The Future of Amateur Disaster Footage

Amateur disaster footage arguably has its roots in yellow journalism, the graphic and dramatic coverage that has graced the front pages of newspapers since the late 19th century. With the advent of photography, coverage of gruesome events became a lot easier, such as with Jacob Riis’ photojournalism project, How the Other Half Lives. The new dimension of movement was extremely important in developing this genre – video documentation of horrific events was incredibly valuable.

Now the genre is becoming easier, more widespread, and more comprehensive. With video sharing platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo, the motivation for sharing footage has increased. With applications on smartphones, ordinary citizens can film and upload footage in minutes. Applications such as Vine, Instagram, and Snapchat use a video capture capability with a limited duration, giving rise to the “video tweet,” an ultra-short, unedited video. The quick versatility of these videos make them integral to the genre amateur disaster footage.

In the future, tweets, blog posts, and videos will get shorter and shorter to accommodate the lightning-quick speed of data. Disaster coverage will always be in demand, due to the inherent fascination for horrific events humans have. I predict that disaster coverage will become shorter and more graphic. It will also be easier to upload and search for. Developers will create smartphone applications to group these videos, in order to inspire and help activists.

Ideally, the spread of disaster footage would be controlled. These violent images can be incredibly disturbing and traumatic and when shown to a broader audience, such as young children, can cause significant emotional damage. We as a society need to understand the detrimental power of these videos and create restrictions on the audience.

The Future of the Cooking Show

Imagine it is 20 years from now. Assuming there is still an internet, what role will cooking shows play? How will they have changed? Will everyone be robots? Will they tell us how to cook our space-foods, because its the future and everything is all… spacey? Or will they consist of scraggly survivors describing the best way to cook a opossum on a car engine, because its the future and society and fallen into a Road Warrior-esque apocalypse? But when it comes right down to it, both scenarios are essentially the same: they both just tell us how to do what we should have been doing all along.

Granted, to some extent internet cooking shows try to inspire us to expand our horizons, to try new foods with new ingredients. But the reality is, people just want to learn how to cook foods they already know they like. They don’t want to spend time and money on something they might find revolting. So while tastes and preferences might change with time, the internet’s subjection to these tastes is eternal. As shows become more numerous, this subjection might become more pronounced, with shows becoming more and more pigeon-holed into a specific niche. We see this already when we look at older shows, like Julia Child who essentially introduced a new style of cooking to America, and newer shows, like Hand to Mouth which deals exclusively with cheap, easy to find ingredients and is marketed towards almost exclusively college students. Thus, in the future we might expect to see shows marketed towards smaller and smaller groups.

But this only deals with the “classic” cooking show, that is, one main host teaching a specific thing in a kitchen. These shows are really all about the food. Other shows, however, are much more about the hosts. This is definitely true for My Drunk Kitchen, where the host does very little cooking. Some of these shows are also merely spoofs on actual cooking shows, that is, shows that give clear directions on how to prepare food. My Drunk Kitchen also falls into this category, but How To Basic takes it to another level. How To Basic features a lot of videos that are presented similarly to cooking shows, like How To Make Fried Chicken. But his videos feature no dialogue or directions of any kind, and inevitably deteriorate to the point where he just smashes everything with his hands. It is worth noting that he has over 150 videos (most of which involve food), many of which have over a million views.

Could this be the future of cooking shows? I do not see how these types of videos could progress beyond How To Basic, as this show already cuts out everything essential to cooking shows. The genre cannot be spoofed any further without removing all semblance to the original shows. People will soon get bored of these types of shows, as they will quickly loose their edginess and originality. Even still, I would like to see more shows featuring people who are bad at cooking trying anyway, as in Hand to Mouth, My Daily Grace, and My Drunk Kitchen. I think the audience relates to these shows where people just cook with what they happen to have in their fridge, and don’t display any intimidating techniques.

Having been to the future, I can actually tell you what cooking shows will be like in 20 years. People will, if anything, be even lazier than they are now. They won’t want to do things like shop for exotic ingredients, finely chop vegetables, or cook. So, cooking shows will fill the role of letting us think we are able to take care of ourselves while not making us get out of bed. So, basically, exactly the same as now.

