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.
WBP Discovery & Distribution Winner – One Hundred Mornings
One Hundred Mornings, written and directed by Conor Horgan, is the winner of the WorkBook Project Discovery and Distribution Award. The WBP Discovery and Distribution Award gives a filmmaker an amazing prize consisting of a week long theatrical run in LA with social media, street team and PR support. On top of that, the filmmaker gets to keep the box office and we help to pull together the independent community in an effort to drive awareness around the film. One Hundred Mornings places the audience in a grim future where creature comforts such as electricity, hot water, and supermarkets have ceased to exist. In a wake of a world crisis, two couples head up in a lakeside cabin while the events of the outside world blow over. In a time where the word “recession” is blazoned across thousands of headlines, and the term “Third World America” seems more like a grim reality rather than the subject of a fictional work, One Hundred Mornings resounds with its take on a future where there is very few resources to be had or shared by the human race. Relying heavily on storytelling and character development rather than special effects or ornate love stories, One Hundred Mornings is one behemoth of a film. It’s dystopians roots show with the interpersonal relations in the story and the way they erode as the film goes on. Though eerie, One Hundred Mornings has a definite base on the very real possibility that this might be where the world is in a few decades or years. Be sure to check this film out if you’re in LA. The theatrical release will kick off Sept 16th at the Downtown Independent Theater. Event info here.
Noveller is the solo project of Sarah Lipstate. Her music is soothing, but it is charged with a dramatic quality that rises from the electric distortions and peeps. The tracks are understated, but the intricate layering of audio creates drama within her musical pieces. It is amazing to hear electric guitar distortions being turned into organic sounds and musical aspects of nature. Currently, Noveller and unFact are touring (TOUR INFO) the United States of America and Canada, and will be coming to Brooklyn in September. Her latest album, Desert Fires, is available on CD via Lipstate’s own Saffron Recordings. On top of Sarah being an incredible musician and a RADAR favorite, she is also an incredible avant-garde filmmaker, with two short films that have screened at SXSW.
Fashion Geek written by Diana Eng shines a light on the point where style and technology converge. If Diana Eng is a recognizable name, that is because her collection was featured in our RADAR episode Fairytale Fashion (RADAR – Ep 31). Others might remember her for her Project Runway fame a few years ago where she gained recognition for being a “nerdy” fashion designer. She did not win her season, but the show put her on the map as a fashion designer that chooses to infuse whimsical fashion with cutting edge technology. Her book is a direct reflection of her combined love of LED lights and bright fabrics, but instead of simply showcasing her fashion aesthetic she uses the book to show how to add technological flares to common scarfs, hoodies, and other girlie articles of clothing. The guides are simple because of the step by step directions accompanied by full color photos to see how the project is supposed to turn out. Diana Eng places emphasis on the need for girls to learn math, science, and electronics, and she does a great job infusing the art of designing with the practicalities of technology.
The good people at Dr. Sketchy’s are throwing one of those new fangled flash mobs! Guess what! You’re invited! For those of you out of the loop Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School is a premier underground art movement fueled by alternative stage performers and alcohol. Dr. Sketchy’s was started by Molly Crabapple in 2005, and has been a force to reckon with ever since, spreading from humble beginnings in Brooklyn to a true international sensation. As for the upcoming event, to get to go to the flash mob event you have to RSVP on Facebook (link: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=144927295538627&ref=mf), and wait for Molly herself (twitter: http://twitter.com/mollycrabapple ) to tweet the address the day of! Off the cuff and spontaneous, but totally in vein of the types of events hosted by Dr. Sketchy’s. This event specifically will feature Kiki Valentine in infamous mermaid suit. This is sure to be one heck of a time down by the water. Be sure to RSVP!
At first glance Hyperbole and a Half looks like the brainchild of a elementary school kid with a penchant for Microsoft Paint. But after reading the latest post, always accompanied by one of Allie Brosh’s hilariously disfigured drawings, the blog’s tone becomes more than apparent. Allie Brosh is a devastatingly honest and silly blogger with ability to put into words and drawings the most awkward experiences and take the severity out of them. In her FAQs she admits that she draws cruddy drawings because they are funny, and she is totally right. Her distorted figures have the voice of the common man, who has to suffer with insecurities dancing and a severe fear of horror movies. It’s hard not to smirk when scrolling down this genuinely sincere blog.
