The amount of video content that is digested online is an ever-increasing value. Studies like the one published (online) by Live Science in June of last year show that the number of people watching video content online is on the rise; traditional cable subscribers are on the decline as premium content moves onto the lawless World Wide Web. While the debate on whether or not this signals the end of traditional television is alive and well, it’s not always the differences between the two viewing practises that are the most insightful for content creators but rather their similarities.
AOL’s most recent video study shows that online video content is most appealing in small, digestible chunks mirroring traditional television viewing models. Mark Melling, manager of video and mobile at AOL Canada states, “People are doing the same thing online as they do with TV, they walk away from the computer when they are watching long-form videos online.” The study concludes that short-form videos (those that are less than 10 minutes in length) offer the best online advertising results. Short-form viewers cited better brand-recall as compared to long-form viewers. Additionally, ads in short-form content were deemed less distracting (and thusly, one might conclude, less bothersome). This is a huge finding for short-form content producers who are now the more profitable option for advertisers. Short-form viewers are the more engaged viewing audience. It seems long-form video is more likely to produce cyber channel-flipping.
Viral videos have become one of the most pervasive pop-culture touchstones and are almost exclusively short-form content. With short-form video being the internet’s most shared material, AOL’s finding that this is where advertising dollars might be best spent makes total sense. While innovations in internet and mobile viewing surge, it is interesting to note that viewing habits from the past still apply. Short-attention spans are here to stay and short-form creators can cash in.
Earlier in 2012, Internet news blog Mashable declared that “the beautification era of the Internet” had officially begun and that the importance of visual story telling would be one of the breakout trends of 2012. The rising importance of responsive design suggests that this is most certainly true. Responsive design, which describes media crafted for an optimal viewing experience, has become a leading principle in web and app design and is a must-have for tech start-ups looking to make waves in an already saturated market place.
Responsive design highlights the importance of viewing compatibility on multiple screens. A website with responsive design will reformat for optimal content consumption when being viewed on your laptop versus your tablet versus your smart-phone. Basically, no more scrolling from left to right when you browse the web on your Blackberry. The results are simpler more “beautiful” web interfaces that know, literally, where you are coming from.
Going hand-in-hand with responsive design in Extreme Makeover: Internet Edition is disruptive technology. Besides being one of the most pervasive buzzwords heard in TED Talks, a disruptive technology is one that changes how we interact with a device or technology and, on a larger scale, changes the market as a whole. In a word? Tablets. Time recently wrote this article about the iPad Mini and its disruptive splendor citing its many responsive design elements (as well as its lower price) as the key features of its success.
While websites like Drop-box and The Boston Globe and products like the Microsoft Surface and iPad demonstrate the synergy of responsive and disruptive design, just remember that there are two sides to every coin. While the surge of visual story telling has undoubtedly brought us a more adaptive, aesthetically pleasing and user-friendly World Wide Web, it is also responsible for what can only be referred to as the email-forward of this generation: the meme.
If the recent box office blunder that was the Colin Farrell headlined Total Recall has taught us anything, it is that remakes can be pricey flops that come with more “I told you so’s” than a movie based on a board game.
There is an ever growing list of film jargon increasingly used in the pejorative. Sequel, prequel, 3D, and reboot are all prime examples of movie vernacular that are often met with an “is that really necessary?” attitude. Some may say all the stories have already been told (some even argue that Shakespeare mapped them all out centuries ago) and the onslaught of the seemingly unoriginal doesn’t make a case for the other side. Are remakes, arguably the least original of movies, ever worth it?
As we’ve heard from directors and stars of these films, the goal is to tell the story for a new generation and while there are enough bad remakes to last us a lifetime from the horror genre alone, there are some that have done justice to, even improved upon, their source material.
Our list of ”Yes, that was necessary” remakes are as follows:
Father of the Bride
Steve Martin’s sentimental 1990 flick about father-daughter love is a cable staple. The black and white original (1950) which starred Elizabeth Taylor and Spencer Tracy was rebooted into a colourful rom-com that’s worth viewing for Martin Short’s wedding planner alone.
The Parent Trap
How can we not celebrate the movie that brought us Lindsay Lohan? Arguably as good as the Hayley Mills original (1961), this remake helmed by Nancy Meyers (Hollywood’s most financially successful female director), was brought to life by it’s romance, humour, intensely likable cast and super-cool handshake.
Best Picture ain’t bad for a remake. The Martin Scorsese won his long awaited Oscar for this re-do of the 2002 Hong Kong crime-thriller Internal Affairs. Said Andrew Lau, co-director of Internal Affairs, “Of course I think the version I made is better, but the Hollywood version is pretty good too.”
And rounding out the list…
This slick remake from Steven Soderburg resurrected the 1960 Rat Pack crime caper in style. If anyone could compete with the endless charm of Frank Sinatra, it might just be George Clooney. Both a critical and financial success, Ocean’s Eleven proved that sometimes a second shot at a great movie can make another great movie.
