I’m feeling a little New Media biz overstimulated, a result of spending the weekend at BarCampLA, and then segueing directly into the Digital Hollywood conference.  Apparently, you can get too much of a good thing … if by “Good Thing” you also include in that little Venn Diagram:

  • Marketing directors who name-check “Minority Report” more than once per panel session when asked to ruminate on “Whither Advertising?”
  • VCs desperate to invest in anything with the word “mobile” in it (hey – my cat is mobile when she prowls the yard, hunting crickets, with a strong social aspect as she tries to catch the sparrows that twitter at her – the line forms to the right for those ready to dump $3M in Tier One Angel Funding on us)
  • Angry movie/TV producers, eking out a living from creative projects 15 years out of date, desperately searching for someone to write them a check to produce the script that every agency in town has rolled their eyes at
  • DRM technology salesmen who “guarantee” that their solution will prevent the video industry from following the music industry down the toilet (but who go silent when asked what major releases, specifically, can you not find on Pirate Bay?)
  • having to park in the “overflow” lot at the Santa Monica Civic Center, thus making we walk past the Rand Corp. headquarters repeatedly, thus probably landing me on a list of those to be rounded up & waterboarded by Information Retrieval Services and Michael Palin, sometime in the near future

So the weekly round-up of the best/funniest viral videos on the web is little delayed this week.

First, one that was sent to me because it stars a distant relative – Don LaFontaine aka “The Voice” aka “That Guy in the Movie Trailers Who Always Says ‘In A World…’ ”

The Five Biggest Voices in Hollywood – All in a Limo

This is a few years old, but I’m posting it because it’s funny, it gathers together the best voices in Hollywood with a pretty decent storyline, and because Don was The Man.  I can kinda do an imitation of his voice, and I have done so for many of my indie-film friends who want a sarcastic Don LaFontaine-esque big scary voice to underline the over-the-top aspect of their parodies.

Best lines: Don: “Nick Tate …”

Nick: “…a voice sixty-five million years in the making.”

Don: “Ominous.”

John Leader: “Mysterious.”

Nick [line delivered with a smirk as the camera does a close-up]: “Hung like a horse.”

OnionTV: Trekkies Revolt Because New Movie Isn’t Cheesy

This is worth watching if for no other reason that it reminds you how transparently awful 60s-era sci-fi was.  A while back, I watched the DVDs of the original series on a friends gigantor home theater, and was shocked to see how bad the makeup was, how the alien-world backdrops were clearly visible painted walls, and how everyone was sweating under the hot lights, even the Red Shirts (probably because they’d had a couple of stiff drinks over lunch to make them properly enthusiastic as they yelled “AAAgggh!” while off-camera prop artists chucked rubbery tentacles at them.

Play Him Off, Keyboard Cat

OK, this is one of those strange web videos that goes viral every once in a while for reasons that passeth all understanding.  I’ve been seeing it crop up on all the video-sharing sites, and blogs are starting to embed it on their pages.  Including this one.

I’m guessing that the dingbats over on 4Chan are somehow behind this one, and that there is some strange cosmic significance to the cat doing the Paul Schaeffer schtick, but I don’t really have time to delve deep down into it.  Or it’s just random & st00pid, and the point is that there is no real point, and we should all go back to reading our Sartre.

Enjoy.  Or endure. Whichever.

Lord of the Rings Look & Feel on a $5,000 Budget

This is impressive.

I can’t embed this here, so click on the link above, or go the the page “The Hunt for Gollum” to check this out.

The sidebar on Daily Motion claims that this film was made for less than $5,000, and the end credits make it clear that nobody was paid to appear in this film, nor is anyone making any money out of it. This is pure fanfic – and a strikingly good example of that.  The costumes and the travel budget to the various woods & gardens that they used for sets in this film alone would add up to far more than $5K.

Somebody loved this movie.

I hope that Peter Jackson, New Line’s assignors & HarperCollins just let this one be. If they’re smart, they will.  This film is not a copyright infringement.  Well, it kinda is … but what it is really, is a brilliant piece of marketing for all the fans of the LOTR trilogy, to keep them engaged with Tolkien’s world.  And yeah, the acting is a little stiff at points, and the pointy ears on the elf-chick are not good, but for all that, this is an enjoyable cinematic experience.

At some point, we’re going to figure out that the copyright laws actually are more of a hindrance to the creators of intellectual property like this, than they are of a help.  It took George Lucas a couple of decades to learn that the best way to communicate with his fan base was not via “cease and desist” letters, but through actually talking with some of the amateur fimmakers who felt so touched by his art that they wanted to make their own art so they could keep playing in his wonderful sandbox.

Just as newspapers are having to learn that they don’t own the news anymore – as if they ever really did – so too are TV and filmmakers going to have to learn in the years ahead that they don’t really “own” content that connects with, and inspires the audience in the way that the LOTR franchise so obviously connected with, and inspired these filmmakers. Check out this article for more on the prosumer impresarios.

Kudos, guys.  (And howinhell did you get all those people in the end credits to sign up to slave away for you for no $$ whatsoever?)

This is a huge hit over on DailyMotion, and some real effort went into making this.  I think that some of the early shots are "machinimation" from the various LOTR videogames.

This is a huge hit over on DailyMotion, and some real effort went into making this. I think that some of the early shots are "machinimation" from the various LOTR videogames.

Dirty Sexy Money

And last in the lineup is the NSFW entry, which shows what our money gets up to in its spare time.

This is apparently an ad for banks in Germany, and it shows the US Dollar getting busy with the Pound (that hussy!) who is apparently quite the little tramp…