Well, Japan might be a little different:

The Self-Portrait Video in 20 years

In 20 years the struggles that every self-portrait artist has to face will still be extremely prevalent. The main struggle of a self-portrait artist is the struggle of how to distill a person’s essence into a short piece. No matter the medium and no matter the time, this will always be the primary struggle of the self-portrait artist.

I imagine that because the idea of “self” and “individuality” is growing increasingly distinctive that the idea of the self-portrait will become more appealing. The rise of vlogs indicate that people enjoy profiling their lives to the wider public. See popular vlog, Jenna Marbles: http://www.youtube.com/user/JennaMarbles, and like http://www.youtube.com/user/thecomputernerd01, or things like one photo every day for 6 years: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6B26asyGKDo.

I think that in the future, the “artsy” self-portrait might be extinct because nobody wants to hear someone talk about themselves – they want to see how this person might relate to them. So I think self-portraits will become more like vlogs: more informal and conversational. I frankly agree. I think that the traditional self-portraits don’t connect enough with their audiences and I would like to see more interaction going on. I think a cool video with lots of interaction, this one: http://vimeo.com/61434, where the author has someone else ask her questions instead of her asking the questions.

Honestly, the self-portrait genre will still probably be a popular assignment for class or for admissions. However, I think that more creative approaches will be needed to catch the viewers’ attention. I would love to see more reenactments in “self-portrait” videos so there is more action, rather than just scenes and images. I would also like to see more of a story line in “self-portrait” videos because stories always catch peoples’ attention and give them a reason why your life matters to them.

The Future of the Non-official Political Campaign:

First, I would like to further elaborate on my definition of the “Non-official Political Ad.”  Not only is the objective of the genre to corrupt (definition explained in previous post) its viewer, but also carries the objective to portray/use parody and satire to convey the absurdities/incongruences of the “official” political advertising scene—as opposed to the statement that all unofficial political campaigns are used to only manipulate viewers to vote/act in a particular manner.

And now to the future of the “Non-official Political Ads”….

As I just stated, there are unofficial ads that seek to manipulate their audience, and there are other unofficial ads, or rather digital shorts, that seek to portray the irrationalities from both parties of the political campaign.  Certainly, there will continue to be attacking unofficial ads, however I believe we will see a significant increase of the amount satirical viral videos poking fun at the political scene in general… for example, more like the Jib Jab shorts I posted in my last entry.

The evolution of the original Jib Jab short, has now taken on (almost) an entire genre of it’s own.  But for the sake of this class, I am categorizing the Jib Jab shorts under the “Non-official Political Ad” genre—simply because I honestly believe they are the future of this unofficial political genre.  If you observe the unofficial political spectrum throughout the past ten years, you will find that more and more unofficial campaigns have turned from attacking one political idea/candidate to scrutinizing multiple political ideas/candidates running against each other through parody or alternative realms of advertising.  An example of this concept:

In both viral shorts, all sides of the spectrum of American politics were mocked by the producer.  In the first, we can see that Romney is a robot and Obama and Biden are in panic mode, but Ron Paul jumps in to save the White House.  In the second, the ridicule of all three candidates is apparent simply by listening to the entire conversation.

Essentially, I believe the future of the unofficial political campaign will evolve from simply just attacking one side of the story to both sides—that both republicans and democrats alike will be dissected in similar fashion via parody and other humorous rhetorical mannerisms.

Mash-Ups & The Future

As the club scene has evolved, so too has the DJ’s role as a performer. The DJ has been a proponent of new art form: the digital mash-up, combining not only spoken word, poems, and music tracks, but now visuals are included as well, opening up the club scene to audio AND video mash-ups. The 21st century is a place that is constantly publishing new media on a day to day, second to second basis. The world is moving so fast now, so speed becomes important, to keep up to date on issues.

