Sunday, December 17, 2006

making and remixing movies

the time is now for making video footage readily available for consumption by the public, for the public creation of movies from this footage.

oohohoh. that sounds grand.


i doubt many of you have seen the yahoo research berkeley's international remix site where they made clips from various san francisco film festival movies available for remixing. users can select parts of movies, put them into a little bin for later use, and piece together parts from their bin into a full length feature. a brilliant app, perhaps a few years ahead of its time. see the demo.

now here's the idea. movies, when shot, produce massive amounts of unused film. it's edited out. hours upon hours. why not make available online all the footage, along with a script and storyboard? give the public a tool like international remix, of course with more features to manage all that data, and let them piece together a film. short films. long films. funny films. spam films. any film. give prizes for the best films. provide user forums. make sure the system surfaces the most examined portions of footage. let people recreate via cutting and pasting video, as they do today with text. let them incorporate other clips. their own clips.

i feel very inspired by this. youtube should do this with all the clips on their websie. of course, those clips aren't coherent like the all the footage for one particular movie. but this is something users would love to fiddle with, and i assure you that excellent movies (along with crappy ones!) and interesting and new ideas would emerge from such a space.

some reflection

now, don't get me wrong. i think movie directors, editors, cinematographers, the whole bunch, they do an excellent job. certainly there's need for these highly skilled people. however, just because we have journalists and writers doesn't mean the blogosphere, which is largely a reframing of various texts, cut and pasted, is worthless. it adds a new kind of worth. what bloggers work with is largely text, with some images, audio and video thrown in. i think it's time to throw in a lot more video, and changeable video. the unit is not the film, it is the frame (and even the frame could be changed, but let's start with the frame). i want the possibility of video spam, just like there are video blogs. you know when the spammers come that something worthwhile has been created.

it might be worth pointing out that i give some credence to lanier's thoughts concerning digital maoism, i just think he's a bit too reactionary. the public, typically a bunch of non-experts, can add a lot of value.

1 comment: said...

As a multimedia enthusiast, I think that that is a great idea. One technical thing I'd like to point out, though. It would be great if YouTube could provide all their footage for open use to the public. However, I think that all video uploaded to YouTube is automatically compressed into a lightweight Flash format that is easily stored and streamed. The quality just isn't up to par as something that's presentable outside of a 480p display. Even on a TV it's grainy! Hopefully this can be addressed in the near future.