Two Hollywood startups announced a partnership today designed to bring new voices to entertainment. The Black List, a community of unrepresented screenwriters, is partnering with WIGS, the Fox-affiliated YouTube TV network, which has committed to producing a drama pilot by a yet-to-be-chosen Black List writer.
For as long as Hollywood has been Hollywood, it’s been dominated by a clubby atmosphere that sometimes seems designed to frustrate the dreams of new writers. The Black List, founded by Franklin Leonard (one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business 1000), began as a list of high-quality unproduced feature film scripts. Since 2012, though, Leonard has grown the brand into a website for the hosting and evaluation of unproduced screenplays and teleplays, with some users of the site going on to receive professional representation and optioning of their work.
The founders of YouTube have released a new video app called MixBit. On first glance, it might seem MixBit is in direct competition with Vine or Instagram Video, but if it’s actually very different.
Instead of merely being able to share, view, and comment on videos from the stream or from people you follow on the service, MixBit allows you to add to and remix content uploaded by other users or yourself. Remixed videos can be up to an hour long.
This Guy Became An Expert On Syrian Arms Trafficking, Just By Watching YouTube
Last October, Eliot Higgins, a 34-year-old resident of Leicester, England, lost his job. With time to waste, he turned to YouTube. Now, he’s one of the world’s foremost experts on the flow of illegal weapons into war-torn Syria. Huh?
Higgins’s unlikely story was covered recently in the Guardian. “Before the Arab spring I knew no more about weapons than the average Xbox owner,” he told the paper.
Now, thanks to a steady stream of videos that have leaked out of the country and onto the web, he knows more than just about anyone without a security clearance, keeping a blog under the alias Brown Moses that has served as a vital resource for reporters and human rights activists alike.
The idea of an armchair weapons expert is an incredible one, but it’s the type of thing that will only become more common in the future. With the decline of print media, newsroom staffs are leaner than ever. Add a deluge of crowdsourced reporting, and it’s not surprising that there’s important stuff out there waiting to be processed—be it YouTube videos of trafficked weapons or secret bases on Bing Maps.
Here are some excerpts from the April issue cover story"Sarah Silverman, Michael Cera, Ben Stiller, And The Rebels Saving Hollywood"
Determined not to repeat the mistakes of the music business, a cadre of digital pioneers is rebooting the entertainment industry.
"These pioneers seem to have learned from the mistakes of the music and newspaper businesses, which have been decimated by technological change. Rather than be reactionary and afraid, the New Hollywood crowd is proactive and creative. They’re rethinking their business and adopting some of the tech world’s culture, attitudes, and practices.
"While its financial bets are iffy, there’s no question that Hollywood culture is, in fact, changing—and fast. It’s something that’s forced on the industry as the line between digital and traditional content blurs more and more. When you combine web series such as H+, an apocalyptic sci-fi tale produced by X-Men director Bryan Singer; programming likeHouse of Cards and Battleground from Netflix and Hulu, respectively; and all the professional programming on YouTube’s Original Channels, you get a redefinition of what Hollywood content can look like and how it’s made.”
The lastest in Ken Block’s driftastic series earned over 20 million views in its first week.
In the hands of director Ben Conrad and veteran rally driver Ken Block, any drab stretch of concrete can be transformed into a vehicular playground. Block, who is also the founder of DC Shoes, became an Internet sensation in 2008, when he uploaded a video of himself practicing a little known motorsport called gymkhana, in which a skilled driver maneuvers a vehicle through an obstacle course. Watching Block’s gymkhana was a little like watching a floor exercise in Olympic gymnastics, but instead of sporting a leotard and bounding across a spring floor, he was strapped into a tricked-out, 650-horsepower rally car and let loose on an abandoned air field. The video went viral overnight.
YouTube has now launched a new tool for users in dangerous environments—a facial obscurer that digitizes faces in videos uploaded to YouTube. The algorithm-driven feature allows authors to automatically blur the faces in any video, public or private, on YouTube. A post on YouTube’s official blog also indicates the feature is aimed towards parents who do not want their children identified in publicly available video clips.
The facial obscurer is based on existing technology from Witness, a New York-based human rights video organization cofounded by musician Peter Gabriel. YouTube and Witness have had an ongoing relationship; the two collaborated (along with Storyful) on the recent launch of YouTube’s Human Rights Channel, which curates citizen journalism and news from unfree societies in a one-stop shop for activists, politicians, journalists, and interested members of the public.
What could have been yet another shrill Internet one-off has turned into a true, ongoing sensation. There is an Annoying Orange videogame, T-shirts sold in JCPenney, and now a Cartoon Network series, debuting Monday, June 11. The original Annoying Orange Web series is still going strong, with more than 1.4 billion YouTube views, 2.4 million subscribers and a whopping 153 episodes so far.