may indymedia newsreal online

I uploaded the newsreal to enjoy.


I don't think I've mentioned here that I was selected about a month ago to be the new editor for Indymedia Newsreal.
It means getting submissions from producers in the mail and assembling from them a 28-minute package that then gets sent off to Free Speech TV and the newsreal dubbers in Seattle, who send out copies to all the subscribers. I may start authoring a DVD also.

The May Newsreal will be my first in this role. I'm excited but it's proving difficult because I've only recieved one 8-minute submission. Now sure what to do. If you're an indymedia videographer and want to submit something at the last minute via Internet, get in touch. gracias.

A Little Something For The Commute

Ok, this totally rocks. a talk show in a car. The latest one is about "belt-sander races."

I'm against driving, but if you have to commute in a car, at least doing something creative like this mitigates things somewhat. Plus, hey, it's car-pooling.

This is already one of my favorite vlogs. not just because of the gimmick, but the guy is really charismatic, and a good interviewer. And a good driver, too, I guess.

(via We Are The Media)


Video geek alert. Yesterday I installed Final Cut Pro 5 and one really cool new feature is "multiclips." Basically you can link together multiple clips shot with different cameras of the same thing and then really easily make an edit, clicking back and forth between the different angles like a TV producer doing live Superbowl coverage. (you know: "ready camera 2... camera 2. Camera 3, find me a close up of a ref... ready camera 3... camera 3... ready camera 1.... camera 1...")

So I tested it out with some footage I already had captured of an Earth First demonstration. It was super cool. Something that would have taken a day to piece together took about about 30 minutes. The results are not perfect, and I purposely cut back and forth too often just to demonstrate how easy it is. But it works, and it's a fun little clip; about 5 minutes and 11 MB.

DIY Dumpstering 101

About 2 years ago the Portland Indymedia video collective made a really cool and funny little video about dumpster-diving. The group has made a lot of cool videos, but right now the only way to get them online is using bit torrent and other peer-to-peer technology, and though I have always liked these methods in principle and in theory, sometimes it's a pain. The good thing about them is that you can save on bandwidth, and users get a fast download, because the download gets split up amongst a bunch of people who have the file.

The bad news is that as time passes, less people are sharing the file, until there might be zero peers that have it, or maybe just 1, if you have a reliable tracker/seeder that keeps offering the file. So then you have real slow downloads. There ought to be alternatives. We should be making better use of resources like, and we should, after an initial wave of popularity for new stuff, be offering stuff as regular http downloads.

Right now on my hosting service I have more drive space and bandwidth than I know what to do with, so as an experiment I'm going to offer DIY Dumpstering 101 right now as a good ol' http download. We'll see how my bandwidth usage goes up and if it's not crazygonuts then maybe I'll procede with more of the old pdx stuff. I also want to gather and upload a bunch of my older stuff too.

note that the file is huge (about 100 megs) and it's in DIVX format. For more information about how to play such files, see the page on portland indymedia about that. Also see more about the video on the portland indymedia site.

Probot vs. Postal Service

Here's my second (or third if you count the little test clip) video piece included, embedded, enclosed, in this blog. It's not a vlog, it's a blog that can, does, and will include media, and you'll be able to look at it with iTunes or FireAnt or that sorta thing.

Anyway, this little piece is called "Probot vs. The Postal Service." - it's basically a mashup, a juxtaposition of a video with a a different song than what original went with it. Probot is a sort of metal supergroup that includes Lemmy from Motorhead and Dave Grolsch of Nirvana. The original video also includes local Portland softporn legends The Suicide Girls and the original song was called "Shake Your Blood," I think. It's typical cockrock bullshit. I couldn't stand it, and even though the imagery raised my blood pressure, I also just got angry every time I saw it. So I got the idea of layering a totally different sort of song over it, as an experiment in detournement. The song - well, you'll see. I think it worked pretty well and it's pretty funny. I didn't change the audio at all, and I only changed the video by altering the speed in about 5 places in order to make some things sync up for more humorous effect.

I was just about to post this and then decided maybe it needs more explanation. Why did I do this? Aren't I just replacing one pop song with another and by using the visuals as-is just perpetuating the sexism in the original? I think to think that one would have to not really pay attention to the lyrics and feel of the new song. The Postal Service song is a great example of "Emo", which, in case you haven't heard, is a sort of sub-genre of independent pop music that is well-known for the open, honest display of feelings. It's antithetical to the sort of macho, chauvinist posturing that bands like Probot, and so much other rock music, display all the time, especially the medium of music videos, depending on objectification of women and a front of power and domination. So just the idea of Lemmy mouthing lines like "when I'm missing you to death" is really funny and thought-provoking, making a critique of the sexist fantasy in the original video just by drawing attention to the contast.

So, there you go, that's why I did it.

By the way, a technical note - I haven't had very many complaints about being able to play these files; I've been encoding them in mpeg-4 format, which is supposedly a standard, but, somehow mpeg-4s made on a Mac are different than those made on Windoze. So some windoze users have trouble, especially if they don't have a recent installation of Quicktime. Other (free) cross-platform players that should work are VLC and mPlayer.

Music Come Upon By Accident

I should have been continuing to wrap up my Juarez doc, but I spent a couple hours last night and today doing a little video that I've been planning to do for a week or so, made from clips I've shot with my digital still camera (which can take little videos) over the last few months.

I call it "Incidental Music."

It's all music that I just sort of accidentally experienced, and was able to whip out my camera to capture.

All of the bits are from Portland except for the first one, which is from Mexico, on the way from Mexico City to the ruins of Teotihuancan. The second is shot from the east bank of the Williamette River, looking across the water towards downtown and hearing, all that way, the Violent Femmes play at the Bite of Oregon festival. Then there's the bike/dance troupe called The Sprockettes, and then some members of The Trash Mountain Boys, and other musicians, doing a little improv bicyclized version of La Bamba - "Zoo Bomba" at a brunch a couple weekends ago, and finally some footage of The Golden Greats, some friends that started a pretty entertaining funk band while I was out of town. I got to see them play at a party I was at.

This is one of the only videos I have edited completely outside of the world of DV. So it was kind of weird. I'm not too happy with the crunchiness of the titles as they turned out on the encoded-for-interweb file. But the whole thing is pretty lo-fi. my still cam shoots in some AVI photojpeg codec, 15 fps, half-res, mono 8-bit audio. but despite these specs it sounds and looks okay in its original form. and not even that bad here. I just with the titles were a little sharper. oh well.

anyway, enjoy. This represents slices of some of the really fun times I've had this summer, symbolized and epitomized by live musical serendipity. There's almost nothing better than just stumbliing across great music.

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