Category: rock

Shut all the blinds
You mighta been seen
Sittin’ alone
With your internet dream

Winning the race
For your digital fix
Living your life
With a clickity-click
(Repeat)

“So every day I swear
I’m gonna go to bed at like eleven.
And all of a sudden its 4AM . . .
And I was just watching Youtube and
reading Wikipedia for five hours.
It’s like MAN . . . you ask me the
next day. I can’t even remember
what I was doin. Crazy.”

Tay Zonday “Internet Dream”
(writer of Chocolate Rain)

*author deftly opens his umbrella to protect himself against the thundering Chocolate Rain*

I have had the good fortune to attend a wide variety of so-called new media conferences, hear people who drive the “content market” speak about the present and future of the various “media distribution platforms”, how to “drive traffic” to your site, using Web 2.0 social networking sites to make friends where you would have previously just been tossing spam into the anonymous gray mass of stats , the importance of making your site interactive and sticky, how long visitors will wait for a page to load (3.2 seconds) and the importance of viral marketing.

They usually call out YouTube as the de facto turning point and how “anyone in America, and the world for that matter” can now “make movies with their cell phones” with the hopes that they will become the next “Chocolate Rain,” “Star Wars Kid,” “Lolcats,” “Tron Guy,” or that weird snaggle-toothed Japanese girl who just stares into her webcam and draws millions of views for doing seemingly nothing (it helps that she has a big rack).  Now a site like TubeMogul allows you to instantly upload your homemade insertion into the pantheon of filmmaking to virtually all the major “video aggregation and distribution sites” our there including Vimeo, MetaCafe, DailyMotion, How-To Cast, MySpace, Revver, and of course YouTube.

Jay Maynard is Tron Guy

Jay Maynard is Tron Guy

Have you caught on yet?  This blog entry is one big fat collection of keywords, something used in “SEO” (search engine optimization” and to promote higher “CTR” (click-through ratios) for my “affiliate ads” (but, you know this already) – another thing that they talk about behind the velvet curtain which now seems to enfold pretty much anyone else sitting at home bored and lonely and wondering how to get everyone’s attention.

 


And when they do, they realize they have not yet figured out how to “monetize” all this traffic.  ROFLcon, which took place at MIT this year was a conference for all the people who somehow managed to garner said attention for one reason or another and came together to figure out what to do when the general public shows up and says “Here we are now, entertain us.”  That’s all well and good but unfortunately the creators of these phenomena forgot to hire a door person with a cash box.

This is not leading to a discussion on “how to monetize you content” so much as it is underlining William Gibson‘s astute assertion that the very idea of Fame is becoming extinct due to it massive over inflation; if everyone is famous, then really, no one can truly be famous.   Everyone is broadcasting and those same people might be watching.  But are they watching, or are they trying to figure out how the hell these heat-seekers pulled it off?  Well that was then. So I get to my point: we now have this glut of Web 2.0 “guerilla marketing” -savvy ingenues who will stoop to progressively lower depths to grab a piece of the “eyeballs” / “asses in seats” pie.  It makes me feel like I ate way too much cotton candy with my mustard-covered hot dog.

It isn’t even the “content” that bothers me.  It’s that fact that everyone thinks that they can somehow pull the wool over everyone else’s eyes using the above mechanics.  It’s not just preaching to the choir, it is an infection in the culture.  It is indeed a virus in the system, that thrives at the expense of its host, adapts rapidly to any form of inoculation and then proliferates to any other candidate that comes within range.

Snap out of it folks, you’re having a bad fever dream.  You have tools at your disposal that defy the imagination of your former self ten years ago.  You are Marshall McLuhan‘s cautionary observation that the medium becomes the message – your very source has become your pitch, you are making trailers for things that don’t exist, like specters that haunt the territory where they died –  but lest you click-away at my posting yet one more iteration of that now tired cliche – recognize that I am appealing to you to bring something to the table. 

Forget viral marketing.  Forget spending your days and nights checking your visitor stats; these activities have supplanted the very act of creating itself!  Make things.  Make things that come from you.  If you still have something within that you can remember being distinctly your own, then call on it.  Viral videos are so DRM ago.

Have you had enough of viral videos,  or do you think we are just getting started? 

Sunday night was all about celebrating blood, boobs and bombs as the Midnight Madness pirates stormed the bastilles, er, whatevs, and we were introduced to Mark Hartley’s self-proclaimed “rockumentary” Not Quite Hollywood – about Ozploitation cinema – that is to say – the non-existent Australian film industry doing whatever it could, back in the late 1960’s and 70’s to get even a modicum piece of the Hollywood pie.

Thinking they were at the edge of a wave of a global revolution that was really only happening on a farm field in Woodstock, the Aussies took to disrobing like it was the job.  Then, when a little horror and post-acid-trip surrealism was the where the registers were clinking, the blood was introduced, in bucketloads.  Add some semi-retired bona fide Hollywood star power to the mix and you had to have a recipe for cinematic world domination, rendering such masterpieces as Turkey Shoot (aka Escape 2000 in the US), Dark Age (really bad alligator horror flick), The Man From Hong Kong, and ultimately Long Weekend and Mad Max.

The beauty of it all of course was that there really were no scruples.  It was – whatever it takes to get the shot, even if it meant firing live ammo at the actors (I guess squib explosives attached to rock-faces were out of the budget range?) or hoisting a guy 70 feet in the air on a cherry-picker without anything to fall back on (um, no pun intended?) since helicopters were definitely out of the question.

But as Quentin Tarantino, who claims the lion’s share of the commentary in this doc states – Aussies can shoot car chases without equal.  Their cars look nicer than American cars, their chase scenes are way more fucking crazy, and the shots are without equal.

Brian Trenchard-Smith signs an autograph at Midnight Madness

Anyway, it was a good romp, director Brian Trenchard-Smith was in attendance and the audience applauded at the suggestion that a revival festival should be erected at Cinematheque (as opposed to grindhouses) for this pioneering ouevre.

The Rock-U’s visual effects were terrific, the pace was good, we laughed, we cried, we missed Russ Meyers.

My only question is – 8am screenings – what?

Remaining Screenings:

Friday September 12    |  06:15PM     |  VARSITY 2

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Monday night – the Ecstasy Films Inc. party at Empire in Yorkville was bloody crowded.  That’s about all I can say about it, except for the free drink ticket and Bedouin Soundclash who sounded amazing despite the fact that we ultimately had to enjoy their set from outside in the rain because literally, not a deflated blow-up doll could fit in that room.

Bedouin Soundclash at Empire in Yorkville

As I mentioned previously, Ecstasy, adapted from the book by Irvine Welsh (who wrote Trainspotting, in case you are just on a short stay to planet Earth) is a film about to go into production directed by Rob Heydon and set to star Richard E. Grant (yes he of Withnail and I), Billy Boyd (of hobbit fame) and Erica Durance (of Maxim cover fame).

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In non-TIFF film news – the very long awaited sequel to Boondock Saints that will star the original cast and be directed by Troy Duffy himself is gearing up for production.  Holy f$%in s%$^!!!