31 Replies Latest reply: Mar 20, 2012 10:40 AM by Matt Dubuque RSS

    THANKS EVERYONE!  MY SHORT FILM TWITTER TIME IS NOW DONE!

    Matt Dubuque Community Member

      At long last, after some daunting technical challenges, my short film Twitter Time is complete.


      I faced some withering criticism from members of this forum for shortcomings in the film.  I took this advice to heart and no person, in my view, can legitimately claim the first part is boring.  Quite the opposite!

       

      I listed Bill Hunt, Colin Brougham, Jim Simon, Shooternz, robodog2 and joebloepremiere for a heartfelt thanks in the credits.

       

      Thanks to all; you made it a much, much better film!

       

        • 1. Re: THANKS EVERYONE!  MY SHORT FILM TWITTER TIME IS NOW DONE!
          Community Member

          ============

          Thanks to all; you made it a much, much better film!

          ==========

          actually... Matt... YOU made it much better.  It is in fact much better.

           

          my only criticism and it is very small one, cause what you did is OK.. it works OK...especially being the last clip - is this:

          ( take with grain of salt as its just my opinion.. and what you did actually WORKS ok...)

           

          instead of that duplicate clip of you walking away from camera, into forest, uphill etc...which is about 10 secs maybe ?... maybe some still images of forests and maps of forests (topographical ? ), state park forest landcapes... in my head I see a whole bunch of images of forests and cool landscapes and medium shots and maps and they gradually get introduced to audience faster and faster and faster ....back to 'twitter time' overload....

           

          so that way I start with your info overload and our general lack ability to focus and appreciation of what takes 'time'.. to taking time and appreciating it (where you take me after the intro ).. and at end instead of duplicate shot I get many shots of the beauty of forests, trees, land that is 'protected' and cared for by others like you, but oddly the end also pushes the 'twitter' theme.. by going faster and faster and faster... so I end up feeling very strongly that we need to slow down at end ...

           

          Just a thought... and honestly I love what you did.. it is much better than before !  Good going !

           

          ps.. i almost feel bad for having said this , cause its really good just the way it is...


          • 2. Re: THANKS EVERYONE!  MY SHORT FILM TWITTER TIME IS NOW DONE!
            Community Member

            what we wish and what we have

             

            sometimes you live with what you have instead of what you wish...

            my own experience with this " editing" fact of life... is that sometimes I want to put something somewhere on timeline but I simply dont have the shot... it wasn't given to me by the production, or I didnt get the shot myself ( if I was the one shooting it ).

             

            for example, a little xmas tree camera test was 'supposed' to have a final shot of this sad little xmas tree in a home at night , decorated and lit up .. through a window ( looking from outside into house and seeing beautiful tree in window ).

             

            so I have ...as final shot... cold outside, dark, looking at nice warm house ( to many this would mean ' home ' ).. with a transformed xmas tree.... sad to beautiful.

             

            I never got the shot... nor did I find a still image on web that I could use in place of that shot...

             

            So I ended the test movie without having the ending I wanted.

             

            As far as I'm concerned, that's life.... and you end up with what you have... not what you wished for.

             

            The only thing I can do if there is ever a 'next time' is get that shot when I can.... if I can.... and move on.

             

            Sooooo, my above criticism re: the duplicate clip you have .... believe me... it works OK.. and I'm just sorta 'dreaming' at your expense when I offer any criticism at all...

             

            I love what you did, great job, and thank you so much for sharing what you've done !

            • 3. Re: THANKS EVERYONE!  MY SHORT FILM TWITTER TIME IS NOW DONE!
              Matt Dubuque Community Member

              Thanks Able!

               

              I found it was a very helpful technique that I learned here.

               

              To QUICKLY improve a film, ask people what they think is the WORST thing about your film and listen closely to the responses.

               

              Last year I received lots of comments that the first part of the film is boring.  Clearly it is not boring now.

               

              My editor and I adopted this technique during the final edits.

               

              What is the WORST thing about the film now?  we asked each other.

               

              We kept improving what sucked and came up with a much better product.

               

              Very efficient.  Cuts through the BS.

               

              Matt

              • 4. Re: THANKS EVERYONE!  MY SHORT FILM TWITTER TIME IS NOW DONE!
                Matt Dubuque Community Member

                Hi Able, that's a very interesting idea you had!

                 

                Perhaps we both wanted to recapitulate and restate previous themes in that final scene.

                 

                One rationale for me restating that clip was I wanted to dance once again with the superimposition of the reclining Buddha image upon the forest scene; I found that to be reassuring and visually profound and I enjoyed the keyframe manipulation of the respective values for each image at the end.