Recently, a group called Eclectic Method has become very popular. They call themselves video DJs, or audio-video remixers and they bring audio/video mixers,  DVD turntables, and a library of video clips to their DJ booths. There they can move and transition tracks from one sequence to the next. The videos they show connect the clubbers to one another, with immersive, digital engagement and improvised social commentary. Since we live in a society that is so quickly updated with news events, reports of natural disasters and crimes, the members of Eclectic Method have to constantly keep up with daily happenings so they can reach their audience effectively with the most new and relevant video material. Ten or twenty years ago, mash-up groups like Eclectic Method didn’t exist because the laws on digital piracy were so strict. But now the people that were once suing Eclectic Method are probably looking at them in admiration for their ability to form unique works of art by combining musical pieces from some of the top musicians and pop stars in the country. EM uses such a wide variety of film and incorporates it together in a visual appealing way. Some videos mimic a band performing in front of a group of people, only it is just a video of a person playing the guitar. What is also cool, is that EM mixes and plays the audio/video live, based on what the crowd is feeling that night. Again, EM has to always be on their toes.

EM is able to make comments about culture and what is happening in the world in a different way than traditional art does. One thing they do that is particularly interesting and new-age, is creating “supergroups” out of famous pop stars, presidents and characters on TV. Overall, EM sums up their practice as “it’s about communicating something to people that they wouldn’t necessarily have got, had they listened to it or watched it on their own.”

Here is a short documentary highlighting Eclectic Method: https://vimeo.com/7147850

Here is another example of their audio/video mash-ups about, what else, but the future: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tuWplyBmsmo&feature=player_embedded

Here is another audio mash-up with video clips meshed within it. I think this video is an example of the future of DJ-ing in the club/at school dances, giving people something to watch besides each other while they dance. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IlsMWwTK-iQ&feature=player_embedded

I think mashups may just blow up in the future! They could get really big. I expect this hyper-infused culture to grow and involve into something far more connected than people can anticipate now. I expect 3D animation to be available on Youtube, Vimeo and other online video networks. Perhaps, mash-ups will incorporate 3D animation! I also think more films like “Avatar” will be made, and with technology improving, maybe ordinary people in the future will be able to create their own Avatars and animated creatures to include in their mash-ups. On that note, since technology is improving so fast, I think more and more unprofessionals will be producing “professional” looking short videos to put on the web, simply because they will become easier to make with the new software that will come out in the future.

One can compare mash-ups to the web and how articles and free music sites are connected to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, broadcasting what you are looking at on the internet for all to see. Nowadays, with virtually any information one would ever want to know is available and easily “googled” on the internet. The world is becoming a highly co-depenent society, where people rely on  other people’s work to get inspiration and ideas, in order for artists to make new works of art. Nowadays, everything is a Remix. I believe this will only continue and get more prominent in the media as we get older.

With mash-ups, everything that was once separated into genres and outlets to view media, can be brought together via the internet. So now there is so much media convergence. I anticipate that this will continue in the future. In this world everything is quickly becoming one, and since all things are being available at one time via the internet and specific sites like Youtube, the world is steadily approaching this oneness.

In the future, just as they are now, mash-ups are a great way to fuse all aspects of society, and they are important because they bring issues together under one roof, that may need to be considered as a whole if we are to make the world a better place in the future. So I think that mash-ups have become “meta” or self-referential, and in fact some of them are the very definition of self-referential because they are made to comment on a issue in the media or critique a flawed character that has become popular on T.V. Video mash-ups have the ability to comment on other people’s posts, vlogs, films, and television shows, which can give the creators power in a way.

Mash-ups have always done a great job of mixing genres, like the old films with new television shows. I think mash-ups will continue to blend the unusual video clips and audio together into one short film, because then the mash-up can highlight larger issues, that perhaps the one film, by itself, cannot.

I don’t think people will every get bored with this genre. There is always new material to blend together with the editing software that is available. Mash-ups definitely have a future and they may in fact set the trend for other videos/films in the future. I think mash-ups, like any other web genre will have to evolve to stay interesting to the general public, but since so many video/audio sources are available to the general public for free now, it is uttterly impossible for the genre to die. When commenting on the latest popular Youtube video, and biggest Blockbuster film is a part of the publics daily conversations, online and face-to-face, I have no doubt that internet users will continue to use other people’s work to comment on any issue, funny instance at hand. Perhaps the genre will progress and soon Sundance Film Festival will have a mash-up category to show to the world. I do believe that more and more people are interested in making mash-ups, simply because using other people’s material is useful for educational purposes, but it also brings back the history of visual media. I think people’s fascination of the past has something to do with mash-ups being more popular for sure.

