Tomas Rawlings and Ana Kronschnabl @ Video Vortex
The main question that was posed in this lecture was ‘Why is this conferention about Youtube, and not one of the other websites that allow people to watch video’s online?’ Because Youtube isn’t the first website that offers people to use videos and images in this manner. Take for instance plugincinema.com of pop.com. Been there, done that?
No, there is something special about Youtube that makes it as big as it is.
Ana Kronschnabl wrote a manifesto called pluginmanifesto which is based on the Dogme 95 manifesto that was written by filmmakers in 1995 to ‘express the goal of countering ‘certain tendencies’ towards ‘cosmetics’ over content in the cinema today’. Partly, the films made by these guidelines can be specifically used on the Web. Eventually, not much of this came true. So Kronschnabl decided to make a point, write a new manifesto and try to let us forget about all that Hollywood has taught us.
1. Never forget the medium and the viewing context: Always keep in mind the medium you make the film for. Even though there may be shifts between mediums. But right now a sort of just-do-it-ethic exists. Users just react on things they see in their own way. It can also be really interconnective. Everybody can use Youtube movies on their own website.
2. Filmmakers and geeks should be friends: Youtube is born because of the mashing of different mediums. People making films and people knowing how the show them to a big audience online. Watching videos on the web is made much easier with the launch of Youtube.
3. Narrative isn’t neccesary: In former [short] films all sorts of tricks were used to keep the film interesting without having any narrative, for example color or sound. This is a bit like the Youtube-vibe. Here films don’t need a narrative either to be interesting. There isn’t one way in naming the videos on Youtube. One is an Hollywood movie that is filmed, another is real life footage and another one is made by an user himself.
4. Films shouldn’t be 1,5 hour long: Short videos are perfect for the Web. It just depends on how you present it. But this is also a constraint of Youtube and the Web in general. People don’t take the time to watch a movie anymore.
5. Use codecs and compression creatively: There are limits to film online. Size should be limited and there is always the ‘problem’ of compression. But the trick is to use this problem in a creative way and play with it. Kronschnabl shows her own movie ‘George. The movie’ about her cat, that is compressed heavily. She uses the appearing pixels to make the movie look strange, weird and interesting, eventhough you are just watching a cat.
But what does this mean for the future of Youtube? One thing is sure, you can never know what the future of Youtube will bring us. But there are some ideas to keep in mind:
* The option to search within a video and not just search for the video itself. There are already some applications that offer this. For example Blinkx. [Explanation] It gives you the option to tag certain objects in a movie and add discriptions. This is also a very good opportunity for commercial use.
* More use of augmented reality. This means to bring the media more into the real. For example Eye of judgement. [Explanation] This has also lots of artistic opportunities.
* Seperate content from platform. Movies are not just webbrowser based. But think also of Skype or Yahoo pipes.
* You never know a technique untill it is used by real people. An example here is Skype again. People call their friends with Skype and let the application run for several days. This way the friends can hear everything of eachother, even hear them breath while they sleep.
To conclude a practical explanation why Youtube is such a good site to watch videos:
Click the image and search for the numbers.
1. The video itself. Easy to watch.
2. Embedded link code. Easy to paste into another website to show the video. And the name of the maker/uploader.
3. Recommendations. ‘If you like this you will probably like this’.
4. Ratingssystem. Shows how other viewers rate the content.
5. Comments and responses from other users.