                 

                I also wanted to have the film in two very distinct parts; the first part about information overload and the exponential acceleration of experience and the second about humane responses to that, whether it be women, film, tree planting, a walk in the woods or anything to slow down time.  I guess our approach helped preserve that Manichean contrast.

                 

                But I understand and like your idea and done correctly it could have been incredible; it simply never occurred to me!

                 

                cheers,

                 

                Matt

                • 5. Re: THANKS EVERYONE!  MY SHORT FILM TWITTER TIME IS NOW DONE!
                  J. Simon Community Member

                  no person, in my view, can legitimately claim the first part is boring.

                   

                  I may have to disappoint you on that front.  I think no matter what you do with the visuals, the music will kill it.  It's slow, repetitive, and dull.  It's the exact opposite of the mood you're trying to convey with the opening.

                   

                  And to be honest, repeating leader countdowns aren't all that interesting.  You're trying to show how busy the lives of people have become, how short the average person's attention span has gotten.  To show that, you need people, not graphics and text.

                   

                  I only got about a minute in this time before you lost me.

                  • 6. Re: THANKS EVERYONE!  MY SHORT FILM TWITTER TIME IS NOW DONE!
                    Matt Dubuque Community Member

                    I'm wrong again Jim!

                     

                    Matt

                    • 7. Re: THANKS EVERYONE!  MY SHORT FILM TWITTER TIME IS NOW DONE!
                      Stan Jones MVP

                      Matt, I congratulate you on completing the project, and for sticking your neck out for feedback and using the suggestions.

                       

                      I agree with Jim re the counters etc. I was very motivated to see how the suggestions were integrated, but I only made it 1:10 in before I clicked ahead.

                      • 8. Re: THANKS EVERYONE!  MY SHORT FILM TWITTER TIME IS NOW DONE!
                        the_wine_snob Community Member

                        Matt,

                         

                        The great news is that you have completed the Project. I noticed that you were MIA around these parts, until recently, and assumed that you had locked yourself into your edit suite, and were not even accepting food (except for beer and wine).

                         

                        Thank you for the "thanks," but in my case, that was totally unnecessary.

                         

                        Gonna' go see how it came out!

                         

                        Congratulations,

                         

                        Hunt

                        • 9. Re: THANKS EVERYONE!  MY SHORT FILM TWITTER TIME IS NOW DONE!
                          the_wine_snob Community Member

                          A couple of questions, and one comment, please.

                           

                          Is that a different soundtrack? I do not recall that in the earlier version. Sort of a Kitaro meets Philip Glass piece, and I liked it greatly.

                           

                          Now, did you mean for the credits to pop into the Frame, and then Roll? Not sure that I would have done it that way - sort of real surprise. I thought that it was the streaming, but replayed that part several times, and the credits popped into the Frame at about the lower-third point. I think that I would have perhaps started those below the Frame, or would have Keyframed the Opacity, or maybe a Blur, to sort of "bring in" those credits.

                           

                          That was all that I saw.

                           

                          I liked the opening, as it had a few of the same elements that I used in an experimental film from back in 2001 - Melancoly World. Think that I sent a copy of that moldy-oldie to Rod (RoboDog, or Able 123 to his friends), or if not yet, will with the next shipment of American Cinematographer magazines. I find that the "ticker tape" look can be very effective, when used properly. Again, I liked that!

                           

                          Will go back, play several more times, and might have more to add.

                           

                          How are you planning on distributing?

                           

                          Good luck with that part of the equation, and nice to see you back around.

                           

                          Hunt

                          • 10. Re: THANKS EVERYONE!  MY SHORT FILM TWITTER TIME IS NOW DONE!
                            the_wine_snob Community Member

                            I have had a few films (back in my cine days), that got run through focus groups. Man, oh man, is that ever painful!!!!! However, if one can detach themselves (tough for an artist), and listen, and think, there CAN be good to come from that, though not always. Depends ON the focus groups, and how literate, and articulate, they are. Still, can offer improvements, especially when one is so very close to the subject.

                             

                            Hunt

                             

                            BTW - as you have been gone a bit, you do know that Able 123 is actually RoboDog 1 & 2, or Rod - right? He had issues with his forum account, so how sports a new screen name, and avatar.

                            • 11. Re: THANKS EVERYONE!  MY SHORT FILM TWITTER TIME IS NOW DONE!
                              the_wine_snob Community Member

                              I also wanted to have the film in two very distinct parts; the first part about information overload and the exponential acceleration of experience and the second about humane responses to that, whether it be women, film, tree planting, a walk in the woods or anything to slow down time.

                               

                              While I got that part, and intent, I wonder if maybe you should have filled the screen, near the end of the opening, with such info. While I liked the clean "framing" look, that might be lost on some others. I have found that with some audiences, one must rather "hit them over the head," just a bit more, than WE would like. Subtle is often lost on the masses, though I love it.

