24 April 2008

the possible potential of that whole web 2.0 thing

Currently I'm working this temp job where the pace isn't that fast, essentially it's small burst of work surrounded by 10-20 minutes of nothing to do. It's longer than you need to catch a breath, but not long enough to go to lunch or really get into any writing. As a result, I spend a lot of that time either reading about the election, checking my email, or trying to learn what's out there on the internets.

One of the things I've found is IndieGoGo, a website that bills itself "an online social marketplace connecting filmmakers and fans to make independent film happen. The platform provides filmmakers the tools for project funding, recruiting, and promotion, while enabling the audience to discover and connect directly with filmmakers and the causes they support."

What does that mean exactly? Well, I'm not yet sure, but the website's potential seems to be that it would enable filmmakers who have projects to fund and promote an opportunity to connect with the people who are interested in that sort of thing. Think of it as online dating for indie film buffs.

Part of me wonders if this is something that could actually take hold (then again, I initially thought MySpace and Facebook would amount to nothing.

Honestly I haven't spent enough time on it to figure out how valuable it could be, but there's something about it I like. One of the nice features is a widget that you can place on blogs/websites/etc that will allow people to find your project as it needs funding. As an example, I threw one together for gravida. Pretty much it looks like this (to give you an idea):

The widget will take people to a site where they can contribute to whatever fundraising goal the filmmaker has established and the widget updates as the dollar amount goes up. Clearly this could be of great benefit to a filmmaker looking to expand fundraising beyond their parents and friends. Or, maybe nothing will come of it and they'll have to beg Mom and Dad anyway.

The website is really new (and I have no connection to it, by the way), so who knows. Check it out. Play around. See if it's worthwhile. Regardless, I kind of like how they're set up.

If you like the website, be my friend and stuff. Me, I think this stuff is kind of cool.

21 April 2008

on hype

As most of you are aware, I've had something of a busy year (as in, I've actually moved 3 times in the last 15 months) and part of the fallout is that I'm so very, very behind on my film watching. (I am, however, doing much better on my It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia viewing) There's a big stack of uber-indie DVDs I still have to watch and review and one of these days I'll get around to finishing a new script. I'll actually haven't yet watched No Country For Old Men, if that tells you how behind I am.

Anyway, that's all to say that I didn't see Juno this year until Oscar night (on the way to an Oscar party, actually). By that time, I'd heard from everyone alive how much I would love it. I'd even heard some of the backlash from my fellow bloggers. Actually, to be more accurate, I'd heard about it, not wanting to actually know what the backlash entailed before I saw the film.

So I went with my girlfriend to see it, pretty excited as I'm a big fan of Michael Cera and I thought Jason Reitman's Thank You For Smoking was highly underrated. Also, there was that buzz about the script. Apparently the wittiest, cleverest thing this side of Oscar Wilde.

Five minutes in and I can't get over how horrible the dialogue is, how forced it feels, like what someone is trying to imagine a teenager would say. And even if you concede that teenagers would say things like "honest to blog" (the horror), why do the adults speak the same way?

This is a pet peeve of mine, actually, when all the characters in a film have the same vocabulary. It isn't realistic. It isn't even probable. Tarantino does this all the time and it annoys the hell out of me.

Back to the point: I'm suffering through Juno, trying to figure out how this script got optioned, much less an Oscar nomination, and suddenly it shifts. The film turns serious and before I know it, I'm invested in the characters, but not hers as much as the rest of them. Maybe I can't get over the "honest to blog" bullshit, or maybe I just like those characters more than her, which is strange because the film so clearly wants to push her as the protagonist. I'm supposed to be in her camp.

I didn't really think much of it until recently when my girlfriend was telling me that she has a lot of trouble liking anything that she's heard is really good, as her expectations get built up to levels the films cannot actually reach. There's a ton of films that can easily fall under this heading: Napoleon Dynamite (her first example), The Sixth Sense, Juno, The Matrix, The Shawshank Redemption, and the list goes on.

And I think maybe I don't come across this all that often because I'm usually one of the first people I know to see something, so I have a fresh perspective, but there's gotta be something to the fact that the part of the film that got the most hype I found to be awful and the parts that no one talked about (you know, the non-flashy parts) I found to be so good.

I wonder what that is? Is public opinion that bad or is my reaction to it so severe? I hope not. Maybe it's a combination. I don't really know.

19 April 2008