Ultimately though, the ability to blend multiple sources of art into one new work, will always be a talent and a skill, no matter if the correct software is available to all people. People will continuously work to improve their editing skill with the mash-up genre, and I think this is a vitally important part of what it means to be a part of the film and video producing world.

The mash-up assignment, similar to the one we did in class, will be so common that middle schoolers will be required to make their own video by using other people’s ‘stuff.’ They won’t even have to worry about taking out a camera! I still consider the mash-up as one of the most beautiful and yet complicated processes to making video, because one needs to smoothly incorporate your own work and perspective with that of another human beings. The connection between the two is the most amazing thing. I do not think this genre is going away anytime soon.

The Future of R&B Music Videos

R&B music videos have evolved quite a bit since the slow, single shot performance based videos in the 1950s. Contemporary R&B music videos visually portray sexual lyrics through story based videos, dance videos, or themed videos. The jazz, gospel, and blues rhythms of early R&B music evolved as it blended with pop, rap, and hip-hop genres to create contemporary R&B. With its quicker and/or more pronounced beats and rhythms, contemporary R&B music videos have much faster cuts to a wide range of scenes to match this beat. These cuts got more and more advanced over the years, showing overlapping and fading images like in Miguel’s “Sure Thing” video and quick, neon flashing lights and graphics like in Kanye West’s “All Of The Lights” video.

Contemporary music videos also tend to be less performance based, as opposed to videos from the early 1900s. While contemporary R&B music videos most often do cut to a significant number of scenes of the artist singing, they also incorporate a wide variety of other scenes, from Diddy Dirty Money walking alone in a huge, barren desert in “Coming Home” to Kelly Rowland dancing in a large warehouse in “Motivation.” Rowland’s video also portrays the over sexuality and sexual confidence expressed by the majority of R&B artists in their videos. Sexuality is a central theme in nearly all of these videos, and is reinforced through the lyrics of the music, the beats that the artists and backup dancers dance sensually to, and the provocative costumes that the women featured in these videos wear (whether they are the female artists or are unknown girls who male artists are singing about). The videos have also evolved in that they advocate contemporary club and hookup culture. Nicki Minaj’s video for her song “Beez In the Trap” involves many aspects prominent in contemporary music videos, including many fast cuts, bright lights, and overt female sexuality that highlight provocative and profane lyrics and prominent, dance provoking beats.

As the years progressed, the way that women were portrayed in the genre changed drastically. When the videos moved away from being solely performance based, women were used by male artists as the sexual objects that they were singing about. Still appealing to a predominantly African American audience (although it is more diverse in modern times), these women are frequently African American also, and have large curves that are shown off by scant, sexual clothing. They are often featured dancing provocatively, reinforcing their purpose in the video as emphasizing the male artists’ ability to have lots of sexy, beautiful women surrounding him, for example in Akon’s “I Wanna Love You” music video. Women’s role as sexual objects is reinforced in the lyrics of these music videos, such as Wiz Khalifa’s “Black and Yellow”  in which he says outright: “bitch I own you.” The female dancers in the video visually reinforce their objectivity.

Female R&B artists are usually portrayed as very sexual in their own videos as well. However, instead of being a man’s sexual object, these women exude sexual confidence and ownership of their own sexuality. These women also tend to have curves, promoting a healthy weight, unlike many other genres featuring female artists (for example, pop artists like Taylor Swift in music videos like “I Knew You Were Trouble”). Artists like these portray unrealistic weights and are so thin that they appear unhealthy. This is not the case for most female R&B artists. A great example is Rihanna, one of the most popular R&B female artists today, and who is considered by many popular culture magazines to be one of the world’s sexiest women. Like many other female R&B artists, her outfits and the dancing she does in her music videos (which match the beats and lyrics of her music) show off her curves and establish her extreme sexual confidence. She, as well as other artists like Nicki Minaj, often wear dramatic makeup and unique costumes to set the theme of their videos and portray their sexuality. Rihanna’s sexual confidence and use of costume, dance, and setting to create a theme to match the lyrics and beats of her songs is demonstrated throughout all of her music videos (as well as her live performances), with one example being her music video for “Shut Up And Drive.”