                               

                              I could see the center area filling up with flashes of "headlines," sound bites, if you will, and then when the screen is filled, everything does a very slow fade to black. I do not want to adultrate your vision, and DO like the opening, but was just thinking, trying to put myself into the seats of "the audience." Doing so, at a frenetic pace, in total counter-point to the soundtrack could be a useful vehicle Faster and faster, and more cluttered, until BOOM - a beautiful, quiet forest - tension and counter-point builds and then... it ends, with the "message."

                               

                              Just thinking here.

                               

                              Good luck,

                               

                              Hunt

                              • 12. Re: THANKS EVERYONE!  MY SHORT FILM TWITTER TIME IS NOW DONE!
                                the_wine_snob Community Member

                                Jim,

                                 

                                With impactive, counter-point visuals, I would tend to disagree. The score is the "harbinger" of things to come. The messenger, running through the contemporary world, with a message of peace, tranquility and hope. I saw it as a very good counter-point, and an effective one.

                                 

                                My mind:

                                "Why is the music minimalistic, and not paced to the visual?"

                                 

                                Answer:

                                "Grasshopper, you will soon learn the message, if you are patient."

                                 

                                Other than showing more "chaos" initially, I rather liked the opening.

                                 

                                Just my personal observations, and aesthetic.

                                 

                                Hunt

                                • 13. Re: THANKS EVERYONE!  MY SHORT FILM TWITTER TIME IS NOW DONE!
                                  the_wine_snob Community Member

                                  Jim,

                                   

                                  I could not tear my eyes away. I fully expected to see Rod's RoboDog prance out (as a sprite), and then when my name came up, hike his leg on it...

                                   

                                  Hunt

                                  • 14. Re: THANKS EVERYONE!  MY SHORT FILM TWITTER TIME IS NOW DONE!
                                    joe bloe premiere Community Member

                                    A much, much improved effort from where you began.

                                    Still not my deal... but your efforts are apparent on screen.

                                     

                                    I'm afraid I'm too ADD to wait very long for things to develop (a point you are making),

                                    but I still belong to the 'grab the viewer by the throat at the beginning' school of editing.

                                    How can you change channels during the first 20 minutes of 'Saving Private Ryan'...

                                    the answer is, you can't.

                                     

                                    If you make the opening of a piece is visually and intellectually enticing enough,

                                    you can get viewers like me to stick around when things begin to move more slowly

                                    in the body where the main points are being made.

                                    Nowdays, of course, that usually means quicker pacing.

                                    The text overload opening is a good idea, but I would be compelled to integrate

                                    'info overload' imagery into the opening sequence as well... and gradually

                                    increase the pace until the 'overload' is broken by the slower pacing of the body.

                                    Order and peace emerge from chaos.

                                    Sort of 'Koyaanisqatsi' like.

                                     

                                    Also, I wouldn't use any still images. A long, hand-held live hold would be better.

                                     

                                    I appreciate your credit... but I'm not sure what I did to earn it.

                                    • 15. Re: THANKS EVERYONE!  MY SHORT FILM TWITTER TIME IS NOW DONE!
                                      Matt Dubuque Community Member

                                      Thanks for the extremely helpful comments Bill!

                                       

                                      Nope, I was unaware that Able 123 was RoboDog!  Good to know!

                                       

                                      In terms of increasing viewer saturation of the textual message material in the first part, I did address your view somewhat by having some news tickers scroll backwards.  Because all of them contained very rich, data intensive feeds, I am confident that no person could absorb all of it, so we at least had the same goal in mind.

                                       

                                      Also, the 5 scrolling data feeds is in stark contrast to the very large, basic message that demands attention in the center of the frame, namely "In a world of Twitter Twitter, no one has time for a sound bite sound bite, what comes next?"  (i.e. if no one has time for a sound bite today, where will we be in ten years when no one has time for 160 character Twitter feeds?)

                                       

                                      That message of "In a world of Twitter Twitter, no one has time for a sound bite sound bite, what comes next?" is in very large type throughout the first part and I wanted to increase the tension between the viewer wanting to focus on the trivial (i.e. the very small print containing important and somewhat scandalous information in the streaming text feeds at the margins) and the very important (the large type bold face lettering that remains on the screen about Twitter Time) about how life has accelerated so much that a sound bite is now an eternity and a seven minute movie is indeed an enomous chore to watch and it's best for some to cut their losses at one minute and ten seconds so they have time to check their emails.

                                       

                                      So I wanted that tension between the very loud and the very soft and to pose the question which of the two is more important?

