Saturday, 24 October 2009

YouTube is 4 years old

With the world's biggest video sharing site nearing it's official fourth birthday we look at how YouTube took the world by storm. YouTube is the fourth most visited website on the Internet and has changed the way people ingest media and watch videos. It's shot the unlikeliest of candidates to stardom, and allowed videos of rare, wonderful,scary, creative and plain stupid things to be seen and shared by millions of users around the world.

YouTube invested millions into the users of their site and it paid off. YouTube didn't need to wait long before the users took control of the video site and made it their own. Crazes began to pop up over the web and as people around the world got better understanding of the video sharing concept it became the number one dumping ground for digital footage. Now at 4 years from it's official launch in November 2005 it's stronger than ever. Now that Google own the Video giant surely the success can only grow.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Kanye West and Spike Jonze Team Up

American hip-hop singer Kanye West screened his 11-minute short film, entitled We Were Once a Fairytale and directed by American director Spike Jonze, on his blog October 18.

Adding to the long list of American rappers who have tried their hand at acting, Kanye West can be commended for his acting role in We Were Once a Fairytale. But in usual Kanye style, he has done things slightly different by creating a non-mainstream short that challenges audiences to look a little deeper. The storyline follows Mr. West as he stumbles around a club dancing to his own song 'See you in my nightmares' from his last album '808's and Heartbreak'. From here it begins to become more of the fairytale (if you can call it that) that lends itself to the title of the film.

We Were Once a Fairytale was filmed in Los Angeles, California, over a two-day period in January 2009 . The short will eventually be made available for sale on iTunes (though no date has yet been set); Kanye West has since removed the video from his blog. The collaboration has been shown only once before, during the Los Angeles Film Festival on June 24.

From an audience point of view and a fan of short films and music I liked what I see and I think it's a positive thing that famous stars are working with directors to create something fresh rather than churning out the stereotypical 'get rich or die tryin' narrative. Although these style films are often biographical I think there is definitely room for more short films and full length feature films that take a different angle and engage the audience in a new way. Unfortunately for reasons unknown Kanye has removed the video from his Official Website but hopefully the film will be more widely available in HQ for fans.