A psychological phenomenon known as “Fear Of Missing Out” (FOMO) has currently gripped millennial culture, to the extent that it merits an entry in Wikipedia. FOMO, according to WP, is “a pervasive apprehension that others might be having rewarding experiences from which one is absent … FOMO perpetuates the fear that we have made the wrong decision on how to spend our time …”
Do the names PewDiePie, Smosh, or Jenna Marbles ring a bell? How about KSI, Ryan Higa, the Fine Brothers, Markiplier, Shane Dawson, Michelle Phan, or The Young Turks? If you’re not well below the age of twenty-five or don’t spend time with people who are, chances are you’ll be surprised to learn that these are the names of some of the top web celebs starting to give Hollywood a run for its money.
Just as music listening evolved through an open “pirated” platform into more industry-friendly technologies like iTunes and Pandora, movies and TV seem to be headed in the same direction, nudged into a new order by anarchist pirate “torrents” like Popcorn Time, where you can watch HD versions of many recent films—for free.
We’re talking films that are just now reaching your video and Netflix shelves, as well as older “classics” (e.g. THE GODFATHER trilogy, a lot of Disney animation, etc.). It’s the less pricey–and ethically problematic–alternative to the paid services offered by Netflix or on-demand streaming services (or for you few remaining Luddites, your local video store).
From a distance, a small group of people standing in the far corner of a lounge at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival’s Spring Studios is a curious sight. They’re all wearing headphones and face masks, standing clustered together, looking every which way, moving their heads around on occasion, but otherwise immobilized and silent. They’re immersed in one of a set of VRSE’s virtual worlds of their choosing, essentially becoming voyeurs embedded in places like a TV production studio, a political rally, or a far away refugee camp.
What is Vessel?
– it’s short form video
– by popular next generation video creators
– targeted at millennials
– online, on iPhones & iPads (Android soon)
– with a $2.99/month subscription fee
– giving subscribers early access to 135 channels
– and free viewing with ads after a 3 day window
– creators get 60% of sub fees, 70% of ad $$
BuzzFeed’s thriving video production arm is a good barometer for the state of video distribution on the web, so Ze Frank, president of BuzzFeed Motion Pictures, is a great source if you want to take measure of the market … the majority of that market is still controlled by YouTube, Frank said … Facebook, however, is gaining ground …“It’s very, very significant … Facebook’s … decision to autoplay video in users streams is changing how BuzzFeed produces video … [no audio in the opening few seconds has] fundamentally changed the way we think about the first five seconds of content.” (Martin Beck, Marketing Land, February 2015).
Before it won the top awards at the Sundance Film Festival and picked up a trio of Oscars, Damien Chazelle’s WHIPLASH began as a short film of the same name. Premiering at Sundance the year before the feature film would open it, the short picked up the jury prize in its U.S. Fiction category. (Jordan Raup, The Film Stage, 2015)
The 2015 Athena Film Festival, held recently on the Barnard College campus in NYC, had an abundance of fantastic film screenings, master classes and panels on offer. “Crowdfunding to Build Independence,” a workshop taught by Emily Best, the founder of Seed&Spark, was definitely among the highlights.
“Director Orlando von Einsiedel set out to chronicle the day-to-day dangers the rangers face in Virunga National Park, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He’s on the ground with them when they track down poachers and when they come upon gruesome evidence of the poachers’ merciless work. With the help of a young French journalist, he surreptitiously documents a chain of bribes involving a British company with designs on oil reserves in the park, a World Heritage Site. And he’s right in the middle of it — “it” being a war zone — when a military rebellion devastates the country’s eastern region.” (Sheri Linden, LA Times, November 6, 2014)