Video: Blogumentary in NYC
Join me now, on a magical journey back in time... August 30, 2006. A time when I had a movie screening in the big apple, thanks to Pioneer Theater programmer and Duluth native Ray Privett. You'll also see some behind-the-scenes footage of Rocketboom 2.0, still fairly fresh with new host Joanne Colan. What's not in the video is a bit of drama, those bits of drama that are best forgotten until a cybernetic Ken Burns comes around and interviews aging videobloggers in magic Surround-O-Vision. No, this is not that video – just a personal remembrance.
Becoming an Internet Phenomenon
That's the name of my panel discussion taking place May 1 at the Walker Art Center. Should be fun.
You can become an Internet phenomenon! Using MySpace, YouTube, Flickr,
mnartists.org, blogs, social networking, viral marketing and more. Hear
from artists and organizations that have had success getting their work
seen and heard on the Internet. This panel discussion, moderated by
Chris Roberts and Carolyn Petrie, will be useful to individual artists
of all disciplines and arts organizations who want to utilize the web
as part of their career or marketing strategy.
Moderators: Carolyn Petrie, freelance theatre critic and writer and Chris Roberts, host of “The Local Show” on Minnesota Public Radio
Panelists: Kathleen Kvern (mnartists.org), Hans Eisenbeis (The Current), David DeYoung (Howwastheshow.com), Emma Berg (mplsart.com), Nate Schroeder (Walker Art Center), Mike Fotis (Ferrari McSpeedy) and Chuck Olsen (filmmaker, mnstories and Blogumentary).
(Note, I've corrected my last name spelling and the broken link to MN Stories above.)
My artist's statement
Just what the heck am I doing here? It's hard to figure that out, but here's what I've come up with. This is one part of my longshot application for a McKnight Filmmaker fellowship, otherwise knowns as a cool $25,000. I'm also submitting DVDs of Blogumentary and Welcome to the Future. Wish me luck.
. . .
I've always been a geek. Imagine an isolated suburban 80's pre-teen, playing Dungeons & Dragons and afflicted with something called "Pac Man Fever" - that was me. One day we brought home a modem and plugged the phone line into the computer. Suddenly, I was not alone. Life hasn't been the same since.
My journey as a filmmaker is intertwined with my relationship to technology. I'm passionate about the ability of technology to change lives because it has changed my life for the better. It's led me to new relationships, political activism, and my current perch upon the fast-changing intersection of filmmaking and the internet. My mission is to dive headfirst into that crossroads of old media and new, come up for air and ask: How is technology affecting our lives?
Working for public television gave me a deep appreciation for documentary filmmaking and for the public interest. I became enthralled with the digital video revolution: Anyone can be a filmmaker. So I picked up a camera and became a filmmaker. The only problem with cameras as a democratic media tool is they can't talk to each other. The internet lets you talk to other people and tap into an unprecedented global conversation. My filmmaking world collided with the chaotic interconnected online world. I embarked on a journey exploring people's lives on the internet with the big screen in mind. I came to realize my work is native to the small screen.
I take a first-person approach to my work. Our world is full of large, top-down, impersonal institutions. Politics and the media are being transformed by individuals connecting and creating their own stories on the internet. Likewise, I must create my own story, rather than remove myself and pretend to be a neutral observer. I'm not just an observer; I’m a participant.
The audience is invited to participate in my work and my journey. The stories I tell often find me through connections I've made online. It's a social environment filled with raw ingredients, ripe for a story. I gather those ingredients and go offline, where I add my voice and craft a story. I return to the internet, where the audience is, with my finished (though often raw) video where it finds new life and can even multiply, spread and evolve. I can’t imagine filmmaking without this social interactivity. I would probably suffocate if I had to wait months or years to get feedback about my work. My process happens now, urgently and connectedly.
My vision is really about power. Technology gives us this incredible power to tell our own stories. I created a videoblog called Minnesota Stories that’s all about bringing untold stories to light – my own, and those of any mediamaker with a Minnesota connection.
We got the power, now what are we going to do with it? I aim to find out.
