Friday, August 10, 2007

YouTube: Is change good?

MORE MARION. A production photo from the next “Indiana Jones” movie shows the cast standing next to director Steven Spielberg. Among the cast are (of course) Harrison Ford and – a drumroll please - Karen Allen! Marion will return! YAY! For Marion fans like me, this is great news. I suggest the film be titled, “Indiana Jones and the cute girl.” I realize that “cute girl” doesn't have the same feel as “temple of doom”, but girls can get Indy in trouble too, can't they?

Check out the pictures on the official site.


NEW HOME FOR MUPPETS. Those of us waiting impatiently for the coming Jim Henson exhibit to arrive at a nearby museum soon will have another option. The Jim Henson company is donating several puppets – along with sketches and artwork – to Atlanta's Center for Puppetry Arts. The exhibit will be housed in a wing of the museum that won't be ready until 2012, but when it is, it promises to be a Muppet fan's paradise, featuring puppet characters from several Henson productions. This is great – a wonderful way to allow fans the chance to see the classic puppets up close. A definite thing to look forward to in 2012. Read about it here, along with some links:


BART AND ART: I do not regularly visit the Christianity Today web page, but a recent web search led me there, and I couldn't help but see that they had a link to a review of the new “Simpsons” movie. “Oh great,” I thought. “They're probably going to have a cow.” Knowing the humor of the Simpsons, I felt that a Christian organization would probably not shower the movie with praise. But I was wrong! The movie actually got a pretty good review. I guess it's because they realize that it's all in fun. That's the kind of attitude that is necessary to enjoy a lot of things. You need to be willing to accept that it is “ridiculous” in order to relax and enjoy it. Homer Simpson, for example, is so absurd as a character that he couldn't exist in the real world. His character is just that - a caricature. You laugh at him because you know that no normal human being would do what he does. The antics of the Simpsons mock just about everybody, and if you're ready to accept that, you'll probably survive the movie.

Blogging pal Fred Hembeck enjoyed the Simpsons movie, but he seems a lot more excited about what he saw in the previews. Bean! Read about it on his “Fred Sez” blog site. You can get there from the “Fred Hembeck's page” link in my links section.


YOULOSE? For the five of you who visit my YouTube page - (sorry, I couldn't resist)- you may have noticed that some of the favorite videos are missing. Many YouTube users are switching their videos to “private” in an effort to avoid what may be the demise of “copyrighted” material on the site. One user has actually moved some videos onto a different video site. The loss of such videos may mean big changes for YouTube – changes which I'm afraid may not help the site's popularity.

A few weeks ago, I found a rare clip of Ed Ames (who I will have to do a blog about someday!) on YouTube that I considered putting in my favorites folder. The video was originally posted on a Sunday, and by Wednesday YouTube had removed it. That's not too bad a turnaround when you consider the hundreds (thousands?) of videos uploaded to YouTube every day. They're cracking down, folks, and unfortunately, it may mean the end of the site as we know it. I have to admit that what first drew me to YouTube was the chance to see material from broadcast TV or film that wasn't available anywhere else. I really didn't come there to watch home movies, or parodies. But that's what YouTube will have to become if they eliminate all copyrighted material.

Is there a silver lining? Well, you can still upload your (G-rated) home movies to YouTube, which could double as a place to store your valuable memories. Perhaps this is the chance for us home-movie makers to really shine and present material that can compete with some of the best cartoons/short films out there. YouTube's crackdown may force more innovative videos, but only from those of us who are blessed with the time and desire to do it. That's not too many people. It's just easier to put on an “Electric Company” clip than it is to think of something that's just as good, and then beg your friends to help you film it. If YouTube succeeds in keeping copyrighted stuff out, it will only be a boon to those who are patient enough to create good home movies – and those who are patient enough to watch them.

The other big winners are “web bloggers” and musicians who are able to produce a lot of material that can be uploaded quickly. If the “big names” of music don't want to be on YouTube, it means the little guys may rise to the occasion. It's like what happened at the “Old Fashioned Christian Radio” site. The “big guys” go away, but the small guys take their place. It may become easier for independent artists to make a name for themselves online. It may also create more of a challenge to TV & other media to compete for our attention.

Just this morning, I was going to look at some clips of classic TV material, only to find that those clips (and the poster) were gone from YouTube. If this keeps up, I'm not going to want to visit the site anymore. Why should I when there's nothing there I want to see?


This blog is quickly turning into the “Mister Rogers story,” but I can't resist letting you folks know about a new production in the works. A fellow named Benjamin Wagner was lucky enough to visit with Fred Rogers at his summer home on Nantucket Island. Their friendship – and a certain conversation in particular - has inspired a documentary that is scheduled for next year titled “Mr. Rogers and me.” (Apparently no relation to “Roger and me.”) Judging from the preview, this film should be something very enjoyable and a fine tribute to Fred. You can learn about the show at the site below, which has a link to a blog about the making of the production.