                                       

                                      Kind of like the choices one makes scanning for emails on our smartphones as we cut across four lanes of traffic to snag a parking spot by the curb.

                                       

                                      But I see your point.

                                       

                                      To some extent, I wanted it all to resolve to where the viewer simply became overloaded and just took in the pretty gestalt of it all, the pretty lines of different colored text marching every which way, like random ants in time to the music.

                                       

                                      So that suddenly one was enjoying the sensations of abstract rivers of color flowing in different directions, with a distinct impression that this was more fun than trying to process all this random data on everything from glycosylated hemoglobin reduction strategies to mispricing by Markit of their credit default swaps and the implications of that for causing another flash crash.

                                       

                                      And this hoped for rejection of noise in favor of the beauty of the rivers of color would hopefully occur towards the end of the first part, to be followed by a transition to pure green, a reclining Buddha and a humane response to the non-textual myopic world of a purely alphanumeric, text-based existence.


                                      Having this framing of the feeds also allowed me to insert the message "Surrender Dorothy!" scrolling across that empty space just before the end of the first part, meaning that we can turn off our minds, relax and float downstream, it is not dying, it is not dying, as John Lennon said in his song, Tomorrow Never Knows.

                                       

                                      Accompanying that "Surrender Dorothy" that scrolls from right to left like it did in the Wizard of Oz was a tape loop of Dorothy screaming "Auntie Em!  Auntie Em!  Auntie Em!", but I removed that for fear of copyright retaliation by the powers that be, bigger than I.

                                       

                                      But again, I see your points and they are as always first rate!

                                       

                                       

                                      In terms of the tunes chosen, the first time I presented the piece at the Video Lounge it had different music, but all subsequent versions had this music which I personally found compelling.

                                       

                                      Matt

                                      • 16. Re: THANKS EVERYONE!  MY SHORT FILM TWITTER TIME IS NOW DONE!
                                        the_wine_snob Community Member

                                        An alternative, perhaps:

                                         

                                        Fill that void with your messages, "Twitter Twitter," and "No one has time for a sound bite sound bite," over, and over, with perhaps differing placements and Opacity, until that field is filled up?

                                         

                                        I agree with "tension," and find it too seldom in video work today.

                                         

                                        The flow of the crawls was good, like a river. Then, the audience needs to hit unseen rapids!

                                         

                                        Unlike some, I find the music score to be a good counter-point. The Parallax View did a good job with similar, in the drug-induced brain-washing scenes, with some slow Jim Morrison (IIRC), with flashes of very violent images, that ran counter to the score. I have that on DVD, so maybe should review it, to get the citations correct?

                                         

                                        Going back many, many years, there was a great USC graduate film, Home is Where the Heart Is, that used a major counter-point score, agains building tension. The audience expected one thing, but got something totally different, and counter to that score. I listened, as about 350 people gasped at the unexpected (though not beyond prediction) happened.

                                         

                                        IIRC, Apocalypse Now used similar, with music out of touch with some of the visual (Jim Morrison again?). Do not have that one on DVD, so can only go from memory.

                                         

                                        Just thinking here.

                                         

                                        Hunt

                                        • 17. Re: THANKS EVERYONE!  MY SHORT FILM TWITTER TIME IS NOW DONE!
                                          the_wine_snob Community Member

                                          OK, I did not recognize the score from later versions. Let's chalk that up to my feeble memory. Still, I like it (as I mentioned, Kitaro meets Philip Glass).

                                           

                                          Hunt

                                          • 18. Re: THANKS EVERYONE!  MY SHORT FILM TWITTER TIME IS NOW DONE!
                                            Community Member

                                            re: the counter at beginning... it worked OK cause it kept repeating and getting faster...

                                            normally counter is boring for me and just a cheap effect, but yours worked OK cause of the repeats and speed increases.

                                            i was trying to read a lot of the text, and it was too much to keep up with, and the text chosen was disparate enough to get mssg across to me OK.

                                            the subtle center mssgs ( twitter twitter etc ) worked as counterpoint to borders being used for scrolling text OK.

                                             

                                            the incongruous use of still image of girl worked OK as I assumed 'something' about it ( about the person and your relationship to that person ).. and saw it as a very personal mssg that I may or may not appreciate accurately.. but it brought YOU into the equation in a way that was OK and enjoyed.

                                             

                                            your title of this thread, " my short film twitter twitter is done "... is worth keeping in mind.

                                             

                                            It means it is DONE.  although I blurted out something about that last clip it doesnt bother me that it is there.... its fine.

                                             

                                            In terms of the total , I feel it is very well done and a substantial improvment from the earlier version(s)... and I also agree that it is DONE.  It feels DONE to me.  I like it.

