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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Web Video Poetry of Ze Frank

Riding the Fire Eagle Danger Day

Ze Frank and the poetics of Web video by Michael Z. Newman:
This article initiates a poetics of Web video by considering the central features of one kind of video on the Web, the amateur videoblog, in terms of its functions, which include various affordances of use, and constraints, which include economics, technology, and viewing conditions. It takes as its central example an American videoblog called The Show With Ze Frank, which ran from 2006–2007, and which drew a passionate community of fans into collaborating in its creation. This article considers amateur Web video as a potentially democratic space for media production, offering an alternative to commercial media that involves ordinary citizens as participants and champions their creativity.
And then there's this:
Amateur can be defined three ways: one who pursues a passion for personal pleasure; who lacks the knowledge or means to produce professional–quality work; or who toils without expectation of pay. Many YouTubers are amateurs in all senses, but the creators like Frank who do realize some advertising and viewer–donation income from their videos are amateurs in the other senses. Those who might have some production expertise still seem to prefer an amateur aesthetic with noisy sound, over or underexposure, crude editing, and other stylistic indicators of authentic DIY expression. Even videos by the A–list of videobloggers use amateur techniques. Steve Garfield’s Video Blog uses jerky handheld walk–and–talk moving camera shots with the on–screen figure holding his own camera as he moves down a sidewalk [12].
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