If we asked what some of you hate most about walking around in the city, chances are stepping in dog excrement would be at the top of most lists. There’s nothing worse than the sight and smell of ruined shoes, especially when they’re new or you’re far away from home. Thankfully, Jay Shells, of Subway Etiquette fame (RADAR 25 – Subway Etiquette), knows your pain. That’s why he’s put up this handy “Clean Up After Your Dog!” poster. While it’s not as clever as his MTA service-change silkscreens, the latest installation is well worth a look (especially for anyone who thinks they can get away with such a devious crime).
written by: Alex Holmes
At a time when chill-wave is drifting out of every window in Brooklyn, it can be difficult to set your sound apart. Small Black is one of the bands that has managed to do just that. Their newest album, New Chain, on Jagjaguwar Records is due to hit Oct 26th. We came across Small Black a little while ago and knew we had to get their music into one of our episodes (you can look forward to that later in Season 3). Small Black, though, have been getting into a lot more than just the episode. In fact, we were happy to see that on May 25th Small Black played a show with another of our favorite RADAR contributors, reverb-y duo Javelin (featured in Ep 27, Auto-Tune the News). We recently got to see Small Black’s most recent music video, Bad Lover, and it’s a beautiful, carefully composed video (directed by friend Nick Bentgen), well worth your attention. Check out Bad Lover on Small Black’s website, and then set aside September 17th in your calendar, because the boys of Small Black are coming back to Brooklyn. In the dingy rock and roll hideaway that is Monster Island Basement, Small Black take to the stage with DOM, Total Slacker, and Oberhofer at 8PM. We’ll see you there.
In case you hadn’t noticed, we’re pretty big fans of Dan Goldman, featuring him in a RADAR episode (RADAR Ep22 – Red Light Properties) and on the blog. Good news for everyone else who digs Goldman’s and his unique art stylings: The Daily Crosshatch has released an interview with the author/writer that picks his brain and dives into his creativity and influences. A must read, for sure. Also, next Red Light Properties chapter out August 24th with only 2 more chapters – last chapter on Sept 7th! It’s been a fun ride.
Prepare to clear your nighttime schedule every Thursday because NYC Resistor’s Craft Night is kicking off August 26th. The event is like a creative open mic night for any kind of artist – a night of collaboration where anyone can bring their current art project to work on it in a space of others. According to NYC Resistor, people have worked on knitting, mending, clothing reconstruction, web design, and even robots, so what is and isn’t a craft is totally up to you. If you’re a fan of Makerbot (RADAR Ep19) or Diana Eng’s Fairytale Fashion (RADAR Ep31) – this is where you’ll find them hanging out!
Every Thursday Night – 6pm
87 3rd Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11217 Event Info
note: if door is locked please call so we can let you in: 917-402-9737
While we love featuring the accounts of people we’ve showcased on RADAR before, sometimes it’s just best to post a Twitter feed that delivers the goods: links to some awesome sites. So, in the spirit of cool, we recommend you check out ExitArtNYC, the Twitter of the contemporary art non-profit.
Elan Lee: The “Rolling Stone” Interview, Part II Elan Lee wants you to convert part of your life into the storytelling experience
Thanks to a fortuitous mix of chance and invention, Elan Lee has found himself to be one of the few recognizable names in the transmedia business. With four separate companies (Fourth Wall Studios, edoc laundry, 42 Entertainment, and his other “not worth mentioning” short-lived collaboration with… read more
Followers Here is my interview with Scott Kirsner, who is the author of Friend, Fans & Followers: Building an Audience and a Creative Career in the Digital Age. Scott spoke on various panels at SXSW.
What did you take away from SXSW this year?
SXSW is always great. I tell filmmakers that it’s the best annual event for figuring out how… read more
DIY DAYS LA: A Day of Independence Since DIY DAYS and FHTA are experiments and extensions of the Workbook Project, we’ll be documenting their progress so we can share all the results.
How do we sustain ourselves as filmmakers and storytellers in this day of shifting film distribution systems? How do we monetize our film and get the word out? Presented by From Here to Awesome, the… read more
Check out the “Tickle Monsters Are Robots!!!!,” video from Story Pirates, who were featured in our latest RADAR episode (RADAR 30 – Story Pirates). There are many children’s entertainers out there, but none are quite like these guys, who actually draw their material from the children themselves. They go to schools, have children write creative stories, then the Story Pirates turn the stories into songs, and make a show out of it. The Story Pirates’ goal is to show kids what wonderful things can come from their very own unique ideas, which they hope will motivate kids to write more and to be more creative. This, along with their all-inclusive approach, which is aimed at focusing more on those who are not necessarily the best writers and are not always in the spotlight, makes Story Pirates not only creative and pretty hilarious, but also inspiration and respectable. Check out the video for their song “Tickle Monsters Are Robots!!!!” This is not only interesting and entertaining for all of us to watch from a creative perspective, but if you have kids (or maybe you’re a babysitter?) chances are they’ll be totally into this as well.