Based on the evolution of this genre, I think that R&B music videos in the future will continue to portray male and female sexuality through catchy beats and provocative dance and costume. This is far from the 1950s music videos showcasing a single man singing innocent love songs to a jazzy tune. I like the provocative edge that the contemporary R&B music video genre provides, and how it seems to push boundaries in terms of portrayal of female sexuality as normal and socially acceptable. I hope that in the future, more R&B music videos for male artists portray female sexuality in a more positive light as well, with less female objectivity. I definitely believe that this genre will not move backwards in its evolution, and that it will continue to push boundaries of how much sexuality is socially acceptable to portray. Thus, I don’t think that the genre should return to its roots. I think that it should continue to expand upon them, and continue to move towards a portrayal of more sexual equality between men and women. Even if it only progresses in subtle ways like more advanced editing and special effects, I don’t think that people will get bored of the genre. If in the future it stays pretty similar to the way it is now, which I believe it will, I think that contemporary R&B music videos will continue to be a very popular genre that continues to be provocative and fun to watch and dance to.

The Future of Time Lapse Photography

When it comes to genres, I think Time-lapse photography undoubtedly has a very bright future.  What makes time lapse videos so fascinating, is its surrealistic feature. Time lapse videos have the power to show processes which human beings can’t normally see, despite the fact that such processes are taking place all the time!  The fact time lapse videos enable people to go beyond their capacities, and experience something they normally cannot, is what keeps the genre alive. With technology growing every day, boundaries that define human capacity are also expanding. In the past, it was fascinating to watch time lapse videos of flowers blooming and fruits rotting; today, it takes videos of the entire earth rotating in a matter of 10 seconds, to fascinate the human mind. It’s in human nature to always want more, and since time lapse videos guarantee experiences beyond natural human capabilities, human beings would always be hungry for more. The boundaries will continue to be pushed beyond our imaginations, with time lapse videos not only becoming more sophisticated, but also a lot more common.

As mentioned before, time-lapse photography has grown with the development of technology. With science and technology growing at exponential rates today, the development of much more powerful equipment for time lapse photography is inevitable. As opposed to the countless hours it used to take to produce the simplest of time-lapses, today, not only has it become extremely easy to make such videos, but also very affordable. Camera’s built specifically for time lapse photography are sold for as cheap as only a couple of hundred dollars in the market. With automatic settings and built in timers, all that one needs to do do to produce such fantastic illusions, is press a couple of buttons on a tiny device and leave it in a place for a couple of hours. When it comes to processing the photos, everyday more and more user friendly software are being released, some of which available for free download. Unlike its early days, almost anyone can produce their own time lapse videos, without any sort of special training or skill.

Although it has already made its way into various other forms of media, such as TV Shows, commercials and movies, I believe that with time, time lapses would become even more integrated into other forms of media. More and more TV shows and films will begin to use this technique more frequently (Breaking bad makes extensive use of time lapses: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fu5Wbl2qz1Y). More and more independent producers will begin to use this form of filming to produce their own work. Processes, that we’re probably not even aware of today may one day be discovered via time lapse photography (similar to how slow biological processes were studies in the past). Sub genres, such as construction time lapses, cross country travel time lapses, daily portrait time lapses etc.  may even branch out and become their own genres.

Unlike other genres, Time lapse has the advantage of developing hand in hand with technology. And they never fail to impress the viewers. With technology developing on a daily basis, I believe that time lapse videos will only get more enchanting, meaning that the genre will continue to exists and develop, reaching heights that are beyond our imaginations.

Who knew back in the early 1900s, that some thing like this could be produced:

 

The Future of Extreme Sports Video

Undoubtedly, extreme sports video is making and talking strides in the world of filmography. It seems only natural that it is this way, however, seeing that the different sports are ever-changing themselves. Where extreme sports and their films used to be a lot of random people taking footage of themselves doing crazy stunts, we now see more planned and precise progression in these films. Of course there is still the X games footage that is less planned in terms of what tricks are going to be done in the scene. However, we see an equal amount of planning in the types and angles of the shots, especially when the events are shot from multiple cameras.

