Sunday, May 29, 2011

Seattle Met: Battle of the Buskers

I created this video series for Seattle Met with cinematographer Brody Willis. My goal was to capture the relationship between musicians and people walking by and to convey a sense of being in the market. Do you think I succeeded?

The first video in the series is Reggie Miles singing Gentrification Blues. He also plays a mean saw. I wish I had some footage of that!

Then Morrison Boomer sings their song, Eyes Open Wide. There is a fourth member of the band not featured in the video here.

Squirrel Butter is a banjo playing tap-dancing duet and here they are performing an original arrangement of traditional song If I Fall.

I first came across Emery Carl in conjunction with my Tommy Dean movies but only now have I made the opportunity to film him. I honestly don't know if his songs have names. He's more of a spontaneous "in the moment" kind of performer. Refreshing, I think.

Then, Carly Calbero sings Beat It. You know, the Micheal Jackson song? She's got a surprisingly big voice.

Howlin' Hobbit is one charming dude with a thing for ukelele adaptations of the classic standards. I follow him on twitter.

And finally Yaacov Reuven sings In Your Eyes. I'm a Peter Gabriel fan so filming this video made me pretty happy.

EDIT: Oh! Seattle Met is holding a poll so you can vote for your favorite busker!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Thoughts and Questions about Social Media, Communications and Networks

I want to make a series of personality profiles about people who have jobs in social media. The trick, as always, will be to look past the standard cliches and search for the meaningful story that has yet to be told.

Its the internet. I get it. Technology connects people from around the world and builds new communities based on interest and curiosity rather than region. Culture now breaks geographical boundaries. I'm actually kind of over it. The Global Village is a rehearsed concept. It's lost its charm.

I want to know about your personal village. I want to put aside technical aspects of media and look at how we communicate. Are you an especially communicative person? Where you outgoing as a child or were you relatively shy? Did you have many friends or did you tend to build few but meaningful friendships? What are the big factors?

For example, I grew up with a deaf brother. How did that shape the way I think about communication? How did that shape the way I think about language as shaping reality? Or reality as shaping language? And ultimately, how did that change my relationship to the community? These are things that I'd like to talk about in person.

If I had been raised in a different family background, I might have developed a different curiosity about the social functions of communication. Such as, if I had non-English speaking parents, seeing them as isolated from their environment and relying on me to conduct even mundane interactions, I might be inclined to see communication as building community. If I had grown up in a more intellectually stimulating environment, discussing over dinner such topics as personal preferences for either Indian or African elephans, I might see communication as expressing curiosity. If I had been raised in the old world or without mass-communication outlets, relying on verbal conversation to pass the time, I might view communication as entertainment.

Building on the foundations of communications, how have you assembled your personal social network? Do you prioritize familial relationships over friendships? Do you rely heavily on your professional networks to satisfy your personal life? Are you close to your neighbors? Or do you immerse yourself into intellectual pursuits and build friendships exclusively on interest, bridging generational gaps, overcome geographical limitations and surpassing political boundaries? More and more, these preferences are chosen rather than implied.

And finally, how does all of this change the way you engage in the business of buying selling or participate in serving humanity?