Web series “Fatherhood” stands out

On February 13, 2014 by Colin

Hank Azaria’s (Simpsons, etc) new web series is a best-in-class example of a web-based episodic program with ideal length, beautiful conception, and elegant shooting and editing. The parade of well-known actors is a blast and all talking on an off-beat topic (for actors!) The ads are a bit tedious, but when the content is great and you can see the time, money and effort invested, they make sense.

I’m intrigued by the long time span for the project, I’ve watched 4 episodes and their kid has aged 3 years… Enjoy!

Controversial! Gritty! Scandalous! – Skatopia comes to Netflix On-Demand

On May 13, 2013 by Colin

Yep, those three words are how we’re described on Netflix!

Grab a PBR, disable the airbags and welcome those dirtbag skaters into your living room… click here to jump into the deep end: Netflix: Skatopia

Our Worker Coop Film is now Streaming!

On April 19, 2013 by Colin

Beyond the Bottom Line: American Worker Cooperatives is now available streaming. A great introduction to the idea and function of democratic worker-ownership, the 2004 documentary visits 14 effective businesses across a wide range of industries. You can watch on this page or on the Coop page of our site. Please share this film with others.

 

Skatopia hits iTunes and Google Play!

On December 20, 2012 by Colin

Yes, it is finally available for digital enjoyment! Download to own, rent it, be a critic for a night and write a review! If we get lots of hits this week we’re hoping to break into iTunes top 100!

Here’s a nifty button (straight from the Apple-elf workshops):

Skatopia: 88 Acres of Anarchy

And Android owners don’t despair! You can get in on the act at Google Play.

Slow Down!

On October 21, 2012 by Colin

Our friend and colleague at Seesaw Studios, Judy Korin produced this fine piece that celebrates changing pace…

Skatopia: 88 Acres of Anarchy – new distributor, Screenings, iTunes!!

On October 17, 2012 by Colin

Garden Thieves Pictures is a new distributor for Skatopia: 88 Acres of Anarchy. We’ll be screening Nov 16th- 22nd  at the The Grand Illusion Cinema in Seattle, Washington, and the same week at the 16:9 Cinema in Philadelphia, PA. A multi-city tour to follow.

Also, we’re (finally) coming to iTunes. Look for us there on December 4 with more streaming options to follow.

Follow the action on our Facebook page or at the movie website.

Oh the Irony! Goldman Sachs Ad leads Malcolm X interview on 13 WNET

On October 17, 2012 by Colin

As well documented in yesterday’s “Big Bird” post,public television is one of the most risk-averse and bureaucratic cultures I’d found in the media landscape. Nature, history and British drama shows have proved safe and comfortable for PBS programmers for decades. Innovative and challenging programs (including POV, Independent Lens and Frontline) have been pushed to marginal time slots or off the air entirely as evidenced by Bill Moyer’s struggles to remain on PBS.

This month Thirteen (WNET New York) is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary by dusting off some of it’s “greatest” early programs. Below is an interview with Malcolm X, Wyatt Tee Walker, Alan Morrison and James Farmer. Ironic first because the station hasn’t taken a programming risk in decades, it is doubly mind-blowing that the program’s internet feed opens with a Goldman Sachs ad.

Watch Race Relations in Crisis on PBS. See more from The Open Mind.

Big Bird is A Republican!

On October 16, 2012 by Colin

One of the most intelligent dissections of the real state of public television that I’ve seen. Bravo – Time Magazine!

PBS/photofest

PBS/photofest

OK, he’s not, literally. (Though he was the first one to see the elephant. Coincidence?) But as I write in my print TIME column this week, one thing that’s been lost in the debate over PBS funding is that PBS not only serves many, many conservatives among its audience but operates according to several small-c conservative principles and values. Think of Big Bird—of PBS generally—as a late-’60s, Nelson Rockefeller / George Romney Republican, believing that government can have a role in serving the underserved with prudently managed programs that offer a lot of bang for the buck.

A few points I make in the column:

* It’s true, as those who want to cut PBS funding say, that Sesame Street and Big Bird would survive. (Which is why it’s mind-boggling to me that Mitt Romney has gone out of his way to bring Big Bird’s name into the discussion, going back to the primaries.) What they don’t say is who would lose out: red-state viewers, in rural, lower-income parts of the country that reliably vote Republican. Big Bird will survive, but you may no longer have a station to watch him on in Montana. Very little “PBS” money goes to the national organization; really, the federal funding is a support for viewers in mostly Republican states.

* Public broadcasting, in the U.S., is fiscally conservative. To analogize it to health care, it’s not a massive, expensive single-payer system like the BBC. It uses a very small amount of seed money—$445 million in a nearly $4 trillion budget‚to leverage far more in private charitable and corporate donations. If you ran the public schools the same way, Newt Gingrich would do cartwheels.

* Public broadcasting is decentralized and de-federalized. In commercial TV, a central network like NBC calls the shots, makes the shows, and largely tells affiliates what to do. In public TV, local stations make shows, set their schedules (hence “check local listings”) and, by law, get most of the federal funding. The decisions are made locally, just as Romney says he’d prefer for health care.

* Public TV is culturally conservative. One of the few places where crunchy progressives and family-values conservatives have common ground—besides homeschooling—is a distrust of commercialized TV, especially where their kids are concerned. It may be for different reasons (liberals focus on violence, conservatives on sex, e.g.) but I get surprisingly similar feedback from parents on the left and right about not wanting their kids exposed to crass pop culture and relentless commercialism and advertisements. And for the reasons above, red-state conservatives are among the most likely to lose access to chaste, ad-free PBS if the government stops funding it.

Personally, because I live in New York City, I’ll have relatively well-funded public TV no matter what, thanks to the many fine, evil corporations and 1%-ers who pump money into my civic institutions! And frankly, the shows might be better then; my longstanding problem with PBS is that its programming is too bland and timid, largely because of political pressures.

But that may be the tradeoff for having public TV that reaches 100% of the public. Certainly, if people take a look at what would actually happen if the government cut off PBS and still want to end its funding, that’s their right. But it would be ironic if, in the name of conservative principles, we weakened one of the most frugal, least radical outlets in the TV business.

 

 

On July 26, 2012 by Colin

I’m late to the Lion party, so didn’t realize till now that Apple had hidden the user’s Library. The article linked above offers three different ways to find your library and clean up after encountering corruption in Final Cut 7.

Keeping a lid on email clutter – the Email Charter

On July 13, 2012 by Colin

When I was at Mountain Lake PBS, I came to the brink of declaring “email bankruptcy” – deleting all my messages and sending all my contacts a short message saying “write me if it there is something important you need me to address”. I typically got between 35 and 100 emails a day, – most were a waste of time.

Here’s an idea for stopping all that nonsense: http://www.emailcharter.org/

Here’s just one of the Charter’s Golden Rules:

8. Give these Gifts: EOM NNTR
If your email message can be expressed in half a dozen words, just put it in the subject line, followed by EOM (= End of Message). This saves the recipient having to actually open the message. Ending a note with “No need to respond” or NNTR, is a wonderful act of generosity.

Let’s hope these ideas spread!

 

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