I recently posted about Nike Skateboarding and their new 360 filming. I really think this technology is going to be big, especially for extreme sports. My biggest interest and concern is that with this technology, are we going to see extreme sports take more of a team aspect than it needs to. When limit the range of what you can film, then you have the option of making your with films one or multiple subjects. In use a way, the 360 filming forces these videos to include multiple athletes at a time, because otherwise, the 360-degree is pointless. If you are only going to shoot one athlete, do you really need to shoot it 360? So much of the remaining frame (when you shift left or right) will be empty and unfilled. I am curious to see what happens with that.

Continuing with the 360 theme, I don’t think this new feature will be getting boring anytime soon. Especially if Apple has anything to do with it. As humans I think we are keen to what is around us more often than not. Apple and GOpano have come up with a plug in 360 camera for the iphone 5. Yes, it is true. Now all of the sports junkies who probably have Iphone like everyone else in the world (except for this guy) can take footage of themselves and their buddies doing extreme sports and what not. I actually think this is great because it allows the footage to parallel the roots of the extreme sports: never settling for a limit, and always pushing the limits. The genre will continue to grow in such a way as long as there are techys trying to figure out new ways improve cameras. All directors have to do is continue to find ways to use the new technology to portray the danger of the sports.

http://vimeo.com/38064364#at=0

Personally, I would like to see sports filming continue to innovate. Unfortunately, I’ve got no clue how you can top a 360 camera, but I can’t wait for it to happen. Maybe in the future we will see more features like 3-D filming in extreme sports video. So much of the filming is based on putting the viewer in the perspective of the athlete, so that they too can experience a crazy half pipe run or a 100-foot base-jump. What better way than to ramp it up and make it 3-D?

Comedic Vlogging: Into the Future

The genre of comedic vlogging evolved a lot from its parent genre of original vlogging.  It became a meta-genre when people took it in the direction of comedy, leaving behind the traditional way of vlogging.  In the new form, comedic vloggers talk less about their own lives, and more about funny generalities and observations of the world around them.  They take their genre in a wide range of directions- spoofing, dancing, doing fake tutorials, ect., but they all retain the feature of speaking directly to the camera/to the viewer, keeping a thread of constancy through the genre.

Comedic vlogging has definitely blended into other genres, especially into the genre of spoofing.  Many “comedic vloggers” have taken so full-heartedly to spoofing that it is questionable to classify them as vloggers anymore, even though they technically are.  Personally, I am not a big fan of spoofs, so these comedic vloggers get on my nerves.  I wish they would do more with their own personal vlogging, and less with straight spoofing.  In my opinion, spoofing does not count as comedic vlogging because it is a form of true acting.  Comedic vloggers like Jenna Marbles who aren’t doing spoofs may also “act” for the camera, but they are not playing a role other than the one they have devised for their online persona.

I think the genre of comedic vlogging has a big future, and a lot of unfulfilled potential.  There are too many “comedic vloggers” out there who take too many liberties with the genre and stray too far from the most desirable form (in my opinion), which happens when somebody shares their hilarious personality with the camera from their true self, rather than playing a character and pretending to be someone else.  There are so many people out there who could make hilarious vlogs, but relatively few of them are actually making them.  Most vloggers have a more serious approach, explaining how to do things to a particular audience or sharing their views to a particular audience.

I think it is difficult for unknown comedic vloggers to rise to success.  It is hard to generate enough views to make your videos popular if you are not catering to a particular community.  If you are making videos for a particular community (like bikers or raw foodists), you will have a base of people who will be interested in watching your videos, and they will likely come up in a search.  But if your audience is the general public, you may have a harder time getting your videos out there because there is no platform to stand on.  More comedic vloggers need to make their vlogs, circulate them as well as they can, and hope that they take off.  If people like NigaHiga and Shane Dawson can make it big as comedic vloggers, many others could be even more successful if they broke through the barrier to popularity.  There is certainly an audience for comedic vlogging, and I think many people want more than they are getting.

The Future of Video Dubbing

The genre of video dubbing has certainly evolved over the years, and I think that the future of the genre lies with Bad Lip Reading.  First and foremost, the genre began with dubbing videos for the sake of editing.  Someone somewhere, at this point not known to the world, began to use dubbing as a story telling technique, and created a genre that that I think is still in its early stages.  Some of the early videos focus on making fun of products through advertising or films that are generally “out there.” An example of this is the following video.

