Archive for the digitalent Category

Far from the Madding Crowd

Posted in digitalent, Inspiration, Music Clips, Videontology with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 7, 2010 by re: turn on

Whether you like his music or not, you have to give props to Trent Reznor for his balls, flying in the face of music industry copyright convention and giving labels the finger. In 2008 he privately releases the mammoth Nine Inch Nails album Ghosts with a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike license. Three days ago he announces the imminent release of concert film “Another Version of the Truth: The Gift”, whose post-production was entirely crowdsourced to fans. NIN’s 2008 tour Lights in the Sky was shot professionally, but without a distribution deal to finance post-production, a finished film looked unlikely. Instead, Reznor released 405gb of raw footage freely online for his enthusiastic fanbase to edit and soundmix. They self-organised into an online collective called This One is On Us to crowdsource the production of a concert film that would have been a herculean task for even the most robust studio.

The inspiration originally came from “The Downward Spiral: Live at Webster Hall“, a concert film that was entirely crowdsourced from camera to DVD. I’ve long been a proponent of artists and corporations relaxing their copyright to accommodate the rising mash-up symbiosis (see my guest post for Julian Cole’s top blog Adspace Pioneers) and Trent Reznor continues to make my case for me. First he instates an open camera policy, rare for popular artists afraid their dubious talent might be shipwrecked upon the great ocean of YouTube. Webster Hall asked exorbitant fees for allowing crews to film, but they couldn’t police fans who brought their own cameras (that’s a copyright issue usually of concern solely to the performer/s). NIN’s open camera goodwill was reciprocated by fans, who aggregated footage from camera phones and video cameras, crowdsourced post-production and authored DVDs and torrent streams.

Artists take note: THE FUTURE IS NOW PRESENT
You lock yourselves in castles and build ramparts around your precious copyright, hoarding it away from the peasants who toil in your fields. You’re feudalists living in an anarcho-syndicalist commune. Just ask Dennis…



Posted in digitalent, Videontology with tags , , , , on May 5, 2009 by re: turn on

This is what YouTube was made for! Comedians empowered by online video to make UGC that’s actually entertaining. A comedy duo from North Carolina must have seen their fair share of zombie marketing on local television, so they made a sublimely surreal satire that Barack Obama would approve of…

It was shown on local television, but online popularity and the resulting news coverage yielded exposure of incalculable value. It recently peaked online, likely due to the drop in media interest (its over by the time CNN does a story).

Any decent online video campaign needs a making of and this one’s no exception.

This and many other infomercial parodies were created by comedy duo and “Internetainers” Rhett and Link. They kind of remind me of Flight of the Conchords back when they were still doing stand up in New Zealand and making YouTube rap video parodies of Lord of the Rings. Music and comedy; goes together like chocolate fondue and marshmallows.

Big Budget Viral

Posted in digitalent, Videontology on April 28, 2009 by re: turn on

I’m astounded at the production quality for some viral video campaigns. Where the Still Free viral used its budget to cleverly conceal a hoax as user generated content, we’re now seeing virals that are epic. Like Hollywood epic.

The latest is a compelling single-take tracking shot through a time-slice moment during a hostage crisis.

With production values like this, its a shame they borrowed so heavily from The Dark Knight. At least none of the evil clowns were dressed as nurses.

Created by Stink Digital, its a promotional video for Phillips’ latest television. My take is that YouTube is the viral component, attracting audiences to the product’s microsite, where the video plays in high quality on an endless loop with behind-the-scenes tags and other interactive elements. The online production qualities are equally stunning.

Its admirable that they resisted the temptation to embed branding into the video, but I’m sure Phillips’ marketing department is anxious to see ROI. As of today its had nearly 180k YouTube video views within 2 weeks. Doesn’t actually qualify it as a viral success yet, but there’s still time. However, most of the comments critique the technique and pick out flaws in its execution, punctuated by the odd WOW comment. I guess what’s important is the microsite’s page impressions.

Do you think a viral of this scale is a prudent or extravagant advertising spend? Does anyone know what this video’s production budget was or the success of the microsite?