                                             

                                            As an "art" film , if we can use that word, I think if one out of 10 people who see it AND get something substantial emotionally and intellectually OUT of watching it, I would say that it is a very successful film....

                                             

                                            So, I agree with you... your short film is done, and thanks a lot for sharing it here.  I hope I get to see more of your films in the future too.. good luck !

                                             

                                            ps...

                                            probably no film is really DONE in some ways...ever really done... but you know what I mean I hope.

                                            • 19. Re: THANKS EVERYONE!  MY SHORT FILM TWITTER TIME IS NOW DONE!
                                              J. Simon Community Member

                                              The score is the "harbinger" of things to come.

                                               

                                              You mean boredom?  'Cause that's all I got from it.

                                               

                                              (Sorry Matt, I just reeeally don't like that track.)

                                              • 20. Re: THANKS EVERYONE!  MY SHORT FILM TWITTER TIME IS NOW DONE!
                                                Matt Dubuque Community Member

                                                Hi fellows, thanks so much for the enjoyable and thoughtful insights!

                                                 

                                                JoeBloePremiere, I needed to sincerely credit you with helping me because you made the compelling point that the best approach to the first segment if I am trying to illustrate the dangers of exponentially increasing the speed of our text filled experience, it makes far more sense to do so with some rapid fire examples instead of a pace that too many would find abjectly boring.  Furthermore, when I disagreed, you insisted on the merits of your position, which eventually won me over to your view.   Because you won that debate, this is clearly a better film and I thank you for that!

                                                 

                                                Jim, in terms of the score not "matching" the first part of the film, a few thoughts come to mind.   Although the visual editing of the first part is not as tightly linked to the score as the second portion, it is nonetheless linked in key aspects.   I personally very much like the loud, dramatic cymbal crash which is perfectly timed to a cut to a deep black empty screen at 0:35.   I thought that was funny and consistent with the message that there is something to be treasured about a LACK of data from time to time.   Accompanying that with a cymbal crash for me was a somewhat strange and bizarre touch that really works for me.   Additonally, there are loud bass drum beats and cymbal crashes that are tightly cued to various visual events elsewhere in the first part of the film.


                                                But the first part of the film is about the disruptive nature of an existence based entirely on text based messaging and so I did not couple the music as tightly to the image in this portion so that it would contrast dramatically with the second portion of the film where the visual imagery is tightly married to both the high bongo slaps and the low, bass sounds of the large clay drum.

                                                 

                                                I like having zero people in the first part of the film.   This is because the film is about different types of existence and different characteristics of classes of message material.

                                                 

                                                The first part is about text based messaging (Twitter Time), a medium which conveys very little about anything important, yet devours more and more of our time.

                                                 

                                                By contrast, photographs are a more informative medium than text alone and I included and emphasized this medium by retaining the letterboxing to showcase my theme that the medium IS the message here, as McLuhan says.

                                                 

                                                I included rapidly accelerating leaders at the beginning of the film as a metacommentary upon the more profound, but still derivative medium of film which is more informative than both texting and photography, but still removed from the natural world of women, wine, tree planting and walks in nature.

                                                 

                                                Finally, the most direct form of experience is interacting in the real world with real people, planting trees, religion (as signified by the various Buddhas), etc.

                                                 

                                                So the film basically contrasts the various types of message material from text only, to photography, to film and finally to direct human and natural world interactions.   The medium is the message is the message of this film and the closer we get to direct experience, the more we are inoculated against the harms caused by the obliteration of memory and culture caused by a life only based on exponentially accelerating alphanumeric character processing trivia.

                                                 

                                                Bill, your additonal points are all superb once again, but I do ask you to recall how you helped me with some rather nasty problems I encountered in this first film of mine.

                                                 

                                                After I did a test run with just five or six data streams in the first part, I realized to my shock and horror that during downrezzing my use of characters with serifs and my failure to abide by other cardinal rules of text presentation on the screen made my hard work unwatchable.  

                                                 

                                                So given my tight deadline for this project, I decided to simply rehabilitate what I had so that it streamed in an acceptable manner on the screen, rather than getting greedy and attempting to get even fancier.

                                                 

                                                And I would gently point out that this brilliant approach allowed me to only miss my very tight, inflexible deadline by a mere ten months for a damn little eight minute film.

                                                 

                                                Good work Matt!

                                                 

                                                Cheers,

                                                 

                                                Matt

                                                • 21. Re: THANKS EVERYONE!  MY SHORT FILM TWITTER TIME IS NOW DONE!
                                                  Community Member

                                                  matt

                                                  some people dont have a clue what you're dealing with re: telling the 'story' you want. dont let it get to you.

