Interesting Technology

BFI YouTube Channel

I’ve only just come across the official YouTube channel for the British Film Institute (BFI).

If you aren’t aware of their good work, Wikipedia defines them as ‘a charitable organisation’ established by Royal Charter to:

  • Encourage the development of the arts of film, television and the moving image throughout the United Kingdom
  • To promote their use as a record of contemporary life and manners
  • To promote education about film, television and the moving image generally, and their impact on society
  • To promote access to and appreciation of the widest possible range of British and world cinema
  • To establish, care for and develop collections reflecting the moving image history and heritage of the United Kingdom.

If you live in the UK or London you may have been to see a film at the NFT or IMAX cinemas which are both run by the BFI.

Their YouTube channel now has a lot of videos from their extensive vault, which (according to them) is the world’s largest and most diverse film and TV archive.

There is some very interesting footage from a football match in 1901 between Newcastle United and Liverpool:

A short film called ‘Springtime in an English Village’ which offers a snapshot of rural life in wartime:

You can also explore their videos in Google Earth and if you are in London you can view 1000 complete films and TV programmes from the archive for free at the new Mediatheque at the BFI Southbank.

[Link via Speechification]

> BFI YouTube channel
> Find out more about the BFI at Wikipedia

Documentaries Interesting Technology

No End In Sight to screen on YouTube

The Oscar-nominated documentary No End In Sight will screen in full on YouTube from this Monday (September 1st).

The New York Times report:

The Oscar-nominated documentary “No End in Sight,” which chronicles the early months of the American occupation of Iraq, will be available on YouTube starting Monday and continuing through the presidential election on Nov. 4.

Charles Ferguson, the director of the film, which won the Documentary Special Jury Prize at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival, said in a statement that he had underwritten its screening on YouTube because “I wanted to make the film, and the facts about the occupation of Iraq, accessible to a larger group of people.”

He added, “My hope is that this will contribute to the process of making better foreign policy decisions moving forward in Iraq and elsewhere.”

This is a very smart move – not only will it boost audiences and awareness for the film but I also think that it could actually help future DVD sales.

Although this might sound strange, think of those who have never heard of it but watch it on YouTube and then reccommend it to a friend, who in turn buys the DVD because they prefer that format.

Whatever happens, the publicity generated by being the first feature to officially (i.e. legally) screen on YouTube will give the film a timely boost ahead of the US presidential election.

> YouTube channel for No End In Sight
> No End In Sight at the IMDb
> Find out more about the film at Wikipedia and check out some reviews at Metacritic

Interesting News Short Films

The YouTube Screening Room

YouTube announced last month that they are creating a online resource for filmmakers called The Screening Room.

Check out this promo video:

The idea is that it will be a new platform that will enable independent filmmakers to a wider global audience.

Although the video sharing site already contains a lot of user generated content, this is a new dedicated section that also makes more authored short films to stand out.

Filmmakers can opt for their films to have a ‘Buy Now’ option next to their work for DVD or digital sales and they can then share in the majority of ad revenue generated from views.

To submit you just send and an email with information about your film to [email protected] (although you have to make sure that you own all the digital rights to the work you are submitting).

Each week, four new films will be selected by an editorial panel and then uploaded and highlighted in the Screening Room section.

According to the Associated Press there is already proof that YouTube can help a young filmmaker gain valuable exposure:

“Hopefully as they see thousands of people watching their films, it’s going to be a very eye-opening experience,” said Sara Pollack, YouTube’s film and animation manager.

Among the first eight titles to be showcased are “Love and War,” a stop-motion puppet movie by a Swedish director; the Oscar-nominated short “I Met The Walrus,” about an interview with John Lennon; and “Are You the Favorite Person of Anybody?” by performance artist Miranda July.

YouTube said people whose clips regularly attract a million viewers can make several thousand dollars a month. The bigger prize can be exposure.

When YouTube featured the nine-minute short “Spider” by Nash Edgerton in February, it became the fifth-best selling short on iTunes, Pollack said.

The creators of the full-length feature “Four Eyed Monsters,” Susan Buice and Arin Crumley, got their break when more than a million YouTube views helped land them a TV and DVD distribution deal, she said.

“They ended up doing really, really well, ironically by putting their film online for free,” Pollack said.

Although it is early days for this venture, I think it is a great idea. Last year when I was at the Cannes Film Festival, I met several people at the Short Film Corner (a section dedicated to directors of shorts) and what struck me was that it was hard to actually get to see their films online or on a DVD.

Although, directors can already upload to sites like MySpace and YouTube, this new section appears to be more filmmaker friendly and makes it easier for quality shorts to get exposure outside the usual avenue of festivals and late night TV slots.

Some of the most recent examples to be showcased are:

For more information check out the submission page of The Screening Room.

> The Screening Room at YouTube
> Interview with Sara Pollack on the FilmCouch podcast
> – Resource for filmmakers
> Short Film Corner at Cannes
> Download the first chapter of Shooting People’s book about Short Films (PDF)

Viral Video

Weezer’s Pork and Beans YouTube video

Weezer have done a video for their single Pork and Beans which features a number of people who became famous on YouTube.

Look out for:

> Official site for Weezer
> A timeline of Internet Memes at Dipity

Interesting Technology


YouTomb is some kind of research project by the folks at MIT Free Culture that shows videos taken down from YouTube for alleged copyright violation.

If you look at the stats section you can see which companies are asking for their clips to be taken down from the world’s biggest video sharing site.

How long before this actual site gets taken down?

Or will it be an interesting test case of the limits of fair use?

> YouTomb
> More on Fair Use at Wikipedia