21st Century Media.
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
  Get your webcams ready.
A recently released article on NYTimes.com has thousands scrambling to make dumb videos of themselves singing Backstreet Boys songs into a hairbrush. According to David Halbfinger, talent agencies, particularly United Talent, are now scouring web videos to find fresh faces and new marketing opportunities. In addition, they are making deals with producers and directors of such videos, introducing them to an increasingly competitive industry that would otherwise be nearly out of reach.

I can see the appeal, but personally, I think about 3/4 of the user-generated web videos online are pure crap. Who is really thatinterested in a 20 second clip of a pretty Japanese girl posing for a camera, or some desperate 35-year-old guy's reply and analysis of Lonelygirl15's last video? But I guess that's what talent agents do - weed out actual entertainment value and production skill from the millions of people worldwide who just want to be famous.

And some of the stuff that I think they should take note of? Things like The Ghana Youth Photo Project, a very interesting video and one of the most powerful things I've seen on YouTube (which I guess isn't saying much, but oh well). I know they're going for what's going to appeal to the American public, and documentaries aren't exactly valuable materials to the advertising world, but I hope it means that some of the people that are doing great things and putting them online will get noticed.

Also, in the related realm of powerful web videos, watch Execution of a Teenage Girl, about a 16-year-old from Iran accused of "crimes against chastity." It's long, but it will change your life.
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