Image manipulation site Worth1000.com’s latest Photoshop contest called on entrants to insert celebrities into works of Renaissance art(yes, some of the entrants applied a liberal interpretation to Renaissance—many of the paintings spill out of that time period).
What do a startup king, a social network innovator, a hip hop prince, perhaps the best actor on television, and two absolutely hilarious dudes have in common? They’re all among the Most Creative People—and we can learn quite a bit from the way they work.
Improv emphasizes showing over telling, a principle that often manifests in a technique known as “the invisible game” on Key & Peele. The central joke of these scenes is ladled out, beat by beat, but never spoken of. “The audience loves to figure things out,” says Key, who has extensive professional acting experience and a unique physicality honed by emulating silent masters such as Chaplin and Keaton. “They love it when a performer leaves a trail of bread crumbs for them, and they get to participate in the comedy.”
Innovation through improvisation: How Key & Peele busted the forumla and created something new
“In my experience, what’s true as a woman is very different from some of the more cliched ways we’ve represented women over the years. I want to tell a more complex story. I want to tell a more empowered story, a more joyful story, a more sexy story …
There’s an opportunity to create a new way of looking at women in the culture, and that’s by example.” -Connie Britton, No. 13 on our list of Most Creative People in business
Her new album, “Theatre Is Evil,” is the most successful music-based Kickstarter project to date. But is Amanda Palmer’s tweet-happy, DIY, often NSFW approach a model for independent artists?
We’re down to the final minutes of the singer-songwriter-provocateur’s month-long Kickstarter campaign, a crowdfunding effort that shocked the entertainment world by becoming the site’s most successful music-based project to date. The pledges—which had an official target of $100,000, and which had privately been budgeted to hit $500,000—have already topped a million dollars.
To celebrate the countdown, Palmer, who the Huffington Post called “the social media queen of rock & roll,” is throwing a six-hour, block party-style celebration in a parking lot behind some warehouses along Brooklyn’s Gowanus Canal. To a surprisingly “classic pop” soundtrack (the Jackson 5, the Who, Ray Charles), she and her crew dressed up in old-time bathing suits and frolicked in an aquarium-style clear box on the back of a truck, scribbling the names of everyone who contributed on pages ripped out of phone books and holding each one up to the laptop that’s webcasting the event. In the end, it will be almost 25,000 names, each of whom pledged between $1 and $10,000 for a menu of products and experiences ranging from a download of her new album, Theatre is Evil, (out Tuesday, Sept. 11) to art books and customized turntables, up to private concerts and dinners with the artist.
For his fans, Gotye’s YouTube mash-up made entirely from covers of his hit “Somebody That I Used to Know” is one doozy of a love letter.
The Belgian-Australian artist (real name Wally De Backer) released the video via his YouTube channel this weekend. It features nearly six minutes’ worth of fans covering his 2011 single. “Somebody That I Used to Know” reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and has been the best-selling digital single of the year in the U.S.
Called “Somebodies: A YouTube Orchestra,” the video showcases amateur musicians playing the song on sax, harp, banjo, piano, bouzouki (a type of lute), and more. Also look for the full chorus, a capella singers, the acoustic solo, and animated scenes. Plus, clips from parodies of Gotye’s original music video, featuring Legos and Muppet-like puppets.
Can Mindy Kaling’s 1.8 Million Twitter Followers Make Her New Sitcom A Hit?
Fox is betting her online popularity will translate to viewership for The Mindy Project. Here, Mindy takes us through a day of social media.
Consider the plight of an aging pioneer in the golden age of gangsta rap. It’s not so different than that of a dotcom era startup entrepreneur like Marc Andreessen, who went from cofounding seminal web browser Netscape to funding the next generation of tech entrepreneurs via his Silicon Valley venture capital powerhouse Andreessen Horowitz. Or Elon Musk, who made his millions as cofounder of PayPal and now builds Tesla electric cars and spaceships. Snoop’s 40. He has a couple of options. He could become a permanently faded parody of his younger weed-smoking self. Or he could change strategy without changing his vision. He could acknowledge his hardcore, street life-focused past while embracing a more universal aspect of his personality. He’s found that in his reggae music pivot, he says.
“There are definitely fictional families that I’ve almost felt like a part of,” says Kirk Demarais, the artist responsible for a series of portraits of fictitious families plucked from pop culture. “The Brady Bunch is first to come to mind. Thanks to endless repeats of those 117 episodes, my brain was practically fooled into thinking I was growing up alongside Greg Brady and the gang.”
Then, earlier this year, she donned an electric-blue bubble dress and a rust-colored puffy wig, and took to a very different kind of stage than she’s used to: The New York Hall of Science, where she spent a month-long residency doing multimedia concerts for adults and tech-science-music workshops for public-middle-school students. “I was kind of thinking of me when I was, like, 8 and what would be the best thing that could happen to me in music school, and the whole thing is kind of designed around that format,” Björk says.
The kids learned rudimentary music theory, played with the apps, then started creating their own songs. Björk’s work paired perfectly with the Hall of Science’s installations—her track “Moon” corresponded to a “Search for Life Beyond Earth” exhibit, for example—so that children could follow their interests to discover bigger ideas. Her audience cheered in their own way, especially after tapping a screen to make a Tesla coil spark. “I am Thor!” shouted a gaggle of 13-year-olds.
Setting has always been a living character in Wes Anderson’s films—from the school in Rushmore to the tree houses of Fantastic Mr. Fox—and his new movie, Moonrise Kingdom, out May 25, lives just as strongly inside its own world. “We were looking for a sort of naked wildlife,” he says.
Moonrise Kingdom is about two 12-year-olds who fall in love and run away in the summer of 1965, and Anderson didn’t have the time to send scouts to every wilderness in America. So he did what everyone else does: “We literally used Google Earth,” he says. It took months to settle on a location.
Jared Leto’s with us in the Fast Company office, answering your questions!
Having reinvented himself a few dozen times, he clearly feels the occasional need to destroy something beautiful. And it’s his knack for creative destruction that earned him a spot as one of our 100 Most Creative People 2012. He joins us today to talk about the three businesses he’s hatched, all of which have a shot at shaking up entertainment as we know it. The One & Only Golden Tickets is a Willy Wonka approach to online concerts, offering all access to digital VIPs. His digital ticketing business, VyRT, is the more like the general admission component—don’t call either sophisticated service “streaming,” though. On the artist side, he’s forged The Hive, a powerful social media consultancy based on best practices he picked up with his own band and their rabid social followers.
Sir James Dyson stopped by our office to demo his new Hot Fan Heater. Are you a fan of his vacuum cleaners?
(picture via @noahr)
Tim Gunn chats it up with local D.C. Students at the Teen Design Fair hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama and the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. Take an early peek at our Master’s of Design issue with Cooper-Hewitt Director, Bill Moggridge on the National Design Museum’s design problem.
(Photo via Fast Company on Facebook)