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Interactive radio

With the invention of the internet it was predicted that both radio and TV would become niche artforms. Enjoyed by only the most dedicated fans. fortunately both platforms have evolved with the internet age.

Instead of content simply being presented to viewers/listeners it is now expected that content can also be interactive.  For radio this means that presenters are always asking listeners to ring in or join in on conversations on twitter. however as content interactivity is a new concept there is still a lot of room for it to be pushed further.

As part of a uni module we were asked to come up with a new idea to engage radio listeners.  My idea would utilise the power of smart phones. Most smart phones now have the option of video calls. video calls are something which could be used in more ways than just organizing board meetings. For a music show for instance a presenter could ask musicians to video call the show.  The presenter could then select a drummer,guitarist,singer,bassist from the incoming calls (a full band). The quickly gathered band could then do a cover of a well known song.

This would be great for audience interaction.  Using a stations website a live stream could be set up showing the ‘band’ playing their cover. Using hashtags the cover could then be discussed on twitter.

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Media Fast reflections

First off apologies for not posting this sooner. I actually completed the media fast a few days ago. However because of other commitments I haven’t had a chance to blog for a while.

To those who missed the first blog related to my media fast the aim was to go 24 hours with no media. This was an experiment to see how much reliance I have on media within my life.  The challenge meant going 24 hours without.

NO television
NO radio
NO films
NO video games
NO iPad, iPod
NO web
NO newspapers or magazines

I originally planned on doing the media fast on (09/03/13). this attempt however only lasted 5 hours.  I had a film shoot in the evening and although texting can work for organizing such an event it is often more practical to use Facebook/twitter. This first attempt immediately showed me that I rely on social media, at least for organization purposes.

My second (and successful) attempt took place on the 17/03/13). I made this attempt slightly easier for myself by specifically choosing 24 hours where I knew I would be busy. Aside from the things I had already planned,  I generally found myself doing things I’d been putting off for ages.  I got down to the large pile of washing up, applied for a job I wanted and went for a long run.

I wouldn’t say the 24 hours was hard but it definitely took planning. I’ve got so used to always having access to social media/internet/films and TV that it took me a minute to figure out what else I could be doing with my time.  The majority of my time is spent in front of one form of screen or another. Because most of my screen time is for uni or work this is unavoidable, however doing the 24 hour media fast has shown me that it is beneficial to take time away from the screen in order to refocus.

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Media fast

As part of a uni module I have been asked to partake in a 24 hour media fast. I will be starting this today (09/03/13 – 14:00). The end time will be 10/03/13 – 14:00. The exercise will be interesting as it will allow me to critically examine my relationship with mass media.

for the next 24 hours I will have:

NO television
NO radio
NO films
NO video games
NO iPad, iPod
NO web
NO newspapers or magazines

It would be impossible to go without my phone (at least for phoning and texting) so I will still have access to this.

I will document my media fast and then tomorrow I will upload a video sharing my experiences/results.

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remix video (Yes I went there)

Following on from my recent post about internet remixes I thought I would jump on the bandwagon of the latest fad and mix a screaming goat with a well known song.  This type of viral vido started when some one mixed said goat with a Taylor swift song.

This video was an experiment to try and see how many views I could get on a quickly made remix video (If you’ve read my recent post on the subject you will know my general feelings towards remixes). I didn’t get many views but I think this is because I missed the viral peak by a few days. By the time I uploaded my video there were already several versions online.

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Internet remixes, good or bad?

The Internet has always endorsed remaking or remixing existing work. A recent blog by filmmaker Kirby Ferguson argues that everything is a remix and that in order for creativity to prosper this process is absolutely necessary. This statement is definitely true about traditional films. A clear example of this is the Star Wars films. These films would have been far less entertaining had George Lucas not copied works by earlier Directors. (http://vimeo.com/19447662).  When it comes internet videos however does remixing/remaking really aid creativity?  I feel it doesn’t and will endeavor to determine why.

My main example for this post is the Harlem Shake. To the select few who aren’t familiar with Internet trends, The Harlem Shake is the latest video phenomenon to be circulating the web.  The original video consisted of a group of people wearing morph suits and doing a quirky dance in a bedroom. Like Gangham style before it the video quickly went viral and prompted other people to start doing their own versions. The interesting thing about this video is just how many versions have been made. Savvy business types have created Harlem shake promo videos, a squadron in the Norwegian army joined in the fun and virtually every university has at least one version. My course mates and me recently created our own Harlem shake. Although we created the video a tad too late (the video peaked early February) we still managed to get over 1500 views within 24 hours.

Now another example, I was recently involved in making a music video for a friends band.  It was the first time I’d been involved in such an endeavor so I put in serious time into the videos production. The video was far from perfect and I’d be lying if I said it was truly original (we took influence from several Billy Talent music videos) but in essence the work was our own unique creation. The video has been online for several weeks now and despite constant plugging has only just passed 500 views.  Compare this to the Harlem shake video. Our version of the Harlem shake was a remix and not a creative one at that. Despite this it was much more successful (as far as Youtube views are concerned) than the music video.

What conclusion can I make from this? People have been impressed by how the Harlem shake has engaged viewers and actively encouraged them to create their own versions.  Is this creativity a good thing though? I would argue no. Remixed videos are short-lived fads (The Gangham style remixes have already been all but forgotten).  I believe entertaining videos are still the original (ish) ones. However,  Because of the nature of the Internet people aren’t fussy as to what they are watching and this means that good quality videos have to fight against gimmicks like the Harlem Shake.

Heres the music video which I worked on.

and my courses version of the harlem shake

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Showreel

Having been at uni for almost 2 years I have created a respectable amount of films. In order to start being noticed by the industry I need to start thinking about creating a showreel.

I know the films I want to include in my showreel but am having some issues in regards to music.  Ideally I would be writing my own music, however due to time constraints this isn’t really possible. A song by one of my favorite artists would work perfectly for my type of showreel but before I can use it I need to obtain a recording license from the artist.  As a they are only a relatively big act I feel I stand a good chance of obtaining this. If and when I get the recording license I will be uploading my showreel. Watch this space………..

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