                                                   

                                                  its like putting on a play on broadway and getting some very bad reviews... or some very good reviews... it doesnt matter ...trust me... and take what you got out of this forum before ( when you asked us what was up and how we felt etc )... and move on.

                                                   

                                                  dont bother justifying what you did and what you changed etc or it will go on forever with no real positive result for you as an artist at this point... you already DID that here.. and got what you needed... and DID what you had to do.

                                                   

                                                  This film is done.. I love it and give you my love re: moving on now and thinking of your next project etc.  If I can help let me know and I will do what I can to help... but basically you have been successful with this and I hope you realize how good a job you did.

                                                   

                                                  rod

                                                  • 22. Re: THANKS EVERYONE!  MY SHORT FILM TWITTER TIME IS NOW DONE!
                                                    Matt Dubuque Community Member

                                                    Thanks Able!

                                                     

                                                    I'm happy with how the film turned out!

                                                     

                                                    In a somewhat futile effort to marginally increase understanding of this project, I plan on reading the following text as part of a "Director's Cut" to accompany the original version as I submit it to various film festivals:

                                                     

                                                     

                                                    DIRECTOR'S CUT TEXT:

                                                     

                                                     

                                                    Way back in the 20th century, a sound bite was used to refer to an abbreviated form of communication that became a widespread shorthand used to communicate more quickly and efficiently in an accelerating world.

                                                     

                                                     

                                                    Since that ancient day, nobody really has time for lengthy sound bites anymore, instead preferring to communicate in short, 256 character Twitter feeds.

                                                     

                                                     

                                                    As we connect the dots from the now archaic and interminably lengthy sound bite to the much shorter Twitter feeds of today, what may we look forward to in the future when nobody has time for Twitter feeds anymore?

                                                     

                                                     

                                                    I describe this trend as the exponential acceleration of human experience and it closely mirrors Raymond Kurzweil's discussions of the "coming singularity" when future information flows collapse into a black hole of ever accelerating processing machines that he claims is our destiny.

                                                     

                                                     

                                                    How can we respond to these cultural trends?  Is it our lot to simply embrace, welcome and accelerate them, or are there alternatives that may provide more comfort, humanity and, ultimately, sustainability to our lives?

                                                     

                                                     

                                                    Mahatma Gandhi once said that there is more to life than simply accelerating its speed.

                                                     

                                                     

                                                    That's what this film is about.

                                                     

                                                     

                                                    The theme of this film is that the medium is the message, as Marshall McLuhan told us before Facebook went public.

                                                     

                                                     

                                                    The first part of the film deals with the inherent limitations of text-based communication systems such as email, Twitter and Facebook.   Communicating in such media is inherently myopic and limited, as nuances of relationship, irony and subtlety are inevitably lost in the mad rush to discuss our world through the narrow prism of no more than 256 characters for a Twitter feed.

                                                     

                                                     

                                                    We are bombarded with so many fragments of messages and heavily commercialized memes that this tends to shorten our attention spans and harms our capacity to remember.  It has been said that the United States is the complete opposite of the Balkans because nobody remembers anything.   I'm persuaded that aphorism has the ring of truth due, at least in part, to the acceleration of our existence intensified by expending ever-increasing amounts of our time immersed in a strictly alphanumeric-intensive domain.  It's a zero sum game.

                                                     

                                                     

                                                    The various data streams in the first portion of the film are exemplars of the phenomenon of information overload that we all face in this medium.

                                                     

                                                     

                                                    How can we respond to this spiraling, meaningless complexity that saturates this domain?

                                                     

                                                     

                                                    It is the function of the second part of the film to discuss this.

                                                     

                                                     

                                                    The second part of the film explores other media distinct from alphanumeric, textual formats, in increasing order of richness and resonance.

                                                     

                                                     

                                                    The medium of still photographs is presented in the second part of the film as an initial contrast to alphanumeric text-based communication software systems discussed previously.

                                                     

                                                     

                                                    The photographs are generally "letterboxed" in this film, which means they are surrounded by black horizontal and vertical borders to denote that the subject of the film not only contains references to the actual contents of the photographs, but also to the medium of photography generally, which is richer in its content than a life devoted to alphanumeric text processing only.   One photograph is worth a thousand words and can convey nuances of emotion, humour and relationship typically lacking in Twitter feeds from cultural icons such as Justin Bieber.

                                                     

                                                     

                                                    Another medium covered in the film is that of film itself.   I introduced the film with numeric countdown leaders and make liberal use of pure black visual spaces to indicate that I ask the viewer to not only immerse themselves in the various moving images presented in the film but also to explore the relative merits of the medium of film and video itself.   The medium is once again the message here and the communicative domain of film can show subtle emotive and perspectival shifts over time not easily obtained from solitary photographs alone.

