Michel Gondry @ Apple Store in SoHo 01.11.07

Posted on January 4, 2008. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , |

indieWIRE Presents: Michel Gondry, Filmmaker, Be Kind Rewind

Filmmaker Michel Gondry will participate in a discussion and show scenes from his latest film, Be Kind Rewind, which stars Jack Black and Mos Def. When a man whose body accidentally becomes magnetized unintentionally erases every tape in his friend’s video store, the pair set out to remake the lost films, including Back to the Future and The Lion King. Be Kind Rewind was edited with Apple’s Final Cut Pro software. The event will be moderated by indieWIRE Editor-In-Chief, Eugene Hernandez.
January 11, 7:00 p.m., Apple Store in SoHo

Michel Gondry directed this video for The White Stripes, one of my favorites.

Alas, I will be working late that evening so I can’t go.

…Luckily there’s a neat screening happening this weekend that I can attend:

4:45 PM, SUNDAY, JANUARY 6th 2008
PIONEER THEATER, 155 East 3rd Street (Between Ave A and B) NYC

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Blogging from within Joost

Posted on July 16, 2007. Filed under: blogging in joost, Joost, Joost Update, Uncategorized |

This entry is a test to see if the blogging tool within Joost is functional.

Earlier today I tried to use Joost and it crashed four times. I reinstalled the latest version and noticed this new service.

If this does actually work, it is a smart way for Joost to assist bloggers (supporters and critics) who are reviewing their updates. I can watch Joost programs and blog about them in real time… If it works.


– image via my flickr stream

So, it worked. The first changes I feel Joost should make to their blogging module is to provide the option to add tags, because the default is “uncategorized”.

I see this blogging option being beneficial to more than just Joost… Besides making it easier for Joost to get free promo through bloggers, anyone who wishes to review, document, or expand on any content within Joost now has the option to do so in real time.

If Joost ever gets into the live streaming business, anyone in the world could liveblog a conference regardless of whether they were actually there in person – as long as they could watch and blog within Joost.


UPDATE: The “blog this” option has been available since May, thanks in part to a beta tester’s suggestion:

Fri, Apr 06, 2007, 21:09
FAQ Discussions » Feature requests
A quick ‘Blog about this show’ button
A quick ‘Blog about this show’ and a ‘Read blogs about this show’ button would be pretty neat. So people can easily write about shows.

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Weekend Movie Review: La Vie En Rose

Posted on June 10, 2007. Filed under: Uncategorized |

I saw the biopic La Vie En Rose yesterday at the Chelsea Clearview Cinema. I went with The Barnes who (as I’ve mentioned before) is always turning me on to interesting things to do and see. I was missing Paris and I love Edith Piaf so this was how I ended up abandoning dancing around to Queens of the Stone Age’s new album Era Vulgaris and classic Heart songs to throw on a skirt and my black flats so I could take the J train into the city.

I met Barnes in Union Square around 3pm where I was watching old men play chess (a favorite). When we entered the Clearview theater, the first thing I noticed was that it was completely packed for a 4pm screening. By packed, I mean we had to sit in the neck craning front row. Sharing a soda with Barnes is easy – I keep my straw sticking out the longest so that we don’t get confused and end up putting our lips around each other’s gross spitty straws. Needless to say, I don’t like sharing straws.

Next to me was an old man who throughout the film was either sneaking peeks of my neat tee or my boobs, but I choose to believe it was the tee. The lights went down and you could hear a pin drop, and a cough, but everyone was in breathless anticipation. You could feel it all around you, and this is why I know that the digital revolution (as much as I love it) will NEVER replace the theater experience.

Since this film just came out, I won’t give away much. However I will allow that it is a dramatic and often humorous retelling of Edith Piaf’s life — from being rescued from her abusive mother and grandmother by her father, her time living in her father’s mother’s brothel and bonding with the prostitutes, joining the circus with her father, and later singing on the streets to support herself and his dependency to alcohol, and through her rise as The Little Sparrow into a world renowned artist. This film is in French with English subtitles.
The film alternates between scenes from her last years and her years growing up. The contrast at times, such as seeing her vivaciously (often drunkenly) singing on a street corner for her supper and then suddenly bedridden, a little sack of bones and skin thanks to her alcohol/drug abuse and depression, was very emotionally provocative.

