Sunday, July 02, 2006

The Rise of the Short

I was at the 2004 MacWorld in San Francisco when Steve Jobs announced the iPod Mini and explained in his keynote that a video iPod didn't make sense because there wasn't available content. (His ability to deliver exceptionally designed devices AND the simultaneous availability of music at &0.99, and later, video for $1.99 while the music and broadcast industries stewed in their own confusion and paralysis may be his greatest feats.) At the time, this was, for the most part true, but about to chage. Just a few months previously the 2003 Terry Tate Superbowl spot went on to become one of the first huge viral video success stories.

I have been attending the ResFest since the very begining when it was known as the Low Res Digital Film Festival. (Anyone else remember those eary pieces by H•Gun? Good stuff) I really looked forward to that festival every year. There were just so few opportunities to see cool, experimental, short form video pieces. You certainly didn't see them on tv or cable. Video on the internet was years away and the dvds featuring this type of work weren't being released yet.

Its not that "shorts" of all types haven't always been appealing. It is just difficult to support them from a platform and economics perspective. Short stories have to grouped with others, bound into books ad sold as sets. The same is true of short form video. Network television was ever going to peddle ads to air video shorts and clips. The age of participatory media has breathed new life into the short form genre.

Fast forward to 2006. We have the proliferation of video technology, fat bandwidth and pocket-sized players as well as capture devices. Add to that time-famished modern lives that, at best, have 10 minute holes to be filled ad you have today's clip culture.



(Wanna see a woman breastfeed a cat?

I have been a huge fan of this site for years. It is a huge repository of stories and features. Most are about 5 min in length. I wish I could listen to individual stories from the NY Times or the New Yorker or aything else for that matter.

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