RADAR is a series produced by WBPLabs -- a division of the WorkBook Project. The series is a timely, insiders view into the cutting edge of storytelling and creativity, and the attendant tools, tech, models and community.
There’s a good chance that if you’ve ever used the internet to procrastinate/look at YouTube/link your friends to ridiculous videos, you’ve seen “Auto-Tune the News.” The concept is simple: take the day’s freshest, most serious news, T-Pain the voices, and add some funky background music. The result: hilarious. The brains behind the zany wigs, blue screens, and manic beats are The Gregory Brothers and Sarah Gregory. Check out the latest RADAR episode for some behind-the-scenes action of ATTN making Ep10 – Turtles, or just shoot over to their YouTube page. Just don’t forget to subscribe. Turtles:
We like Tall Firs and their indie rock jamming, even using one of their tracks in season 3 of RADAR. The trio sounds like a compilation of 90s-era Dinosaur Jr., live Neil Young, and aggressive Galaxies 500, but don’t take our word for it – Head to their Myspace to hear what’s up. We recommend “Axemen” or “Hairdo.”
If you’re anything like us, you’ve been following Dan Goldman’s work since we featured his Red Light Properties series (RADAR Ep22 – Red Light Properties). The unique webcomic experience is still going strong, with a new chapter prepped for launch on July 27th. The online graphic novel follows a group of ghostbusting realty agents in Miami who turnover previously-haunted houses well-below market value. The self-proclaimed tropical-horror‘s most unique aspect has got to be its delivery; instead of one massive JPG or PDF shoved onto your screen, the comic unfolds panel-by-panel, one word-bubble at a time, all at the pace of your mouse clicks. Catch up with the eighteen previous chapters now. Chapter 18 – view here.
NY International Independent Film & Video Festival
In case you didn’t know, the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival is one of the largest indie festivals in the world. Greats such as Abel Ferrara, Andy Garcia, Ewan McGregor, Christopher Walken, Daryl Hannah, Guy Pearce, George Clooney, and Willem Dafoe have all done work in the festival and the NYIIFVF also accepts submissions from all over the world. If that sort of gravity doesn’t already attract you to the event, our own Daniela Croci has a film entered in the festival, Everything Is as It Seems. Scope the fest’s website for info on film schedules, locations, and tickets. Watch Daniela’s short:
Saturday July 24th – 2 pm
VILLAGE EAST CINEMAS
181 2nd Avenue at 12th Street, New York Event Info
We’ve showcased sustainability pieces here at RADAR a couple times before, most notably, the Waterpod project (RADAR 017 – Waterpod). Well, some of the guys and girls behind that awesome art satellite have a website and a Twitter dedicated to appropriate technology and green living. Yes, both are definitely worth bookmarking/ following for updates on all things efficient, useful, and green.
“Hidden Oras began as a live drawing project within various music clubs in Japan before moving to NYC. Shantell Martin an artist and VeeJay armed with her projector, and trusty digital drawing tablet, turns members of the audience into living art. When an audience member steps up against the projector wall Shantell creates a unique and original drawing that engulfs them. Fusing technology and art at every turn, Hidden Oras is just the first step of many towards the next wave of Live Art.
Shantell Martin (RADAR 026 – Hidden Oras) spoke at this year’s PSFK conference, discussing not only her process, but the tools she uses to keep herself in touch with her “creative seed”. Throughout the day, we as New Yorkers keep ourselves busy with emails and appointments, worrying about the guy you don’t trust next to you on the train, keeping us from nurturing our inner artist. By “checking in” with ourselves, stepping out of our head and focusing on our hearts and souls, to let them speak for themselves once in a while.
There Will Be Fireworks
Check out the new video for Ash Wednesday by There Will be Fireworks, a yet to be released song, in a video shot by They Shoot Video, Don’t They. “They” are a Viennese video blog, who feature “artists that can be vaguely described by the blurred out term indie”. There Will Be Fireworks are featured in the upcoming episode of RADAR season 3.
On a solemn note, this week we remember Harvey Pekar, best known for his American Splendor comic series, who passed away early on Monday, July 12th. Pekar’s first ongoing online web series, The Pekar Project, is hosted by Smithmag.com, a comic’s collective who has touched the RADAR family in many ways. Harvey Pekars’s graphic novel, The Quitter was also illustrated by Next-Door Neighbor’s editor, Dean Haspiel. RADAR sends out a big hug to the many folks who were touched by Pekar and to Smithmag.com’s Comics Editor, Jeff Newelt, who co-founded The Pekar Project and has worked with RADAR to make so much possible – we are so sorry for the loss of Jeff’s dear friend. Please check out The Pekar Project, as it’s a great service to Pekar and everything he stood for.
Art Show – “PAINTINGS”
Jay Shells (RADAR 025 – Subway Etiquette) made a big splash with his Subway Etiquette project, getting him national attention, as well as the respect and appreciation of annoyed commuters citywide. This Friday, at the 21 Ludlow Gallery, you can see some of Jay’s other work on display alongside Gray Edgerton, Timothy Mearini, Charles Martin, Eddie Ochoa, Fedele Spadafore and Nicole Wilson, at the Paintings exhibit, from 7-10 PM, at 21 Ludlow St on the Lower East Side.