Blogumentary: Required viewing
I've lost track of how many journalism and communication classes are forced to watch Blogumentary*.
This USC Annenberg class instructor says "tomorrow the second half of the class we'll watch blogumentary. and lest you think that means you have permission to leave during the break, I'll be taking attendance at the end of class."
I must admit, I get a little sadistic thrill knowing Blogumentary is mandatory viewing.
An important-seeming person, Bruno Giussani, thought the film was a little long but "one of the best explanation of what blogs are that I've seen so far." Thanks dude! Feel free to invite me to the next TED conference. Don't make me beg.
A Brazilian student named Fabiane has quite lovely things to say:
Today I've watched the Blogumentary, a film by Chuck Olsen and I just think it is the greatest thing a person made on the web (if you think on video) since... ahn... I really don't know. But it reminds me that video about web 2.0.
So, I've closed the Firefox tab and started to think: "WOW! Why all this people in this world don't see this POWER?!"
* Or as the kids seem to insist on calling it, "the blogumentary."
Want to donate to Blogumentary?
Blogumentary has rewarded the effort I put into it many times over, and I'm grateful for everyone that contributed in myriad different ways. It's out in the world, free to roam the wild bits.
I took down the donation link a long time ago because it seemed like I'd reached a karmic equilibrium.
Oh, and nobody used it. :-) But with all the renewed interest, and the fact that I'm broke, what the heck? If you're so moved, here's a donation link.
Why did I post Blogumentary online for free?
Because of letters like this one:
My name is Vedran Vucic and I am working for the Linux Center in Belgrade, Serbia. However, we work with GNU/Linux and free software for more than 12 years and fight for freedom of speech and freedom of information infrastructure which is not the case in full sense yet.
I found your Blogumentary thanking to one our blogger who participated in our project on blogging in which we trained 40 people from various indpendent magazines, free lance journalists, students of journalism, members of NGOs to create and maintain their blogs. (aggregator is on https://planeta.moj-blog.org). I am sorry, but the posts are on Serbian which is probably not useful to you very much. :-)
We offer free of charge burning on CD your video so people with weaker Internet connection may see it and learn about importance of blogging. I hope that is OK for you. We plan to use your video on our seminars that are free of charge for those who would like to establish their blogs and give voice to teh public.
We will continue with our seminars and efforts to create much wider blogging community that will report on their perception of society, life, politics, culture, science, education etc.
Please continue your work with courage as you have had so far.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any requirements or questions.
WIth the highest respects,
President of the Board
Blogumentary Goes Viral
Check it out! Blogumentary is featured on the Season Two premiere of Veoh's show VIRAL. I have to give props to the editor for making my interview snippet and clips from the film look awfully exciting. Also in this episode, snowmen hunters and beauty tips... not my cup of tea, but I'd never heard of these shows so props to host/producer Sunny Gault for finding video from all corners of the internets. I'm looking forward to their shows from NYC.
In other news...Dan McVicar's Late Nite Mash goes to Roma. Hopefully he's not there for "family business."
So long, and thanks for all the links
Blogumentary has been mentioned on blogs 174 times in the last week. It's been very exciting to see people post it and react. I'm especially happy to see it propogating on citizen journalism sites and on academic blogs, where I hope it finds an audience.
The IFC Blog blurbed it - probably as close as I'll get to the traditional film world! Maybe...
Anyway, this is me thanking the universe. No, I'm not high.
If you're coming here from Boing Boing, feel free to digg Blogumentary.
I thought the NYC theatrical premiere would be Blogumentary's last hurrah, but it's sure exciting to turn it loose on the great wide internets, where it can finally roam free. Cue Free Willy theme music.
Blogumentary: Digg it!
Blogumentary, the sometimes-controversial documentary feature, now on Google Video. It documents the rise of political and personal blogs, from the early days up through the Iraq War and Dan Rather's downfall - not to mention sweet blog love. Features Jason Kottke, Jeff Jarvis, John Hinderaker, Joe Trippi, Rebecca Blood, David Weinberger, more.