I think that video dubbing is genre that is still young, so no one is quite sure what exactly it is or what it can be quite yet.  Many of the early videos are vulgar and served no real purpose other than to be vulgar.  The vulgarity of the language is only considered funny because it is couple with video of an innocent topic, like the snuggie.  But, newcomers like BLR, are really pushing the boundaries of the genre.  BLR has given the genre some stability and some concreteness.

Bad Lip Reading is different that other producers in the sense that they generally have story in their videos, though at times that is a stretch.  But, BLR has an obvious focus on producing well-made videos that are targeted at a wide audience, not just immature teenagers like many of the original videos.  I think BLR is where the future of the genre lies.  When done well, video dubbing is a strong instrument for criticism or commentary, and I think that this critical aspect offers the only real, concrete future for the genre.  Unless the genre finds some way to be seen as a medium for social commentary, I think it will die out like most fads do.

I’d like to see the genre become a way for people to express any feeling they may have about a film or product, but I do realize that the only way that a dubbing video works is if it humorous.  So, I think that dubbing can actually be useful in pointing out the often over-dramatic nature of certain genres of film, and the often over-dramatic persona of society in general.  It is important to laugh at ourselves every once in a while and realize that everything is not so serious.  Video dubbing offers society an opportunity to step back and take a real look at itself, and realize that there is humor in most things.

Live Musical Performance Manifesto: THE FUTURE

The future of the live musical performance video seems to be at a stand still. Whereas the first documents of live musical performance were less about videography and more about supplying an accompanying visual of the performer to the music, the genre has evolved into one highly driven by visuals. However, the popularity of live musical performance viral videos has preserved the classic interpretation of the genre: no frills, just a musician and his instrument on film. The genre back then, and still today, has the purpose of highlighting the uniqueness of the musician in action and its affect on people.

So where does the genre go from here? Today, both the highly produced and stripped down live musical performance are prominent in the genre. As far as I can see, there are no major foreseeable changes in the live musical performance. Websites like Pitchfork and La Blogotheque have already made their mark on the genre by creating the 3D live musical performance (also previously done by Michael Jackson with Captain EO, but Pitchfork has been making easily distributable 3D videos for the web + I would argue that Captain EO wasn’t exactly live), the interview/live performance, and the improvised live musical performance, but they are minor stylistic flares that do not detract from the original intent of the live musical performance. No matter what, the videos are intended to validate the performer as a musician, and to emphasize the qualities that make the musician endearing to his/her fans. In 50 years, the technology may change, and the presentation format may be different, but live musical performance videos will still maintain this approach, and the person strumming his guitar in front of his 3D webcam will still be as relevant as the musical superstar and his million dollar concert film.

As for my preferred future for the genre, I hope that they revert back to The Lawrence Welk Show-type performances of the early 60’s. I feel like the one thing the genre is missing today is an accompanying skit with the live performance—what I call the live music video. Sure, there are singer/dancers with routines that are highly influenced from these performances, but it doesn’t match the same pomp and stage presence that the old performances had. Although most videos made in this way were exceptionally cheesy, I feel that a revisit to the format after 50+ years of cultural evolution could be fascinating.

Honestly, I am pretty bored with the current format, but that’s probably because watching a concert at home, where you aren’t surrounded by happy and sweaty young people, is kind of depressing anyways. In the future, I’m sure nothing will change. No matter how hard the genre tries to capture this feeling, nothing beats the feeling of actually being there.

VIDEOS:

The Francis Ford Coppola directed Captain EO starring Michael Jackson. What was wrong with people in the late 80’s?? Why was everyone obsessed with puppets?? Amazing dance number though.

Pitchfork presents “Primitive 3D” by Deerhunter in 3D

Pitchfork presents “The Selector: Riff Raff,” don’t do drugs

Astrud Gilberto & Stan Getz, “Girl From Ipanema” live: great example of the live music video, made especially to be captured on video!

OK Go’s “Here It Goes Again” Music Video, not a live musical performance but it has the right idea: POMP!

