Making a living from your creative work


I often write about interesting social media tools and sites. In the age of user-gen and social networks, there is no shortage of places where people can express themselves. As media creation and consumption patterns change how are writers, directors, musicians, and actors going to sustain themselves? Will it be possible for content creators to bypass the traditional distribution system all together? Could they make a living with their creative efforts by harnessing the power of the internet?


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A Remix Culture


I’m a fan of remixes and mashups. A couple years back mashups exploded onto the scene. One of the most downloaded albums of all time is Danger Mouse’s Grey Album – a creative mashup of JayZ’s black album and the Beatles’ White Album. The Grey Album was plagued by copyright issues and couldn’t be officially released but that only fueled demand and massive downloads via p2p networks.

They often say where audio goes video follows. Bands were crafting their own master pieces via their desktop computers long before it was possible to edit video on consumer gear. But with the current explosion in user generated content, large numbers of people are spitting out content for mass audiences consumption. It seems likely that the next evolution in user-gen might just be found within in a remix / mashup environment.

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Cinema 2.0


For the last few years, there has been a debate brewing about the death of the theatrical experience. With so many things fighting for people’s attention, and the downward trend in box office returns, I have often found myself wondering if the communal theatrical experience of viewing films on the large screen was in fact dying a slow death. Sure people enjoy going to the movies but the only thing that keeps the institution in tact is the release window that ensures a movie can only be seen in the theater when it is first released.

About six months ago I started planning a theatrical experiment of sorts. I wanted to see if I could mashup movies, music, gaming and a bit of theater into one show. This past weekend we staged the first screening in Philadelphia.

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Build a community around your blog with “Your Own Social Network”


Myspace, tagworld, bebo, and facebook. There are social networks for just about everything these days. But what if you want a simple social network for yourself, one that you can make totally your own?

THE FIND: Well Ning’s new “Your Own Social Network” might just be the answer for those who have been looking for a simple way to create their own social network.

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In an effort to diversify and partly because I am writing this from a plane while in route to Austin, I have decided to expand my social media column. In less than 48 hours the SXSW festival will kickoff in Austin.

In many ways SXSW is positioned well within the festival season. It is held between Sundance and Tribeca. But what really sets SXSW apart is its collision of film, music and interactivity. It is three festivals that happen within a span of two weeks.

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A Swarm of Angels


We live in a user generated world. On average about 40,000 new videos are uploaded to youTube everyday and millions are viewed. The quest to write the next great novel has been replaced with the desire to become the next great filmmaker. Traditionally the funding, production and distribution of movies has been an elitist pursuit which required large amounts of resources well beyond the reach of the average individual.

The digital revolution has made filmmaking possible for the masses. These days most computers ship with some type of video editing software. Thanks to improvements in imaging technology and falling prices, HD resolution cameras are becoming more common.

With all the advancements in technology the one side of filmmaking that has lagged behind is the concept of web based collaboration. Sure directors assemble a core team of collaborators, writers, producers, actors, editors and composers to name a few, but the current trend in social media has resulted in mostly passive user experiences until now.

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Social Networking on Steroids


I am always on a quest to find interesting social media tools. With the recent explosion in social networking sites, there seems to be a new site popping up daily. For me, I want a degree of control and I often find myself wishing that I could take elements from one social networking site and apply them to another.

A sense of community is the other element that draws me to social media. Is the community founded in ways that will allow it to grow, and prosper in a crowded space? Because let us be honest, a social network that cannot attract community members, will not last.

THE FIND: This week I wanted to focus on a next generation social network called Webjam, which is based out of the UK. It has been labeled a myspace on steroids, due to its rich feature set. This past week Webjam opened their beta site, which previously required registration to see its community’s pages.

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Getting social at Sundance


Each year thousands of film enthusiasts make the annual pilgrimage to Park City for the Sundance Film Festival. In the past I have made the trek, but due to a prior engagement I will not be able to attend this year. I love the sense of community that can be found at a festival, thanks to the diversity of films and people who attend. Missing this year’s festival got me thinking about how I might be able to create the experience virtually. [Read more…]

Create your own video network with vod:pod


I am a filmmaker by trade and after making two feature films, I have come to value the social interaction that can be found at a film festival. There is a sense of discovery and discussion that surrounds films during a festival, and I often find myself searching for simple ways to bring a sense of community to the video I place online.

vod:pod is a video community site that allows users to create pods, so they can collect, discuss and share videos with their family and friends.

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