By Mark Harris, June 28th, 2010

I know I’m pretty late to the party on some of this stuff, but I wanted to point out a couple more instances of “new”-ish entertainment and storytelling possibilities which I think indie filmmakers can explore.

I only recently discovered You Suck at Photoshop.

One thing I love about this is it’s low-budget nature. It’s dependent entirely on the writing and the performance. Anyone with skills in those two things can do this. You don’t need a crew. You don’t need a RED camera. You don’t even need a budget. Something good for poor indies to think about here…

Here’s another great recent example. This one is particularly funny to people in technology.

Again, the key thing here is that it’s dependent on writing and performance.

What I also like about this is, it’s a kind of entertainment purely made for the web. Sure you could have done this on TV, or in a film, but I think the length of the piece and your expectations for the length of web content combine to make this only really possible on the web. You will check this out at your desk when your boss isn’t looking, but would you sit down on the couch and tune into this? Probably not. Likewise, the concept, funny as it is, can only really be carried on for a few minutes at a time.

Or can it?

Enter Mr. Plinket

So this guy started doing these reviews online. He’s done a number of sci-fi movies, which kind of gives him  a built in audience. What’s striking is that what he does is a mix of an actual good review, and comedy. He plays a character while reviewing. But what he says is usually very sharp and spot on. So what is this beast? A review? A comedy sketch? Whatever it is, it’s pretty telling that I’ve watched Phantom Menace twice; once when it came out, and one more time just to make sure I wasn’t on drugs the first time. But I’ve watched this guy’s entire review series for Phantom Menace 6 times. That’s the whole batch of 7. I’ve watched some individual episodes many more times than that.

Here’s the first one for Phantom Menace. But I strongly encourage everyone to go watch the rest. These will probably have less of an effect if you’re not a fucking  geek, but I think you’ll still get the point. Would love to see him do Sex in the City 2 though.

So we’re looking at some entertainment here made specifically for the web. But what else is it about these? POV? They are all subjective camera? They are all from the protagonist’s POV. They all primarily tell their stories through speech and screen-capture. Plinket’s videos have some inter-cut “scenes,” which I find far less entertaining than his actual reviews. But for the most part, it follows this model.

What else can you do this way? A Sci-Fi story, for sure. A horror story? A Drama? Let’s try something. Anyone have any good story ideas you think would translate to this as a medium?

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Posted in Storytelling transmedia

Mark Harris is a filmmaker and technologist in New York City. In addition to producing several shorts Mark is currently working on his first feature film, THE LOST CHILDREN. Mark also runs Gowanus Software, a technology consulting firm in Brooklyn, NY focusing on enterprise and mobile solutions.


  • I'm a big SATC fan, and I loved the movie. It was great to see how my favorite four women on TV/Movies are getting on with lives after two years. I was very disappointed to hear all the negative reviews about the film. While I love Sarah Jessica Parker and the rest of the SATC gang, even I realize that I was not expecting an Oscar performance.

    SATC fans focus a lot on the fashion and the trends that the movie sets. For example, I Bought a " Carrie" style name necklace at http://www.mynamenecklace.c... for the premiere because SATC is a way of life and it is not just about the content of the film.

    I'm looking forward to Sex and the City 3.

  • I got my Carrie name necklace from and am very pleased!

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