Au Revoir Simone
Are you a fan of Au Revoir Simone? Or do you not know who they are but loved the song from our Before I Die episode? Well, that’s them! And if you’re like us and can’t get enough of this Brooklyn-based trio, you’re in luck, because they’re about to release a new remix album of their 2009 album, Night Light. The remastered will feature mixes by Neon Indian, Jens Lekman, The Dirty Projectors’ Angel Deradoorian, Tanlines, and more. Check out Sentimentalist for more info on the album, and dates for their upcoming tour.
Interested in independent filmmaking, or in D.I.Y. art in general? Check out http://nofilmschool.com/, where Ryan Koo blogs about various tools, strategies, events and equipment that could come in handy for talented creative people who opt not to take the film school route. He talks about being rejected by the studio system despite his obvious talent, and explains why this model is outdated, and often a dead end, for filmmakers trying to break in nowadays. In his NoFilmSchoolManifesto, he writes, “I’m sure some people are going to think, ‘you’re only going the DIY route because you can’t make it in Hollywood!’ My goal with NoFilmSchool is to prove them wrong.” This site is in many ways similar, if not complimentary, to last week’s post about Brian Newman’s talk about reinventing innovation. The site specifically focuses on filmmakers, but it can definitely be of use to any creative person looking to build a career out of independent work.
Remember our Season 1 episode on Slam Theater (RADAR 05)? If you need a refresher, this innovative group uses the model of a poetry slam and translates it to playwriting. Think of it as a workshop meets a cold read audition meets a total adrenaline rush for anyone brave enough to endure it. As Stephania Vanin, one of the producers, puts it, SLAMS are, “evenings of theater in creation, where everyone who comes through the door becomes a participant.” In other words, the actors, the playwrights, and even the audience members, play a vital role in the evolution and overall experience of the pieces. The purpose of the SLAM is not only for entertainment, but to foster community, and to ultimately make everyone better at the work that they’re passionate about. Interested in finding out more or even attending a SLAM? Check out their Facebook page for updates on new SLAMS, and also on the progress of playwrights whose plays have been previously Slammed.
SLAM winner play currently showing:
The Former Waitress by Ryan Britt
August 12, 13, 14 9:30 – 10:30p
Upstairs at The Tank
354 West 45th Street Event Info
Chances are you’ve heard of these guys by now. They’re getting pretty huge. Some of their newest work, Double Rainbow and Bed Intruder, have gone to the top of the charts on iTunes. For more on what they’re all about and what their latest Autotune the News projects will entail, be sure to follow them on Twitter! Also, make sure to check out our episode featuring this talented bunch (RADAR 27 – ATTN)
A few months ago, Brian Newman (former CEO of Tribecca Film Institute and founder of SpringBoard Media) gave a talk on innovation within the media space. We featured the video of the talk in DIY Days on April 25, 2010. In this hilarious and extremely insightful speech, Brian talks about the future of media and what we as artists can do to shape it. He laments the fact that at every single panel about film and new media that he’s attended, all people seem to talk about is distribution. “Where’s the innovation?” He asks, “Why isn’t anyone talking about true innovation?” He discusses new forms of storytelling, and explains that it makes no sense for us to take these new world technologies we have and trying to fit them into this old world way of thinking. He proposes strategies for innovation by going back historically and looking at where the arts have found it in the past when new technology has come along, and outlines what has worked. He meniones Monet’s impressionism (made possible by new paint technology – I know, sounds funny, right?), and the invention of the typewriter, which led to surrealism, and then applies it to today. Quoting Alan Kay (“The best way to predict the future is to invent it.”), Brian gives no concrete formula for creating the future; just suggests that we apply what’s worked in the past to today, to our work, to our innovation. He provides extremely useful insight, and this video is definitely work taking a look at for anyone who is an artist and is looking to be legitimately inspired.
Bear Hands – “What a Drag”
Check out “What a Drag” music video by Bear Hands, which we used in an upcoming season 4 episode. It sounds slightly reminiscent of Float On my Modest Mouse, but updated, and with higher, more echo-y vocals. And the music video is great for anyone who’s a fan of Fiddler on the Roof/ Heidi/ anything by Michel Gondry. Confused? See for yourself!
