Deadlines/Brief

Music videos are so 80s/90s, right? They belong with the era when MTV screened wall-to-wall vids instead of 'reality' TV? Try telling that to the millions who bought Gangnam Style; were they really simply loving the music? 1.6bn (and still climbing) have viewed the video on YT, not to mention the many re-makes (school eg, eg2), viral ads + celeb link-ups (even political protest in Seoul) - and it doesn't matter how legit it is, this nightmare for daydream Beliebers is making a lot of money, even from the parodies + dislikes. All this for a simple dance track that wouldn't have sounded out of place in 1990 ... but had a fun vid. This meme itself was soon displaced by the Harlem Shake. Music vids even cause diseases it seems!
This blog explores every aspect of this most postmodern of media formats, including other print-based promo tools used by the industry, its fast-changing nature, + how fans/audiences create/interact. Posts are primarily written with Media students/educators in mind. Please acknowledge the blog author if using any resources from this blog - Mr Dave Burrowes

Monday, 14 March 2011

Final Vinyl? LPs + Indie record stores

A few links + resources on 2 often intertwined areas of the industry: Independent record stores and vinyl records, not so long ago thought to be on the point of extinction but now making a rapid recovery from the very jaws of rigor mortis (to stretch a metaphor) on the back (...) of collectible limited releases particularly beloved by students (dance records had maintained a grip, but now rock/Indie vinyl is growing again).

The film High Fidelity (and, indeed, the UK-based Nick Hornby novel) are good places to start - you might even ask your parents (or other token 'old' people!) of their memories of buying, and playing vinyl, a much different experience than acquiring digital bits (MP3s etc). There are few stories about MP3 tracks you acquired, but I'm far from alone in having memories tied into particular tracks I bought as singles way back when!

This is one reason why I've suggested to many your ad includes a mention of a 'special edition vinyl' release.

This article centres on a new documentary about this seemingly doomed sub-culture:

SOURCE: http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/2011/mar/14/sound-it-out-jeanie-finlay-sxsw-2011
Vinyl countdown: how crowdfunding helped tell the story of the last record shop in Teesside
Jeanie Finlay, a young documentarian who got the public to pay for her to make a film about life at the last record shop in Teesside, talks crowdfunding, Status Quo and David Cameron




Sound It Out
Got any Dolly Parton? … Sound It Out. Photograph: Jeanie Finlay

You'd think the press room at the Austin convention centre would be something of a mecca for film-makers keen to flog their wares. Yet only a handful have seen fit to stick up a poster on the grey canvas walls which the people who could offer them publicity stare at for inspiration.
  1. Sound It Out
  2. Production year: 2011
  3. Directors: Jeanie Finlay
  4. More on this film
One of them is Jeanie Finlay, whose ingenuity in promoting her documentary about the last record shop in Teeside, an area in the north-east of England, is a natural extension of its organic conception and crowdfunded journey to the big screen. There are tie-in gigs and panel events and parties. There's endless flyers and customised earrings by Tatty Devine. Battery-powered record players came along in her luggage, so the soundtrack could be heard the way musos intended. Even the website looks charmingly homemade.
"We tried to translate that whole vibe into every aspect of the movie," explains Finlay, who persuaded 257 people to part with cash via IndieGoGo in aid of the project. They did so in three waves of fundraising: first for the shoot, then the post-production and another to get to SXSW. In return, backers get a pre-release DVD, an associate producer credit on IMDB and a whole heap of stickers. It's crowdfunding on co-operative lines, but Finlay is also canny about the marketing possibilities of such a strategy. "In the process of getting the money to make it, you're also selling the film and connecting with your audience."
That audience is likely to be sizeable. The film has been chosen as the official movie of Record Store Day, and plays out like a winning combination of High Fidelity and American Splendor. But the music itself, thinks Finlay, is a bit of a red herring. "It's about men and collecting. Whether someone's telling you about their wallpaper or their record collection what they end up telling you about is their most intimate secrets. You ask someone: 'Why is Caroline by Status Quo the anthem to your life?' and you get good answers. We have a guy in the film who works days at B&Q and spends his savings following Quo on tour. And that's fine. They've made his life better."
Finlay's next project is more conventionally backed: a BBC documentary called The Great Hip Hop Hoax. But the subject, feel and ingenuity of Sound it Out put it in the frame to be one of SXSW's surprise hits. "I don't want to say it's been a fairytale: it's a hell of a lot of work, without the cushion of cash, or a crew. But it is really exciting and liberating."
That said, she's hesitant about the idea of being a poster girl for David Cameron and his much-mocked idea of the big society. "That fills me with disgust. But I do think that thinking creatively about film-making independently is probably the only way it's going to go."

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