Television news programs in Japan are famously entertaining. The sets are more interesting and the hosts are much more physically involved with the story-telling. Below are some screenshots of a lengthy and incredibly detailed explanation of the sport of speedskating.
Here they are talking about the importance of drafting complete with a huge fan for effect. I can’t imagine Brian Williams or Savannah Guthrie doing this.
We spent this morning looking at YouTube videos of Kasou Taishou. These are short skits that re-create special effects using charmingly amateur stage effects. Think of it as a mashup between traditional Japanese kabuki stage-craft and a high school play.
Add a twist of self-depreciating humor and you’ve got a winner.
Two of the three commercials run by Samsung during this year’s Academy Awards were basically showing us why their phones will not explode, the final spot of the evening featured mega-YouTube star Casey Neistat and dared anyone with imagination to become the next star.
It’s an inspirational advertisement that only peripherally features Samsung but is notable because this YouTube star made the jump to broadcast television in a big way when CNN acquired his production company.
The Hollywood Reporter has an interview with Casey in which he talks a bit about how he wants to change the way news is delivered. Keep a close eye on him as he is looking to shake up the way people get their news in much the same way bloggers did to mainstream media 10 years ago.
What’s interesting is how he answer’s the question below. Clearly he wants to pop the filter bubble, protected by the “thick, strong, solid-steel bullshit shield that this generation cautiously holds up in between them and everything being thrown at them.” – Rather than shy away from bias, he embraces and leans into it to seek balance.
I watch television, although not that much. I have my favorite news outlets, but what I try to do in consuming online is to find the same story in two different places. I’ve been trying to find a biased perspective on either side. It’s the same with podcasts. I’m a huge fan of political podcasts, but I listen to as many conservative commentators as I do liberal ones. When I consume media, I want to know what’s going on but I also really want to understand how and why it’s being shared the way it is, especially in the shadow of what we’re trying to build.
UPDATE: And here’s his latest call to arms to all the creators out there.
Of course Twitter went crazy with speculation and I’m sure there’s a thread on Reddit somewhere looking at all the angles. Gizmodo posted the story first (sister site Deadspin is edited by @bubbaprog) and The Hill also noticed.
Kanye West is a master at manipulating mass media to his advantage. Say what you will about his stunts such as renting out Madison Square Garden, his legendary twitter rants, or his jab at Taylor Swift at the VMAs, Kanye knows how to get attention. He was in top form today, using the daytime television show, Ellen, to launch into an epic rant about media, popular culture, and what it takes to change the status quo.
Variety reports that the TV sitcom Modern Family is going to film an entire episode featuring the UI of phones, laptops, and tablets as a way to tell a story. The idea came from a short film, Noah, that debuted at the 2013 Toronto Film festival and won many awards for it’s innovative commentary on our device-mediated society.
I’ve embedded Noah below (kinda NSFW, remember Chatroulette?). I look forward to Modern Family’s treatment which will air on ABC February 25th with the title “Connection Lost”
What if we follow the trend of the “app-ificaiton” of media to the next logical step? What if Snapchat’s Discover feature is just the modern version of network television where channels control distribution and readers become passive again, replacing their allotted 5 hours of TV with 5 hours of browsing Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and the rest?
If in five years I’m just watching NFL-endorsed ESPN clips through a syndication deal with a messaging app, and Vice is just an age-skewed Viacom with better audience data, and I’m looking up the same trivia on Genius instead of Wikipedia, and “publications” are just content agencies that solve temporary optimization issues for much larger platforms, what will have been point of the last twenty years of creating things for the web?
Breaking Bad is over. I watched the final episode a couple of nights ago. I only first got into the series because I saw from our Netflix queue that my son was watching it and figured I should watch a few episodes to see what was it was about. He got bored and moved on but I got sucked in.
As I made my way through the backlog and then finally started making my way to the final shows, I came to realize that this show about an Walter White’s transformation from a high school chemistry teacher to methamphetamine kingpin was also an allegory for humanity’s decent into addiction. As I binge viewed with the rest of the country and stayed up late to watch one more episode, I realized that I was addicted to the story. As Walt, the person we all cheered for in the beginning, became more twisted, I found myself loathing him for his selfishness. Yet I kept watching.
Today I listed to the final episode of the Breaking Bad Insider podcast that has Breaking Bad’s creator, Vince Gilligan, talk about some of the story arcs including several alternative endings he proposed. The entire podcast is fascinating and well worth a listen but the bit below is particularly interesting.
In this 4 minute segment, Vince describes an alternative ending which was so disturbing that the network producers spiked it. Have a listen.
Just finished all 13 hours of the first season of the latest Netflix series, House of Cards. While I didn’t binge view as some of my colleagues did in the name of journalism, I did find myself staying up later than normal to watch “just one more episode” of this dark cousin to West Wing.
Apparently Netflix dropped $100 million to produce two 13 episode seasons. The result is a Season One that plays as a 13 hour movie about the dark, evil underbelly of Washington politics. Given such resources and space the characters are wonderfully developed and, if like most, you watch the series over a short span of time, you come to know them as an extension of your reality. The depth and detail of House of Cards makes the typical 2 hour feature film feel like a rough character sketch.
The series was shot with digital RED cameras which allowed them to shoot takes continually without stopping the camera.
Obviously, shooting digitally helps, [House of Cards was shot using the RED camera] because I never had to cut. I could say, ‘Go back out and come in again,’ and it’s amazing the pace you get. It’s a Frank Capra trick from way back. Because he could only print so many takes, he used to say, ‘Keep it rolling, go out and come in.’ What he found was people were more energized, and it gave this effervescence, and I ended up having to do that.
But the most interesting thing is that Netflix decided to release all 13 hours of the first season in one go. At first I was skeptical. Traditional television leaves you with cliff hangers that bring you back each week for what they used to call appointment television. Netflix knows a thing or two about “binge viewing” and based on their data, felt they could generate more buzz if they released everything at once. I agree. The coverage has been fantastic for Netflix and I’m sure it’s driven a spike in membership. Indeed, they are watching data on viewers to inform their next original series.