                                                     

                                                     

                                                    Finally, although constrained by the diegetic space of the film, I ask the viewer to contemplate what I call direct experience, be it the love of a woman, a walk in the woods, an exercise in tree planting, gentle conversation or whatever.

                                                     

                                                     

                                                    I find these final examples of more direct knowing to be a wonderful antidote to the exponential acceleration of human experience most clearly amplified by a life saturated with the endless task of processing alphanumeric text messages that are often, ultimately, trivial.   A response to a life lived in "Twitter Time" if you will.

                                                     

                                                     

                                                    I posit that tree planting is just one of a myriad of options we have to stretch out, enjoy, celebrate and learn from our beautiful lives.   Planting over 100 trees has clearly made me a better person and this will be covered in my next film "100 Trees", which describes the current benefits we enjoy around the world from various tree planting programmes instituted from the 12th century England, 16th century Tokugawa, Japan, to the 19th century projects of Johnny Appleseed and Golden Gate Park in San Francisco on to more recent tree planting exercises that I have been fortunate enough to participate in.

                                                     

                                                     

                                                    That film is described here:

                                                     

                                                     

                                                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_dPUp1m1pLA

                                                     

                                                     

                                                    Thanks for viewing the film and I look forward to any thoughts you may have.

                                                     

                                                     

                                                    I can be reached through the incredible, untapped potential of email at onehundredtrees@gmail.com.

                                                    • 23. Re: THANKS EVERYONE!  MY SHORT FILM TWITTER TIME IS NOW DONE!
                                                      the_wine_snob Community Member

                                                      Matt,

                                                       

                                                      Though it post-dates McLuhan by some decades, with regard to Twitter, I feel that the "medium" is the ONLY message, and not a resounding one, at that. However, I come from a totally different time, and a different place. I find that I tend to completely tune out "sound bites," and have only seen a few Twitter feeds (mostly those, required of my wife, for editing purposes). What is it, one's life and entire being in 144 characters?

                                                       

                                                      Now, this does show why I would never succeed in politics nowadays - an inability to communicate in 144 characters. Just ask Jim, and he will tell you the same thing...

                                                       

                                                      "Hey! I'm eating a sandwich at ZenBurger. Whoopie!" Hm-m still have about 90 characters left. Maybe I could tell my faithful following exactly which burger I ordered, and am now eating? But then, I do not have enough characters to tell them about the texture of the bun, the succulent nature of the patty, or any of the condiments. I know, I'll just tweet again, and again and again. I am sure that everyone really cares, right? Sort of like the decoded messages from Little Orphan Annie to Ralphie, "Drink more Ovaltine... "

                                                       

                                                      Hunt

                                                      • 24. Re: THANKS EVERYONE!  MY SHORT FILM TWITTER TIME IS NOW DONE!
                                                        Matt Dubuque Community Member

                                                        Hi Bill, I don't know if you have read Raymond Kurzweil's The Singularity is Near, but it has caused quite a sensation.  Kurzweil is one of the great living inventors and now thinks that makes him a competent futurist.

                                                         

                                                        The book asserts that we are accelerating exponentially towards a future where humans are completely merged with machines AND we need to BOTH celebrate and accelerate this trend.

                                                         

                                                        Baloney!

                                                         

                                                        Hence this film.

                                                         

                                                        As it asks in the beginning, nobody has time for a sound bite anymore in the age of Twitter AND what comes next after that?

                                                         

                                                        What comes after Twitter, when we thought that now seemingly interminable sound bites were fast?

                                                         

                                                        Matt

                                                        • 26. Re: THANKS EVERYONE!  MY SHORT FILM TWITTER TIME IS NOW DONE!
                                                          the_wine_snob Community Member

                                                          Though I have heard the name, I have not read Kurzweil.

                                                           

                                                          I do not need to be merged with a machine, unless it would improve my failing memory, or receeding hairline.

                                                           

                                                          Just did a survey for J D Power, on automobiles. My guess is that their client provides electronic interfaces for autos, and most of the questions were around incorporating aspects of "current technology," such as Twitter, FaceBook, et al, into the communications system in one's auto. Yeah right! Most people here cannot drive, when doing nothing else, and on a good day. Last bloody thing I want to see is an interface in an auto, that allows one to surf the Web, do FaceBook, Twitter, Linkedin, etc., while driving. I would also like to see all cell phones/smartphones self destruct, if used, while driving, and if the driver is injured, let that be a lesson. [Same thing if they are eating food, or putting on makeup, of FAX'ing their broker!]

                                                           

                                                          No, we do NOT need more sound bites, or tweets, or similar. They are not going to make our lives any better. We need to absorb life around us, and enjoy its nuances. We do not need constant electronic stimulation, regardless of what a Disney site might indicate.

