Last nights Season Finale of ‘The Office’ ends in the epic “Office Wedding Dance’ (above). Leave it to ‘The Office’ to transcend mediums and spoof this popular viral in a way as… touching as the original. In fact, it’s probably more touching. We’ve been rooting for Pam and Jim for five seasons. We know the Dunder Mifflin crew in an intimate way that only television (At least, for the moment) can create.
I wrote about the original JK Wedding Dance previously and it’s now more important than being Sony’s #8 music video on YouTube (And I bet that will rise the ranks for a few days following the Office spoof). It’s a new kind of Traditional and New Media merge – One of content and ideas rather than technical or distribution paradigms. It sets a precedent that it’s ok for TV to copy the Web. Audiences will get it.
Sure, there are production snafus, but the 172 communication students (And boy, Com majors really are the same everywhere) who put together this one-take ‘lipdub‘ did a damn good job. Allegedly only took them two takes, but I assume hours of planning. Impressive stuff.
You know what else is impressive? Half a million views in two weeks. You know what is smart? Instead of removing the video from you YouTube due to copyright infringement, it is – you guessed it – Monetized.
Is the music industry finally starting to get it? Perhaps there IS hope in this new world! Now, lets find a way to get all video content monetized and end the damn Piracy Witch Hunt.
According to NewTeeVee the the JK Wedding Entrance Dance (above) is Sony’s 8th most popular music video on YouTube, with nearly 26 million hits.
When it was first released, Sony had a major problem. The song, Forever by Chris Brown, was their ‘property’. Lord knows Jill and Kevin Peterson didn’t pay no stinkin ASCAP fees. And now, my lord, it’s on YOUTUBE?!
If you were to mention an object related to a ‘high brow’ subject to my dad (A famous painting, an unheard-of-to-my-generation author, a book from the 15th century, or rare musical recording) he’d trace back its roots (In real time, no Googling) and then either bring out that object – The honest to god original – Or some other rare object directly related to it.
Earlier this afternoon, my mom sent me an e-mail with a link to the Oprah Black Eyed Peas Concert:
EDIT: Taken off YouTube due to copyright violation I say with a hint of irony. Here it is via Oprah.com:
And it took mere seconds to trace its roots in ‘classic’ weblore.
Before I get to my point, allow me to do some self congratulating give some background. I uploaded my first (horrible) video to the web in 2000. I used the Iomega Buzz to edit. Trust me, that wasn’t fun. My senior year of college, spring 2006, I pitched Google a webseries. A really cool webseries. It had functionality that YouTube can only now handle . They laughed at me.
I remember a fight with an ex-girlfriend after I had moved to LA, before I was gainfully employed, where she screamed “The only thing you have going for you is your stupid blog!” She was right, of course, but that didn’t prevent me from throwing a beer bottle onto the street (Sorry, Newport Beach) in a triumph of self righteousness. Of course, she was right. My blog was is stupid.
I was on Twitter in 2007 before it was dorky to be on Twitter because no one knew what the hell it was. Not that I was using it. But still, I had that account. And finally, for over two years, I’ve been working at one of the most well known New Media studios around. We’ve pumped out more high quality, web specific content, than probably any other independent shop. Hell, the major studio’s web divisions have all mostly closed up. For now.
There has been some discussion floating around the interwebs about Geoblocking, especially with the splash that Gemini Division is making. This isn’t really the binary issue that many make it out to be. 99% of content viewers hate it. And rightfully so. If you live outside the US you can’t watch a handful of online shows (Foreign Body, The All-For-Nots and Gemini Division to name a few) plus Hulu doesn’t work at all.
I’ve got a bit of a dipendecy on Hulu these days. Couldn’t live without it.
So is this Old Media butting their heads into what could World Wide awesomeness? Partially.
Fitting the square peg of traditional TV into the round one of Internet content is proving to be difficult. You want to make an online show with a real budget you need to get some big names behind you. Want to make it a bit easier you need to sell it internationally. These things take time and the online division of any studio is going to be run by a handful of people with a million things to do.
But saying “It’s this way because online studios don’t have enough people” is a total copout. There is more to it than the Crusty Old Suits not understanding. Generally, they understand more than we give them credit for.
More to say on the subject to stay tuned but I think there is a killer app waiting to be made. TubeMogul?
There is a great thread over at DVXUser about Adamo P. Cultraro getting his film, Corrado, off the ground. It’s a fascinating and inspiring read that I suggest any budding filmmaker check out. The thread is over 170 pages starting with preproduction and ending with the distribution of the film.
Align your own stars. That’s my take away. And that’s exactly what I am doing. It’s not one big push (Which was my major short coming last February when I first tried selling Earthquake) it’s a loooong race.
So where does that leave me and Earthquake LA? First of all, I am abandoning my previous theory of secrecy behind the project. I plan on beingChase Jarvis about the entire thing (That will make no sense to 99% of people here. If you want to get it, click the first link and watch Chase’s hour long presentation. What’s a photographer have to do with filmmaking? You’ll get it after watching).
Here is my plan of attack:
Step 1: Come up with a kick ass idea. — COMPLETE – A big earthquake hits Los Angeles. It traps five people with interconnected pasts in luxury apartment complex. Things get all LOST like. The earthquakes don’t stop. The pasts of our five heros are slowly revealed as they try to escape. It only gets worse.
Step 2: Hollywood hates to read. Show them something — COMPLETE – You see the result of that one post below. We originally cut a 2 minute teaser pilot. Things have changed a lot since then (Story wise) so it’s not totally relevant. During production in November things were crazy and we were not able to shoot all 8 pages. 3 pages of dialog were cut. Those were 3 important pages that under normal circumstances would have been shot. Regardless, the teaser shows production value, tone and scope well enough that it should entice someone to read the script. That’s the point of it.
Step 3: Get it OUT- That brings us up to the present. The teaser and script to Earthquake LA has been sent around to most of the major online content players. I’ve also got some… less traditional methods I plan to employ. I’ll give more insight into that once it gets going.
Note that Earthquake LA was originally conceived to be a web / new media show. It’s big but contained enough to work for under $1 million for 120 minutes of content. The flip side of that, of course, is it can be totally let out of the bag and made for network TV. What remains is interesting characters and a high concept. I am hard at work, in between everything else, writing a network pilot. That’s 30% 80% done and fairly easy to write since everything is already mapped out. All I have to do is make it BIGGER. And that’s fun.
Long time readers will remember Super Secret Project. I think the first post about that dates back two years. Super Secret Project morphed and evolved these last two years and is now something truly amazing. And ready for the world. While I started photography to keep my eye fresh I was always improving, rewriting and rethinking.
And now here we are. The Big One is ready to take on the world.
In the coming months I’ll reveal a lot more about the project and the inner workings of it.
But for now I leave you with this, a sneak peak at Super Secret Project AKA Earthquake L.A.