I thought that Marion Cotillard did a fantastic job portraying Edith Piaf from a young adult to a near death woman in her forties (looking about 80).

In this film, Edith Piaf was haunted by memories of a traumatic/poverty stricken upbringing, a broken heart, and several addictions that all seemed to fuel each other, including her art. Like many female vocalists with troubled lives (but who isn’t troubled), her voice carried so much emotion that it swept up the audience in a fevered state of rapture. And their adoration gave her a reason to live, but the energy that it took to give what they wanted ultimately was (in my opinion) the primary factor behind her death.

When I was going through a hard time a few years ago, I used to listen to her music every night for months straight so that I could fall asleep. I would always seem to wake up to La Vie En Rose or Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien. Watching her sing this song made me have some sort of emotional breakdown in the theater. I couldn’t stop the tears from falling and I had no tissues.

It was a combination of my own personal memories, Edith’s voice, and the acting.

This is why I love films and want to make them. To make something that touches people on several levels all at the same time, and (if done well) that they can revisit at different periods in their lives and get something entirely new out of it — this is what I dream of doing someday.

New York Times Review of La Vie En Rose – I appreciate this review because it does objectively point out some perceived flaws of the film. However, I feel that the film was not trying to give you any specific understanding of Edith Piaf. She was a legend with a dedicated and still growing fan base and so rather than try to definitively answer “Who was Piaf?”, it presents portions of her life, and songs, and some personal documented insights that give you the individual the opportunity to form your own answer.

I feel that the best kind of biopic provides a combination of fact and artistic license on those facts, but ultimately gets that the audience has already formed their own perception of the artist and simply provides other ingredients to enrich that private understanding.

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Inside Joost: 10.2

Posted on May 15, 2007. Filed under: Uncategorized |

If you commented on my last Joost posting, I sent you an invite thanks to Joost for Friends.

10.2 Notes

Since my last update, a lot more channels and features have been added. Up until now, I wasn’t very impressed but while scrolling through a wide range of interest specific channel offerings, I began to see tangible proof of a future where “prime time” would be an archaic term, and niche interest communities being the bread and butter for future producers.

Cool Channels

* Fueled By Ramen: Top Selling Artists – Several major labels already have channels in Joost, and I found it interesting (but not surprising) that indie label Fueled By Ramen (a smaller company but parent to big acts such as Panic! At The Disco) had decided to join the flock. They are one example of many indie companies circumventing Big Media to promote their talent.

The EPK is no longer just a tool to perk the interest of music video channels. Why wait for them when you could potentially reach millions of future fans via p2p video streaming applications like Joost? Vpod and Kyte TV are also developing solutions for reaching a global audience in real time, high quality video.

I think that the future format and content of EPKs in general should be designed with the idea that if I look up any band’s name in a p2p app or search engine, I should be given a lot of content options, no matter how “big” the band happens to be at that particular time. The more content a band can provide, offered strategically and creatively, the better chance they have of building a loyal fan base.

* Horror Channel – Whoa! All horror, all the time? Did somebody read my mind? Description: The Horror Channel is the first 24/7 multi-platform programming network in the US to be dedicated to the horror genre.

