The Summer issue of Filmmaker has hit newsstands. I’m writing a column for the zine entitled “Culture Hacker.” This edition of the column is about extending the story beyond the screen. It covers the concept of open creativity and story architecture.
Support DIY filmmaking and make your way to the IFC center this coming Friday when DIED YOUNG, STAYED PRETTY opens for a one week run.
Official Selection of the 2009 South By Southwest Film Festival and 2008 Montreal World Film Festival, DIED YOUNG, STAYED PRETTY is a candid look at the underground indie-rock poster subculture in North America that was reborn, post-Punk, with the launch of groupie Clayton Hayes’ website Gigposters.com. The documentary reveals a new breed of subculturists who’ve set out to destroy the mainstream through their controversial and intensely visceral design work.
Under the guise of advertising for rock shows, these unheralded masters of the silkscreen and Xerox machine carry on public discourses that range from hot button political issues to lewd, inside jokes. Stealing pieces from America’s disposable culture, these graphic artists pervert classic references into beautiful obscenities that they slap in the face of polite society while safely treading under the radar.
Director Eileen Yaghoobian gives an intimate look at a few of the giants of the subculture, some who go broke to maintain their creative workshops while others have found commercial success. Featuring interviews with Tom Hazelmyer, Art Chantry, Brian Chippendale, the Ames Brothers, Jeff Kleinsmith, Jay Ryan, Print Mafia, and Rob Jones, among others, outside their own circle, they are virtually unknown, but within their ranks they are bareknuckle brawlers. Yaghoobian sneaks her lens into the lives of these self-professed radicals to discover where the real power lies, if any remains.
TechCrunch interview about his new 300 million VC fund lead to a few predictions…
1. Twitter and Facebook’s investors aren’t worried about monetization, but “it’s sweet” of you to. Twitter has spent about $15 million acquiring 30 million users. It’d be a no-brainer to recoup that if need be. Meanwhile, Facebook will generate more than $500 million in revenues this year—it’s spent far less than that to build the company to date. In other words, these are pretty fiscally conservatively run businesses with huge growth potential and no trouble raising additional cash.
2. Digg isn’t done. Andreessen is still bullish on Digg, citing the fact that Kevin Rose is no longer distracted with Pownce and Jay Adelson is moving to San Francisco to manage the company full-time. He thinks having both guys focused on the company will make a huge difference in the next twelve months.
3. The venture capital market should stop whining about Sarbox and other factors that are hurting their ability to take companies public. Says Andreessen, “Build Companies More Valuable and You Won’t Have this Problem.” That said, he sees a conceivable scenario where public markets are no longer how investors get returns at all. Instead, the same institutional names that used to buy the bulk of the shares at an issue, will just buy out VCs at premiums in private deals. That’ll essentially mean everyday Joes can no longer invest in high growth companies. That’s a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how many scars you have from the dot com bust.
4. At least 300 venture firms will go out of business in the next five-to-ten years.
5. Innovation and opportunities to build businesses on the Web aren’t done. They won’t be done for a long time because the Web is one of the only inventions that’s pure software, compared to computers, the television or even the railroads. That means it can completely change without having to fit into set molds. Anyone—Andreessen included—is deluding themselves if they think they know where it’s going. (In other words, don’t listen to anyone making Web 3.0 predictions.)
Looking for some good fiction? Checkout Chuck Wendig, Will Hindmarch and Wood Ingham’s new venture Jet Pack. A collection of short and longer form fiction that jumps genres and is quality work. Well worth the bookmark.