A Research Site Devoted to the Past and Future of Found Footage Film and Video

"The Literary and Artistic heritage of humanity should be used for partisan propaganda purposes." - Gil J. Wolman
“A lot of people who call themselves artists now are cultural critics who are using instruments other than just written language or spoken language to communicate their critical perspective.”
-Leslie Thornton

Friday, December 7, 2007

Some new Machinima: Mashups and Mourning

The film "The Tyrant" sets some interesting precedents in machinima. It is ostensibly a machinima mashup with political undertones. See for yourself.

I don't quite know what to make of this film. It is an interesting follow up to "The French Democracy" machinima, which dealt with the Paris Suburb Riots of 2006. This film, a memorial for the Virginia Tech Victims oscillates between a statistics and facts about the tragedy and images from Halo 3 presumably reenacting the massacre. It seems a bit trite to critique the massacre with this particular game but it's nevertheless a conscientious little film.

The Films of Scott McElroy

A nice example of avant-garde found-footage practices seeping onto the net.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

MPAA's Copyright Woes

The MPAA's software to sniff out copyright files on student run P2Ps has gotten the organization into some hot water. Apparently, the Ubuntu-based toolkit they used requires that the source code is published along with the program. This is obvious to all of us open source Linux proponents but could not be understood by the minds of the MPAA. If the source code were published hackers could easily develop new technology to get around copyright tracking. But guess what? TOO BAD--use of Ubantu programs requires it and if you don't follow the licensing rules YOU GET SUED. Did Ubuntu developer Matthew Garrett sue? No, like a nice guy he called and emailed the MPAA. Did they take the program down? No. So he had to call the ISP to do it. The MPAA forcefully had the program taken off their website last Tuesday. Thank you Matthew Garrett. Now if the MPAA could just learn something from this...

Canadian Copyright

Canada is gearing up to pass their own version of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act--only this one has teeth. Below is Michael Geist's take:

The Canadian government is about to introduce new copyright legislation that will be a complete sell-out to U.S. government and lobbyist demands. The new Canadian legislation will likely mirror the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act with strong anti-circumvention legislation that goes far beyond what is needed to comply with the World Intellectual Property Organization's Internet treaties. Moreover, it will not address the issues that concern millions of Canadians. For example, the Conservatives' promise to eliminate the private copying levy will likely be abandoned. There will be no flexible fair dealing. No parody exception. No time shifting exception. No device shifting exception. No expanded backup provision. Nothing that focuses on the issues of the ordinary Canadian.

Instead, the government will choose locks over learning, property over privacy, enforcement over education, (law)suits over security, lobbyists over librarians, and U.S. policy over a "Canadian-made" solution.

check out his YouTube video:

Also--check out this animation that addresses the recent privacy issues facebook has had:

Sunday, December 2, 2007

This Spartan Life on Net Neutrality

“This Spartan Life,” is a machinima show which some have dubbed “virtual reality TV.” The show, which takes place in the violent Halo 3 environment, follows a host who interviews significant media theoreticians, avant-garde artists and open source programmers inside the game. The show has attracted Criterion Collection creator and Voyager Company founder Bob Stein and avant-garde, found-footage filmmaker Peggy Ahwesh. The dramatic tension of the show is centered on the fact that interviews are over if the guest’s avatar is killed. Videos are available on YouTube and Machinima.com