Before you can access it, you have to indicate that you are over 18. Woohoo! Check out their partners who will be involved in creating original programming for the network:

  George Romero – Director, Screenwriter, Actor
  Wes Craven – Director, Screenwriter, Producer
  John Carpenter – Director, Screenwriter, Composer
  Roger Corman – Producer, Director
  Don Coscarelli – Director, Writer, Producer
  Guillermo del Toro – Director
  John Esposito – Screenwriter, Producer
  Mick Garris – Director
  Stuart Gordon – Director, Screenwriter
  Sid Haig – Producer, Actor
  Gunnar Hansen – Actor
  Tobe Hooper – Director
  Lloyd Kaufman – Director, Screenwriter, Producer, Actor
  Alfredo Leone – Producer, Writer, Director, Inventor
  Philippe Mora – Director
  Lucky McKee – Director
  Tom Monteleone – Author
  Greg Nicotero – Special Effects Artist (KNB), Actor
  Robert Parigi – Writer, Director
  Mark Pavia – Writer, Director
  Eli Roth – Director
  David J. Skal – Horror Historian, Author
  F. Paul Wilson – Author
  Rob Zombie – Musician, Director

I’m going to have a friggin’ heart attack!

* The Recipe Channel – I will probably not use this. But I thought this was a useful, practical, and cute example of how niche interests will change the way video content is developed and distributed. Imagine people who actually enjoy cooking, watching The Recipe Channel through Joost along with millions of other viewers with the option to chat, share recipes, all in real time.

* Nichelodeon: Ren & Stimpy – All Ren & Stimpy, all the time. Viacom is offering a lot of channel options such as this within Joost, and I am interested to see how else they will leverage existing fan bases to build communities around them.


~ When I logged in to version 10.2, I was asked for my full name and birth date. I wonder how this information drives search results and channel suggestions.

~ “Staff Picks” and “Most Popular” are more prominently displayed in the channel catalog. Some interesting info: LX TV is currently one of the most popular channels within Joost. Hm! I think it’s a totally boring show but hey – apparently a lot of people are into lifestyle “what’s hot to check out in this city” programming. Good for them!

Lair Wrap Up

I am now officially excited. Joost is still buggy (new version crashed on me several times this morning) but it’s offerings seem to grow more robust with every iteration, thanks to partnerships with Big Media and independent production companies providing a lot of cool content. Joost will certainly have competitors raising the stakes, and the end result for individuals will ideally be an amazing product (Joost or not) that allows them to watch what they want, when they want, with whoever they want, on whatever they want.

I am curious to see how Joost is going to work with mobile devices and recorded live events. There are so many interesting applications for Joost beyond infotainment..

Imagine a complicated/historical surgical procedure being done in one part of the world, while med students from any country were able to login to a secured Joost channel to participate in a moderated overview of the process – chatting in real time while watching the procedure on their tvs, in classrooms, on their mobile device, etc. etc. etc. Ideas would be shared, breakthroughs would be made, and possibly future lives would be saved. Wow.

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Free tickets for New York City Ballet this weekend!

Posted on April 25, 2007. Filed under: Uncategorized |

– via Duncan’s Shakespeare

I loved this remake, and I have always wanted to see this timeless story played out on stage, with dancing.

Via BookOfJoe:

Here’s today’s Times item in its entirety.

Free ‘Romeo’ at City Ballet

New York City Ballet has announced that it is offering free tickets to a final dress rehearsal of its new production of “Romeo and Juliet” on April 29. The tickets will be distributed beginning at 9 a.m. on Sunday at the New York State Theater box office. “I’ve wanted to do this for years,” said Peter Martins, the ballet master in chief of City Ballet and the choreographer of “Romeo and Juliet,” which is to open on May 1. “We finally found someone to underwrite it.” CIT Group is the sponsor of the rehearsal and also of the $15 tickets available throughout the spring season. Mr. Martins said these gestures were partly a tribute to Lincoln Kirstein, the co-founder of City Ballet, whose birthday centennial will be celebrated throughout the season. “He believed that there could be an American audience for ballet,” Mr. Martins said. “And he was right.”

My Edit: This already happened. Sorry. Mi malo.

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0.9.2 Joost Update

Posted on April 20, 2007. Filed under: Uncategorized |

On April 16, I did a brief update on some changes in Joost, mentioning the inclusion of an MTV Channel. Now that I have some time to be more thorough, here’s some interesting tidbits:


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MTV News Virginia Tech coverage & The nature of “instant” reporting

Posted on April 17, 2007. Filed under: Uncategorized |

I sent an email to production/editorial that looked something like this a few minutes ago…

**At 10:54pm, this show was updated with the third and final segment of the MTV News Presents: Voices From Virginia live report.**

Show Title: Voices from Virginia

Show Description: See VT students talk with Sway and John Norris on the Blacksburg campus, a timeline of events and how people reacted online.