Friday July 16th – 7p to 10p
21 Ludlow St. New York Event Info
Follow this twitter from URDB (RADAR 04 - URDB) for the most up to date world records from the bizarre to hilarious to just plan old f***ing genius.
Communicating your transmedia experience This is a quick post but I thought this template might be useful for some people when they’re explaining their transmedia project. You’ll notice that this is focused on the experience rather than the technology: there’s no mention of platforms or business case or even audience. So there’s more that needs to be communicated to get the full picture but… read more
Do We Just Suck? Making Better Movies So blah blah blah how do we sustain, how do we distribute, blah blah blah. But I’ve come to a realization lately. Well, I’ve come to admit a realization. Many many micro-budget Independent Films just aren’t very good. Maybe if they were better, some of these other problems would be easier to solve. I’ve heard this from many people in… read more
Transmedia Talk #6 – Collapsus and Catfish Welcome to Transmedia Talk a new podcast covering all things story. Transmedia Talk is co-hosted by Nick Braccia and Robert Pratten and looks to shed light on the topic of transmedia storytelling with commentary, interviews and tips on how storytelling is moving into the 21st century.
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Take one really talented comic writer/illustrator, a handful of his worst ideas, and website to showcase all of it and you have Joe Infurnari’s Slush Pile Funnies. Infurnari, who’s related to Smith Mag’s excellent Next Door Neighbor webcomic (RADAR 001 – Next Door Neighbor), has been making comics for a while now, and with great creativity comes true travesty. Best to let him explain: “Every artist has ideas that we reject. We call them ‘bad ideas’ for any number of reasons and choose to focus our efforts on the ‘good ideas’. What if we did the opposite? What if we forced ourselves to entertain these denizens of our cerebral Salon des Refusés?” Slush Pile Funnies is the result of all that “hard” work. It’s one funny, ridiculous, and thought-provoking creative experiment.
Tin Pan Band
You may have caught the work of the Tin Pan Band soundtracking our Poetry Brothel episode (RADAR 020 – Poetry Brothel), and if you dug their retro vibes then, you’re going to want to check out their new tunes now. Self-described as, “Ray Charles and Tom Waits hanging out on Bourbon Street,” the Brooklyn band sounds like a speak-easy come to life and since they’re constantly playing shows, there’s always an opportunity to catch them playing live.
Jason Bitner loves the past. He’s the mind behind Cassette From My Ex (RADAR 003 – Cassettes From My Ex), the co-creator of Found Magazine, and editor of Dirty Found and the Found Polaroid Book. His latest historic excavation? How I Met Your Motherboard, a documentation of early computer memories – We’re talking photos and stories of ancient PCs, Macs, Commodores, and Ataris. It’s like a time machine taking you back to Doogie Howser’s bedroom for a diary session.
3 Great events – ALL FREE
Ham radios, the original pranking, hacking, trucker device, has been around since the early 1900s and it still has a cult following. To celebrate the amateur radio icon, NYC Resistor is hosting this year’s ARRL Field Day from June 26-27th. For those far removed from the dial, the field day is a national event during which “radio operators promote ham radio by setting up stations and transmitting in parking lots, open fields, etc.” The bash promises to be a two-day party full of demos, dancing, and debauchery, plus one of the sponsors are RADAR-friends MakerBot (RADAR 019 – Makerbot). Go back to a time before cell phones and Twitter, check the website for more info.
Saturday June 26, 8pm-1am
87 3rd Ave., 4th FL., Brooklyn, NY
Eclectic Method: Free show at Puma City in South Street Seaport – Event Info New Mind Space: Bubble Battle NYC in Time Square – Event Info
We last checked in with Eliza Skinner, she was showing off her improvisational musical skills as part of the I Eat Pandas (RADAR 002 – I Eat Pandas) tandem. Unsurprisingly, it turns out that Eliza is pretty funny off the stage too. Follow her on twitter or check out her new blog chronicling her new adventures in wedding planning. She’s like Jennifer Lopez, but actually funny.
FINDING VALUE IN OPEN SOURCE Every minute of every day successful, talented, intelligent and often technically brilliant people give up their extremely limited free time to contribute to open source… read more
The 9th Dot The following is a guest post by Kim Lessing.
Just about five years ago, Glen Trotiner, a filmmaker who’s had every job from p.a. to… read more
The folks over at the the public scene-causing supergroup Improv Everywhere have just released a new video called “The Tourist Lane”. We don’t want to give too much away, but let’s just say we think there are a lot of New Yorkers out there who are wishing this wasn’t just a prank. While exploring more of their hilarious videos, be on the lookout for RADAR contributor Katie Sokoler (RADAR 011 – Color Me Katie) , who is an Improv Everywhere agent.
You and I – Washed Out
No-fi music maker Washed Out (aka Ernest Greene) has just released a new single “You and I” featuring vocals from Caroline Polachek of Chairlift. Head on over to Greene’s merch page to purchase other 7″ featuring Washed Out and another RADAR-featured band, Small Black, and be on the look out for Washed Out touring this summer.
