Archive for January, 2007

365 Days of Gorgeous Portraits

January 31, 2007

365

Stephanie Bartosiewicz – Libertine / Studio

365 Portraits is a brand new photography project run by Bill Wadman. Bill is a Brooklyn based photographer aiming to shoot a portrait-a-day for the next year. Bill started the project at the beginning of January, giving us ample time to follow the project as it continues.

His portraits are stunning. If you’re lucky enough to live in the New York area and want to be a part of the project, Bill is looking for subjects. This is a great opportunity to have your portrait taken by an amazing photographer.

If you want to see more of Bill’s work, here’s his portfolio.

– chris

$20 for a Bottle of Water

January 31, 2007

Charity: Water is a great new initiative to help provide clean water sources in developing countries. Playing off the concept of ridiculously priced bottled water, they’ve decided to sell their own bottled water for $20. Their ‘ridiculous’ price pays for the creation of new water sources. For $4,000 they can create a well that will provide 15 years of clean water to a small village.

– chris

Charity Bottles

Ask a Ninja Heading to the Bank

January 30, 2007

askaninja

NewTeeVee is reporting that Ask a Ninja has just received a huge payday from Federated Media, a well-respected advertising network. Apparently, the Ask A Ninja crew has been guaranteed at least $300,000 a year if they maintain their current growth. The backing of Federated Media is further proof that web shows are a promising market.

We mentioned Ask a Ninja a few days ago in our post about YouTube’s plan for revenue sharing.

– chris

Homebrewed Animated Feature Goes to Sundance

January 30, 2007

Blue

M dot Strange is the director of the beautifully bizarre movie “We are the Strange”, a film that just made its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. M dot animated the film in his apartment over the last three years, mixing stop-motion, CGI, and 8-bit graphics to create an effect he calls “Str8nime”.

Over the last six months, M dot video blogged about the end of his production, culminating in the release of his trailer and his acceptance to Sundance. He built up an impressive and devoted audience that are salivating to watch his feature in its entirety.

So far I have only seen the trailer, but it is incredibly engaging. I’ve never seen anything quite like it. M dot has says that if he doesn’t secure distribution he’ll release the film onto the web himself.

For an in-depth look into the making of the film be sure to check out the official site and M dot’s blog.

Here’s the trailer.

– chris

The Tiny Revolving Kitchen

January 30, 2007

via TreeHugger

CC Concepts has created the “Clever Kitchen”, a hide-a-way, revolving kitchen designed to reduce its spacial impact. They have succeed in taking up less that 20sq/ft of floorspace, not too shabby. The design is pretty slick and I’ll admit, hilarious. It includes an impressive amount of shelf space, a microwave, sink, dishwasher and even an espresso machine! There’s no oven yet so you’ll have to have Thanksgiving at someone else’s house.

fullblue

I’d love to try one of these guys out in the office. I think it would optimize our work to eating ratio. CC Concepts, if you’re listening, we are based in Cambridge, MA. Thanks in advance!

– chris

Beautiful Photo Retouching

January 29, 2007

Christiane Beaulieu has a beautiful photo retouching portfolio. We’re always interested to see how people showcase their work and Christiane has done an amazing job. Her portfolio is simple, sleek and very effective at highlighting her skills. The site is built in flash and has a very interesting interface. You can check it out here.

Photo Retouching

Before & After

 

– chris

YouTube to Share Ad Revenue

January 29, 2007

Chad Hurley, the CEO of YouTube, has announced that YouTube will be sharing ad revenue with content producers in the near future. In a video captured at the World Economic Forum, Hurley went on to explain that they wanted to first create a community, then generate revenue for content creators. They plan on rolling out the new features in the next couple of months.

Cutting content creators in on profits isn’t a new game, especially in the online video arena. Scott Kirsner, the editor for Cinematech, has put together a great guide to monetizing web video.

The best place to see many of these techniques in action are web shows. Rocketboom, ZeFrank’s the Show, and Ask a Ninja are among the most popular shows on the Internet and they’re all profitable, but it wasn’t always that way. They’ve all had to pioneer new ways to generate revenue in unproven markets. Rocketboom shoots custom ads for big clients. ZeFrank and Ask a Ninja take donations from their viewers and in return let them put little messages under the next days show.

YouTube’s revenue sharing will make it easier for smaller shows to reach profitability and thus entice even more people to get started. I can’t wait to see the next generation.

– chris

“A Girl Like Me” – An amateur filmmaker address hard issues.

January 28, 2007

“A Girl like Me” is a documentary by Kira Davis. Kira is a high school filmmaker whose work is being noticed both at film festivals and on the web. “A Girl like Me” was made for Kira’s high school literature class and is a moving look at the internal manifestations of racism among young African-American girls.

The film is a product of Kira’s desire to recreate the “doll test” done by Dr. Kenneth Clark for the Brown vs. The Board of Education trial. Dr. Clark asked young African-American children if they would prefer to own a white doll or a black doll. Resoundingly, the children choose the white dolls. Dr. Clark conducted his experiments in 1964; Kira wanted to see how the results would differ 41 years since school desegregation.

“A Girl Like Me” was accepted to the Media Matters Film Festival, where it can now be seen online. It has also made its way on to YouTube where it has been watched over 100,000 times.


Kira’s film is not perfect. There are many technical mistakes that a more experienced filmmaker would not make. But I would argue her that her ‘mistakes’ actually make her story more compelling. It doesn’t matter that the framing isn’t perfect, the pacing is a little off and the sound is bad. Her film feels genuine. I think that may be one of the reasons that so many people have gravitated to it.

You can have the most beautiful 10 minute steadycam shot that has ever been recorded, but if your subject isn’t interesting, no one is going to see it.

– chris

New Prints from Sam Brown

January 26, 2007

I just noticed that Sam Brown has some great new prints on sale for February! If you don’t know Sam, you should head to his website explodingdog.com and check out his work.

Sam’s drawings are based on titles submitted by his audience. He’s a true storyteller, marrying his drawings to their titles in pleasantly unexpected ways.

My favorite of the three is below.

lets go home

“lets go home”

Sam is currently doing a special series on Signal vs. Noise, the 37signals blog — so be sure to check that out.

Sam works on explodingdog full-time and has been doing so since 2000.

– chris

DVGuru is Closing

January 25, 2007

DVGuru

A few days ago Nick Denton from Valleywag reported that AOL is going to be closing down their ‘unpopular’ blogs. Any blog in AOL’s network that receives less than a million hits a month will probably be phased out by the end of the month. One of the blogs on the chopping block is DVGuru, which is one of the leading filmmaking blogs. It’s unfortunate that AOL feels they have to shut down these blogs, especially for those of us who read them.

I’m surprised that DVGuru hasn’t said anything about their closure yet, it’d be nice to hear the writers sign off about how they feel. The argument for closure is essentially that niche blogs don’t bring in enough advertising revenue relative to their operating costs.

It’ll be interesting to see how the DVGuru departure effects the other blogs in the space. I guess some of us will have to step it up.

– chris