1 — The Virginia Tech Tragedy
2 — VT Students Share Their Pain
3 — The Online Reaction


I did have something lengthy to say about my experience contributing to MTV News’ coverage of the Virginia Tech shooting and aftermath.  I kept it in my head all day, but now that I am finally able to relax, all I want to do is go home and sleep.

Brief Brain Sputters

… I saw a report on CNN that used MySpace profiles to provide details on the dead victims. I thought this was beyond creepy. Imagine – your MySpace profile used as an obit.

… For our report/interview with misidentified shooter Wayne Chiang, I had to search online for current photos of him.

His Livejournal Account –  Facebook Photo Gallery

I wonder, will future journalism classes include information on best practices in online tracking of leads from citizen journalists, finding current photos, identifying threads? I bet they will. The times, they are a changing.

Tomorrow, hopefully I (and the rest of my coworkers) can react to what happened as individuals. By that I mean, be able to find time to privately grieve and process it all like everyone else. This is my first time  helping to cover a tragedy like this, and there was a moment today where the thought flashed briefly that I just didn’t have time to feel anything. I wonder how others in similar roles deal – Probably in the same way. You get the job done – get the story/package/photo published – and then, later, you can grieve.

Edit: While rushing from one end of the newsroom to the other, the most random thing happened that (because of what was going on today) I couldn’t even appreciate. I hear a familiar voice, look up, and who is in the hallway with me? Snoop Dogg. It was too much for me – My mind immediately went blank and I scooted around him to locate the senior producer to ask him my question.

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Mocking High Achievers Day, Salary and Dress-Up Fun

Posted on April 5, 2007. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Maryland Scout Earns All 121 Merit Badges – and then afterwards, a major wedgie.


That’s all… I found a few other forward thinking, determined individuals to make fun of but decided that I don’t have enough energy or initiative to bash them with my insanely witty commentary.

In other news, SalaryScout perked my interest last night. It is a (beta) network of users seeking fairness in compensation and benefits. According to buzzshout.com, you can discover your true value in the marketplace and demand what you’re worth.

… I don’t know if, after figuring out that others make more than me, *big shock* I am going to march into my boss’s office and “demand” anything. But, I registered and plan on snooping around later this weekend. Right now there are only 4685 members but I’ll let you know if I find anything interesting.

Polyvore is dress-up for grown-ups! Drag and drop customized outfits and share with friends. It’s like a combination of flickr and streetpeeper. (Thanks Ju)

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Ahoy, mates.

Posted on March 28, 2007. Filed under: Uncategorized |

I will be in Louisiana from today until April 2nd.  Hopefully I won’t have time to blog, however I will be bringing my video camera and will probably post some sort of travel diary snippet next week. It won’t be anything to the degree of justin.tv, but I think that’s a good thing. Some elements of my life are on a need to know basis.

If you start to miss me and it tickles your fancy, check the twitter.

Happy Trails!

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Rethinking Autism

Posted on February 22, 2007. Filed under: Amanda Baggs, Uncategorized, videos I like, YouTube, Zadi Diaz |

Amanda Baggs creates one of the most original, thought-provoking videos I have seen in… well, ever.

via Zadi Diaz

I was intruiged by her channel description:

“This channel will mostly contain videos made about autistic liberation and disability rights, for the autistic self-advocacy website autistics.org. It also contains a few more personal videos. Website: http://ballastexistenz.autistics.org/”

..I worked for a special needs school in CA for two and a half years, and up until that experience it never really occured to me in my daily life that people with Autism had much of a viewpoint on anything. This is an honest admission, and clearly after that experience my perception changed. I hope you watch this video because it’s a definite eye opener.

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