01 September 2009

Pontification on the Proliferation of Skateboarding Bulldogs

I've been thinking about YouTube, my self-distribution (broadcasting) methods, and the fact that the most popular videos are Britney Spears impersonators, bulldogs on skateboards, and endless replays of Susan Boyle.

Filmmakers as a whole are perplexed and worried to some degree about the advent of two things - the "desktop publishing" boom of "anyone can do it now" filmmaking (videomaking) and what potential monetary gains there are to be had through this new form of distribution.

I don't know that the worry is entirely misplaced.  But I will say this - there's historical precedence for the current onslaught of self-produced pieces of videomatic trickery & sensationalism.

It's called the beginning of film.  We saw it just over a hundred years ago.  And we're seeing it again.

When capital F Film started, it was purely a parlour trick.  "These people move!" Holy shipshit!  Then there were the "trick films," the little documentaries (fire trucks, etc.), and so on and so forth.

But soon, people got tired of purely parlour trick films.  As with anything new, people want more.  People want story.

Then came "The Great Train Robbery," which told a story, and had the first glimpses of what would become cinematic storytelling - cuts! narrative!  A dude at the end with a gun! (Porter apparently couldn't resist a last shot (literally) of sensationalism and tricks - but this depends on how you see the film.  Some cuts have the guy with the gun at the beginning, some at the end - but I digress).

The point of this whole spiel is that we're in the exact same age now.  While some may view internet video and distribution as just another form of distribution (which it is), I think we're beginning to be on the cusp of people wanting more (see any number of web series, etc.) - and what we're going to see is the birth of a new art form.

Keep in mind too that whereas film is a communal experience in its optimal viewing form, internet video is a private experience shared through a community.  Internet video and film is as much in line with a book as it is with a movie - a personal experience.

Don't believe me?  Look at someone watching a video on their iPod.  Try looking over their shoulder.   You've invaded personal space, and personal viewing space.

I'm waiting to see who the DW Griffith is of this age.    There's a whole new language to be invented. 


Tracee said...

I whole-heartedly agree with this:

"...and what we're going to see is the birth of a new art form."

And I think you are just the dude to bring it about.

Keep doing your thing. I enjoy being on the train with ya. :D

~hearts <3

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