                                                           

                                                          We were recently at Dead Horse Point, UT, surrounded by some of the most exquisite scenery that the US (and possibly the world) has to offer. A family in a van arrived. The kids in the back were watching some DVD's on the "rear seat entertainment center," and would not even get out to look over the edge. I asked how the kids were enjoying the auto trip to the Southwest, and the mother commented, "So long as they have Cars II on the DVD player, they are loving it." Hm-m-m, the real world is passing them by, and they want to watch a DVD of a movie, that they have already seen. What was wrong with that picture? However, there are some subtle messages in that film, and they are anti-free market/capitalism, so someone IS getting their message across to the younger set.

                                                           

                                                          Let's all check Twitter, to see what "those, who matter," are tweeting... could be something useful, though not very likely. "Drink more Ovaltine... "

                                                           

                                                          Hunt

                                                          • 27. Re: THANKS EVERYONE!  MY SHORT FILM TWITTER TIME IS NOW DONE!
                                                            the_wine_snob Community Member

                                                            Read the cover sheet/prelude, and had some visions.

                                                             

                                                            When electronic components have been implanted into humans, to allow them to tweet, just by thinking, etc., what happens when a nefarious force takes over control of those components? Makes 1984 read like a children's book.

                                                             

                                                            We have been seeing similar, without those electronic components, via Public Relations, for some time - like for the last 100 years. All it takes is a little "nudge" in the right media outlets, to sway public opinion - think the Overton window. Are you familiar with Edward Louis Bernays?

                                                             

                                                            Think of how easy it would be, if one had the "universal remote control," to program all those electronic components. But, that could never happen. Right? First the bar code tattoo on the back of the neck, and then the little implant, that will enrich everyone's life.

                                                             

                                                            Would you believe that there are proposals to implant chips in children, to track their caloric intake, to combat "childhood obesity," which is being cast as a national catastrophe in the US? Ostensibly, those chips would only provide data to the CDC, or to some other "health" organization, but then each child would be monitored, and reports would be filed, should their caloric intake be deemed too great. What would happen, if it did - a visit to their home by the "calorie police?" What if those chips were actually two-way? Who would control the remote? What could/would they do? Of course, it would all be "for the good of the children," and "the good of the majority," right?

                                                             

                                                            Most common media depict common scenes of evil corporate entities seizing control, for capitalistic purposes, but what if it was a government, working with a good PR campaign ("it's all about the children."), who seized control?

                                                             

                                                            Nah, Twitter Time resonated with me. Maybe I overlooked some technical and aesthetic aspects, as I GOT the message, or at least part of it.

                                                             

                                                            Good work,

                                                             

                                                            Hunt

                                                            • 28. Re: THANKS EVERYONE!  MY SHORT FILM TWITTER TIME IS NOW DONE!
                                                              joe bloe premiere Community Member

                                                              Alvin Toffler got it right in 1970.

                                                              • 29. Re: THANKS EVERYONE!  MY SHORT FILM TWITTER TIME IS NOW DONE!
                                                                the_wine_snob Community Member

                                                                Yes, Future Shock was a great read.

                                                                 

                                                                I got to hear him at a healthcare symposium many years ago, and enjoyed the program. He focused mainly on healthcare and healthcare delivery, but did bring some of his theories and observations into play. Would have loved to have had him at our dinner table that night, but at least my wife got some time in the Q & A session. Great stuff.

                                                                 

                                                                Hunt

                                                                • 30. Re: THANKS EVERYONE!  MY SHORT FILM TWITTER TIME IS NOW DONE!
                                                                  joe bloe premiere Community Member

                                                                  Yes, Future Shock was a great read.

                                                                  I read my paperback copy until it was thouroughly dog-eared, then handed it off to my sons.

                                                                  • 31. Re: THANKS EVERYONE!  MY SHORT FILM TWITTER TIME IS NOW DONE!
                                                                    Matt Dubuque Community Member

                                                                    My concerns are that the media is so enamored of Kurzweil's mandate that our ONLY response to the acceleration and trivialization of life is to ACCELERATE that we really need to start a conversation about where the heck we are going and, if we are completely unaware of our destination is it always helpful to go faster.

                                                                     

                                                                    Hence this film.

                                                                     

                                                                    Due to further criticism of it in this group, I've also added additional audio tracks for the first part, which makes the music much less "boring" in my view and contributes to the message of chaos in the first segment.

                                                                     

                                                                    http://vimeo.com/38753715

                                                                     

                                                                    THIS FILM IS PASSWORD PROTECTED.  PASSWORD = mjd1735

                                                                     

                                                                    Matt