Educational Vlogs: What the future holds

Vlogs have now become one of the most common video genres on sites like YouTube, and some vlogs are so popular that they even have dedicated fandoms, creating a cult-like follower base for these intelligent filmmakers . For instance, using an example that I have brought up before, “The Vlogbrothers” is one of the most famous YouTube channels, earning millions of views per video thanks to the fanbase, who they call “Nerdfighters”. John and Hank Green, who created an internet vlog to maintain their relationship when one of them moved across the country, became internet phenomenons thanks to their witty videos with intellectual ideas. They represent the entire genre of vlogging: vlogs start out small, and can be useful for things like keeping in touch with family and friends, but later as they grow the vloggers begin to address a bigger audience. As the Vlogbrothers found fame online, they slowly began to get outside recognition. They have been featured at conventions and have been on multiple tours of the country to meet their fans, and thanks to YouTube’s ads, they make a significant amount of money with every video that they produce. Their success has led to an entire webpage with a record label, a community of people who assist in the Vlogbrothers’ many charity events (they’ve raised over a million dollars for a site called Kiva), and a full merchandise store. Clearly, this channel is a prime example of the triumphs that can come from making independent, online videos.

The genre of educational vlogs has really skyrocketed in the past few years thanks to the popular vlogs that have led this revolution. Though this category of videos may seem like just a fad, it is hard to see an end in sight. In fact, I predict that vlogs will be a long-lasting internet phenomenon because of the opportunities they present.  Humans tend to be very egotistical and self-centered, and therefore they are intrigued by the fact that vlogs create a platform on which to voice their opinions and get attention from people across the world. People have noted the fame and fortune that comes from running a successful vlog, and as resources like cameras and computers become easier to get a hold of, more and more people decide to start a vlog in the vein opinion that they will change the world from their seemingly superior ideas. The younger generation also shows much promise in the continuation of this genre thanks to the many teens who dedicate their time towards vlogging. YouTube even created and entire new feature simply to target opinionated vloggers. There is a small bar below each video entitled “Responses to the Video”, in which people can post their own reactions or opinions about each video in a simple vlog. In a way, this now allows us to see a vlog about a vlog, creating a “meta” genre.

The idea of vlogging grew out of only a few video-based blog posts, but even after ten years, vlogs still take on the same format and goal. Though they’ve become more entertaining (many educational vlogs have started using visual aids and background music), vlogs still stay true to the definition of a single person addressing their audience and creating a self-made video which displays their own views and ideas. The one thing that has evolved over time is the size of the audience that most vlogs focus on. The origin of vlogs, as we’ve established, was when a man wanted to show his family where he’d moved to. Vlogs originally were geared towards smaller, familial audiences until the quest for fame took a hold of the vloggers. As a vlog grows, it begins to target larger audiences, becoming more of a soapbox on which to voice ideas and reach a large group of people. This idea alone makes it easy to see why so many people take interest in vlogging: you can talk into your webcam and have thousands, if not millions, of people hear your voice and listen to your ideas. Even more interesting is the fact that each audience member gains a sense of importance by the intimacy of a vlog: it feels like having a one-on-one conversation with somebody, and it’s easy to ignore the fact that so many other people are watching the exact same video and feeling the same sense of intimacy. So, while the audience of vlogs has drastically changed throughout the years, they still contain their same sense of personal, intimate conversations in which to share ideas and voice opinions.
The one threat that vlogs do face is the notion that superior vlogs belong outside of digital media and instead should be featured in more visible places, like television and radio. The Vlogbrothers’ success story is not all that unique: many educational vloggers have also gained fame in the world outside of the internet, and the television networks do their best to scout out prominent vlogs and offer the vloggers their own contract. Though the TV networks do pose a threat to the future of vlogging, it is doubtful that any prominent vloggers will accept the offers from the greedy networks. The style of vlogging is so drastically different from television because of the creative space that the filmmakers have when they are able to edit and produce their own videos. John Green recently posted a video about why he and Hank turn down offers from television shows, explaining that the entire point of a vlog is to create your own work and make it more personal. Using a television show as a medium from which to address a group of people is not nearly as effective as making your own YouTube video because the television networks will control what the vloggers say and do, making for a more edited, scripted show instead of the natural flow of a YouTube video. So, while this threat is still applicable, it is not likely that the greediness of larger corporations will put and end to online vlogs.