREENS NOV. 10!
80 minutes of short, chewy goodness! It's like a mini-festival-within-a-festival. Totally free, totally this thursday afternoon.
And there are 3 slots left in the IFP Vlog Workshop. Signup in the next couple of days to secure your date with vlog greatness.