Come on out this Saturday, June 12th, for an evening of life-drawing meets cabaret meets insanity at Dr. Sketchy’s Presents The Art Monkeys Ball. Art installations by Molly Crabapple (RADAR 008 – Dr. Sketchy’s) will be on display, and glitter covered gals will be present. Costume attire gets you in at a discounted price, so gather your most glamorous garb and make a trip to the Red Lotus Room at 6 PM this Saturday.
Saturday, June 12th – 6p
The Red Lotus Room
893 Bergen Street, Brooklyn
Tickets: $15 at the door in costume Event Info
Artist Scott Blake has a thing for barcodes. He started making art with the sales stickers right before Y2K when he was inspired by the impending digital shut-down, and he hasn’t stopped since. Visit his website to have a look at some of his portraits, including Barcode Jesus and Book Cover Oprah, email him your street address to receive a free barcode art postcard, and experience the interactive Barcode Yourself page.
A Return To Storytelling Fundamentals I have had several conversations with fellow filmmakers in the last six months around the idea that most American independent films are severely underdeveloped and suffer from extensive pacing issues. After making an honest appraisal of my own work, I have turned my focus from issues of discovery and distribution to that of creative development (and financing). It’s my humble… read more
Before I Die – RADAR S3 ep 28 [vid] Before I Die is a rare form of Interactive Art, started by K.S. Rives and Nicole Kenney, creating life, out of death. Using a Polaroid camera, Rives and Kenney have traveled far and wide asking people what they would like to do before they die, and snapping their photo as they answer. Rives and Kenny found that asking an age-old… read more
Missed Connections Illustrator Sophie Blackall has read thousands of missed connections posts. A self confessed addict of these intimate, fleeting moments described in haste and posted in public, she trawls through them daily to find the most visual, humorous, lyrical or wierd confessions or pleas, before creating a similarly spontaneous illustration she then posts to her blog. We talk to Sophie about… read more
The Brian Eno-approved Eclectic Method (RADAR 003 – Eclectic Method) have to be one of the more innovative acts out there right now. Yeah, they’re mashup artists, but the guys do more than simply juxtapose Notorious B.I.G. with Elton John, they add live video editing/sampling to the mix. Picture YouTube getting drunk and hooking up with Girl Talk and you’d come close to describing them. The group is amazing to see live and is currently on tour, but in case they’re not coming to a town near you, check out their latest video featuring R2D2 and a few of your other favorite robots.
Before we release our Season 3 episode showcasing a song by Caleb Burhans, we wanted to give you guys a heads up on the music he’s been making. Sounding like a more classically minded Owen Pallett, Burhans is a violinist whose resume is too long to list here, having collaborated with everyone from Aphex Twin to The Hold Steady. Listen to his tunes, look for the upcoming RADAR episode from Season 3, and keep an eye on him. Burhans is one talented dude.
Next Door Neighbor is a webcomic series we’ve featured before (RADAR 001 – Next Door Neighbor) and it’s still worth more than a few curious clicks from your mouse, if only to read about some ridiculous neighbors as told by comic’s best writers and artists. While Josh Neufeld has contributed art to the project – check out his charming “Beekeeper” story – he’s more notably the brains and brushstrokes behind the critically acclaimed A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge. Part journalistic Op-ed, part comic book documentary, A.D. tells the story of post-Katrina New Orleans through the eyes of real people who survived the storm and its aftermath. If you’re a fan of creative non-fiction, curious about what it meant to live in N.O. after Katrina, or even dig David Simon’s Treme, then Neufeld’s book is a must read. You can find it in print or in its original webcomic form.
The Brooklyn International Film Festival is about shedding light on independent filmmakers, while at the same time showcasing Brooklyn as a first class center of cinema. This year’s 13th Annual BiFF is no exception. Featuring one hundred films from twenty-four countries (whoa), the festival has a little something for everyone. This year’s theme is Stunt. What does that mean exactly? Well, the festival “intends to take a snapshot at some of the hottest issues affecting our times while emphasizing weight and gravity of being on a critical collision path with history.” Think of it as acknowledging your own independent butterfly effect on the world around you, both locally and globally. Things kick off this Friday and run until June 13th. Their website is chock full of useful goodies, everything from ticketing to the film schedule.
If you’re not already following friend of RADAR Jah Furry (aka Jeff Newelt), you need to be doing so ASAP. Not only has he curated a few RADAR episodes himself, but his Twitter feed is essential following for anyone interested in comic books, music, or cool events around the city. He is also the Comics Editor of SMITH, Heeb, and Royal Flush magazines, and is Harvey Pekar’s (American Splendor) editor on Pekar’s webcomics series THE PEKAR PROJECT. It’s also worth noting that Jah Furry has a wicked reggae baritone that he busts out from time to time – a must see.
DIYDays NYC Dan Rollman [vid] The Universal Record Database, otherwise known as the “definitive site for human achievement” is an interesting crowdsourced project that encourages users to share, break and… read more