As we live in a culture of constant reinvention (iPhone 5 anyone?), these reboots, remakes and continuing stories are unlikely to die down. Yes, there are countless remakes that have fans of the originals shaking their head but there are indeed a select few that have proved that remake doesn’t have to be a bad word.
Jack Donaghy: Lemon, that’s the smartest thing you’ve ever said.
Liz Lemon: Ah, what about three years ago when I said there should be more TV shows about cake?
- NBC’s 30 Rock
Could it be possible that we have exhausted our Reality TV options here on Earth? It seems that every conceivable competition, occupation, abnormality and bad habit has made its way onto the small screen. From the seemingly mundane to the sensational, the television dial is absolutely overloaded with truth-is-stranger-than-fiction programming (though admittedly much of what we see on reality TV might lean a little more towards fiction than they’d have us believe). It seems like the genre is here to stay, so what’s next? The answer is literally out of this world.
Reality television first made waves with the 1992 debut of The Real World that told “the true story of seven strangers” living together and being “real” (i.e not polite). TRW has continued to bring in the viewers for a staggering 27 (soon to be 28) seasons with hundreds of “strangers” and plenty of drama. While we can thank MTV for the innovation, the genre really took off in the aughts with rating boons like Survivor and American Idol. Then the “Reality Star” became a thing. From Paris and Nicole, to the Teen Moms and the 47 members of the Kardashian Klan, famous for being famous has become an epidemic of the 21st century and given us the five most terrifying words in the English language: Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.
With the latter in mind, it might be time to move onward and upward, way upward. A Dutch company claims to be readying themselves to create a human colony on Mars by 2023 and in the process create the most sensational of reality programs by following the lives of a group of people living on the red planet. Big Brother: All Stars takes new meaning. The craziest part of the plan might be that the astronauts who will be sent to Mars are only getting a one-way ticket. The project, titled Mars One, is indefinite and has just got its first sponsors. The proposed global reality program intends to cover the expenses of the major space mission and chronicle the new Martians first few years off of Earth. Says Dan Petrovic, general director of Mars One sponsor, Dejan SEO,
Mars One is not just a daring project, but the core of what drives human spirit towards exploration of the unknown. We are privileged to be a supporter of this incredible project.
I guess the only question that remains is, can I even set my PVR for 2023? Until then I guess we’ll have plenty of time to catch up on Cake Boss.
For more on Mars One, click here
When it comes to award shows and their subsequent fanfare, one generally falls into one of two camps: those who have counted down the days until the hardware distribution, made predictions and crossed their fingers for their favourites and those who could really care less about the egregious practise of Hollywood self-congratulation. Both have their own merits and at some point or another, you have probably sympathized with both sides.With two major award symposiums barreling towards us, TIFF and the 64th Primetime Emmys hosted by the Late Night Host cum Viral Video Master (see: Hey, Jimmy Kimmel I Told My Kids I Ate All Their Halloween Candy and its successors), September will prove to be very busy for Entertainment consumers.
Should you engage in the glitz and glam, here are some things to look forward to:
From The Lightbox to The Ryerson Theatre, for a few days in September, Toronto truly becomes Hollywood North. While standing for hours on King Street might not be your style, a casual trip up to Yorkville is a more subtle way to have a chance star sighting. This year’s hot commodities are sure to be “the fallen” Kristen Stewart who will emerge from hiding to promote her upcoming “On The Road”. Hollywood staples like Tom Hanks, Robert DeNiro and many more are also set to touch down in T.O.
The Future Classics
TIFF has quickly become one of the most prominent launching pads for Oscar-worthy performances and future film classics. Previous winners of the TIFF People’s Choice Award have included The Big Chill, The Princess Bride, Slumdog Millionaire and The King’s Speech.
The Heavy Hitters
There are plenty of anticipated films set to premiere at TIFF. Hot tickets include the two historical dramas Anna Karenina with Keira Knightly in the title role and Hyde Park on Hudson with Bill Murray starring as FDR. Visit TIFF’s website for a complete rundown tiff.net/thefestival
The Big Opening
While people tune in for the winners, the opening number, usually championed by a Talk Show titan, sets the pace of the evening.
The supporting actor and actress categories at The Primetime Emmys are quickly becoming the most cut-throat of categories. With 11 shows accounting for the over 30 supporting performance nominees, the competition gets real as Breaking Bad’s Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) goes toe to toe with Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) and all of the Modern Family leads compete for top honours.
The Writer’s Speeches
While they may not always be the faces you recognize, the winners for Best Writing often deliver the best speeches and it’s no surprise why.
Last year’s must-see moment featured six of the funniest women, nay people, on television!
At Gearshift, we’re big TIFF fans and we won’t miss those Emmys on September 23rd. Will you?