Sunday, February 04, 2007

YouTube and guerilla filmmaking




Ann Hornaday, critic for The Washington Post, has a major story in the Sunday Arts Section, "Rules for YouTube: Make Art, Note Bore". The link is here. She also mentions other sites with web films, such as Zefrank.com, Mitchellrose.com, Snobsite.com, and Hollywood-elsewhere.com.
Her advice on how to make effective web films is fairly general, but it could be summed up as: genuine originality. Offer a new perspective on something that no one else would have thought of. Avoid being trite, or cute for cuteness sake. In some ways, they are similar to rules for good writing, but applied to visual images. Keep the speaker off site (although I think that lecture films can actually work -- Al Gore has already proven that.)


I'm not sure how the feud betweem YouTube and Viacom/Paramount will affect what you can find there. But I found the controversial Theo Van Gogh short "Submission" there, with some "response films" at this link. I have my own review of this film here. I also have some selected reviews of some YouTube clips here. And I have been guilty of misspelling the site as "Utube".

When I was around 10 (in the 1950s), I and a friend made "filmstrips" that we pretended to be movies. We drew the pictures with crayons, mostly documentaries and scenery. We even had an "academy awards" ceremony for the families. I made a strip called "The Land of the Bible." The picture sizes ranged from 6x4 (about like the 1.66 to 1 aspect ration popular then) to three sheets of paper taped together for "Cineramascope." One sample "filmstrip" is shown on this blog file. They are drawings of scenery from "Alaska." (There was a family film by that name around 1996.)

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