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Subway Yearbook

September 23, 2009 Leave a comment

In June I had a couple of posts (here and here) about the inspired work of Improv Everywhere. They hadn’t posted any new missions since then, until yesterday. The latest mission may lack the conceptual brilliance of the surprise wedding reception or the JFK welcome, but it more than compensates with its heartwarming results. You can watch the video above. (Go ahead. Stop reading and click the play button.) But then, after watching it, read more about the mission at Improv Everywhere’s website. The still photos of the mission are a good complement to the video. But best of all is the subway yearbook shot. I could say more, but just see for yourself.

There are many wonderful reasons to live in New York. (And, yes, some reasons not to.) But one reason to live there is to have the opportunity to participate, wittingly or not, in Improv Everywhere’s missions.

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Categories: Arts, Culture, Transportation, Video

FedEx Ads

July 20, 2009 Leave a comment

The NYT has an article today on a new series of web video ads from FedEx. They are changing their advertising strategy, having forgone, for example, advertising in last February’s Super Bowl. (My favorite in their long line of great Super Bowl ads is the 1999 one in which another shipping company switches and sends the Stanley Cup off to Bolivia.) The NYT explains:

The company is certain to be watched closely Monday, then, as it unveils its first Web-video advertising campaign, five three-minute films that feature the actor Fred Willard. While some notable viral online campaigns, like Burger King’s famous “subservient chicken,” have aimed to be entertaining enough to find huge audiences but which talked little if at all about products, the FedEx videos are tongue-in-cheek infomercials that extol FedEx’s services.

The skits parody infomercials while reaping that format’s benefits: using a long-form pitch to be more descriptive than a 30-second spot allows.

Fred Willard is perhaps best known for his roles in the Christopher Guest mockumentaries, none greater than that of the dog show announcer in Best in Show. He’s pretty good in these ads too. I’ve watched three of them so far and enjoyed them, though they’re not at the high satirical level of Guest’s movies. They are ads, after all, and have to sell the product.

Categories: Advertising, Media, Video

Practice?

July 7, 2009 Leave a comment

A few hours ago I posted DJ Steve Porter’s remix of Vince Offer’s Slap Chop ad. More recently, DJ Porter made a remix featuring the famous press conference in which Philadelphia 76er basketball star Allen Iverson responded to questions about his missing practice. The press conference took place in May 2002, after the 76ers were eliminated from the playoffs. See below for a video of the actual conference, and click here for the transcript.

The remix is good fun, which is why I’m posting it, but the issues raised by Iverson in the press conference are interesting in their own right. Before moving on to the substantive issues, I’ll add that the remix focuses on Iverson, but also includes bits from other iconic sports press conferences of recent years and an odd Joe Namath incident. (And I was tipped off to the remix this morning by a Joe Posnanski post.)
Read more…

Categories: Sports, Video

The Skin Comes Right Off

July 7, 2009 Leave a comment

Onion skin that is.

I haven’t posted a video in a while, so it’s time for one. You are probably familiar with Offer Shlomi, the Israeli-American informercial star better known as Vince Offer, who brought us Sham Wow and Slap Chop. Above is DJ Steve Porter‘s superb remix of Vince Offer’s Slap Chop ad. You can enjoy the remix on its own, or first watch Vince’s original (below) as preparation for the remix. The onion skin of the title appears at about the 2:00 mark. There’s nothing particularly special about this moment in the video. I just like the line.

(Hat tip to Joe Posnanski for his post today on DJ Steve Porter’s remixes.)

Categories: Food, Music, Video

Rodeo Hoedown

June 27, 2009 Leave a comment

Here’s a music video from Eleanor Stewart. (Hat tip: Sullivan.) She explains:

I created a music video for the Classical music work ‘Hoedown’ from the Rodeo Suite by Aaron Copland. It is a stop motion animation in which various characters, inspired by Cowboy and Western films, come to life from the musical score. It was made for my final year degree in Visual Communication at the Glasgow School of Art.

I used to play Rodeo for Joel when he was an infant. And Appalachian Spring. And tell him stories inspired by the music. I never thought to make a stop motion animation.

Categories: Animation, Music, Video