As Halloween approaches, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences takes a long look down memory lane—eh, scary forest paths—with a short documentary about “The Blair Witch Project“. Before there was Facebook and Flickr (February 2004), Reddit (June 2005), YouTube (November 2005), Twitter (July 2006), or any other countless social services spreading viral content, there was Blair Witch.

“It was basically the first viral marketing that ever happened”, actress Heather Donahue says, That’s exactly how I remember the movie, which defines the “lost footage” genre and set the blueprint for many viral campaigns that followed. Remember in 1999, viral started from a website, which in some ways makes a better campaign—or did 15 years ago.

Meet the artist behind those lovable Android Collectibles and other cool creations from Dead Zebra. I interviewed the extremely likable Andrew Bell during Comic-Con 2012.

I shot the previous video, from 2009, using a Sony HDR-TG1 HD camcorder and editing with iMovie `09. But back then the HD posted 360p. Fast-forward three years and YouTube accepted high-def uploads and I shot the vid with a Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphone. I uploaded directly to YouTube on site from the handset, rather than going home and editing on a Mac, and always meant to add fine touches like title and Andrew’s name. Perhaps someday, eh?

I am in one of my moods, basking in the glow of those people lucky enough to make San Diego Comic-Con 2014 pre-registration. This will be my sixth year attending as official press. From SDDC 2013, I wrote Comic-Con Heroes: The Fans Who Make the Greatest Show on Earth. Previous years, I focused on video interviews and photos. In reviewing the vids, I see that many are stuck in YouTube oblivion, and that I never blogged them. So let’s catch up with some oldies, most of which still have shelf life.[Read more]

Mark Zuckerberg as portrayed in The Social Network
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‘The Social Network’ ignores the Network

On Friday, I wrote a review of “The Social Network“. Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig did one better for The New Republic: “Sorkin vs. Zuckerberg—‘The Social Network’ is wonderful entertainment, but its message is actually kind of evil“. Lawrence is insightful as always, although he expects too much of the film’s writer and director. Nevertheless, he makes spot-on observations about what Facebook represents for future entrepreneurs like co-founder Mark Zuckerberg. The film is seemingly a morality tale about moral ambiguity. What’s lost is Zuckerberg’s ingenuity and the network that allowed it to flourish.[Read more]