Do you consider yourself a storyteller? Do you think you have a unique voice that nobody else can replicate? Do you have no idea what to do with it? In his blog, “Get Storied,” Michael Margolis talks about brand storytelling and branding yourself, with blog posts and podcasts. Worth checking out for anyone interested in branding, social media, and storytelling (and chances are, if you’re already reading this, you are!)
Into flash mobs? So are we! Check out Kevin Bracken, creator of Newmindspace (RADAR 10 – Newmindspace), which has put on several interactive public art events around the city, including bubble battles, LED light saber battles, blanket fort parties, and pillow fights (http://www.newmindspace.com/pillowfightnyc.php). Follow him on Twitter to see what he’s up to next.
How to Improve Engagement with your Webisodes Why do some web producers release their webisodes weekly when they have evergreen content? That is, if their series of web videos are not tied to current events, why not release them all at once?
One answer might be that the release schedule is tied to the production schedule – episodes are being produced one week and released the next.… read more
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
New Breed LA: Making People Notice [vid] For the community of working-class filmmakers at New Breed a constantly evolving creative process of telling our stories is the one thing we can count on in these changing times. Embarking on journeys through deeper methods of collaboration & engaging with fans across various platforms is certainly exciting – but one thing is for certain, the creative needs to be… read more
Inspired by the pending death of the Polaroid camera, K.S. Rivers and Nicole Kenney (RADAR 028 – Before I Die) sought to discover what people value most in their lives. They traveled the world, met hundreds of people, and snapped a Polaroid of them as they answered one simple question: What do you want to do before you die? The answers ranged everywhere from silly (“Before I die, I want to fly!!!”) to introspective (“Before I die I want to learn to trust myself”), which raises the question of what people value in life, and how they view themselves and their worlds. The website, www.beforeidieiwantto.org, explains the motivation behind this project, which is not just to create visual account of people’s responses, but to actually inspire people to go out and accomplish what they say they want to do before they die. Rivers and Kenney believe that having people write down their goals and be constantly reminded of them on this website will motivate them to take action. All of the responses had their own unique charm, but perhaps the most inspirational and poignant were those from patients currently in the hospital, whose stakes for this question are much higher. But no matter how young, old, healthy or sick we are, and regardless of whether or now Rivers and Kenny actually asked us the question, it’s something worth thinking about in our own lives.
Dragon Turtle – Almanac
Dragon Turtle recently released their debut album, Almanac. Check out their myspace to find out more about them, and to listen to the free MP3: “Island of Broken Glass,” which is featured in an upcoming Radar season 3 episode. Think Panda Bear meets Washed Out meets Toro Y Moi meets a tiny bit of Steely Dan (specifically, “Do It Again”). Or you can just listen and decide for yourself.
For anyone interested in learning more about transmedia (and what it even is, exactly), this article is worth reading. Our own Lance Weiler (co-founder of RADAR and founder of WBP), who many consider to be the go-to for new media/ transmedia ideas, is the focus of this article, as he discusses his process, his many current projects, and his plans for the future. Wired magazine named him “One of twenty-five people helping to re-invent entertainment and change the face of Hollywood” and Business Week called him “One of the 18 Who Changed Hollywood.” Yet according to Lance, this was not necessarily his ultimate goal. “A lot of the things I’m involved with are trial and error,” he says. Well, whatever his method is, it’s working. Read the article:
Poetry Brothel Poets and Writers Magazine Summer Party
Remember our Poetry Brothel episode (RADAR 020 – Poetry Brothel)? Well now they’re having a party, and you’re invited! Imagine a poetry reading, but more intimate. Much more intimate. As in, baring your souls one-on-one with a stranger intimate. So is this poetry or a party? Or seven minutes in heaven? According to co-founder Tennessee Pink, the poetry is the party. Intrigued? Come to the Lightship Frying Pan in Chelsea on Monday, August 2, from 6-9 PM to hear readings, mingle with authors and agents, exchange books, win free stuff, and maybe even bare your soul a little.
Monday August 2nd, 6 – 9p
Lightship Frying Pan
Pier 66 Maritime @ W 26th st Event Info
Vasilios Sfinarolakis – Gulf Oil Spill
Vasilios Sfinarolakis, a colleague and photographer on many of our projects, captures the most important current events with his camera. Check out his beautifully moving (literally and figuratively) photos of events around the country, and be sure to check back for updates of his coverage of the Gulf Oil Spill.