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On Assignment

So well done.

Chris Jordan on The Midway Project

I’ve stopped drinking out of plastic bottles. This is a good reminder to me on why that is a good choice.

There is a videoblog of Chris’ journey to midway.

A Walkthru with Kathleen Connally

I spent a morning with photographer Kathleen Connally several years back. We talked, we walked. I came back hoping to put something together immediately but life got a little crazy and I had to put it aside. Till now.

Many of things we discussed that misty morning still come back to me from time to time. I think Kathleen has one of the healthiest perspectives on her art & her work. She loves what she does, she has a purpose and she is comfortable with her talent.

You can follow her popular award-winning photoblog at durhamtownship.com.

Driftless: Stories from Iowa

Driftless

Not a lick of music till the very end. The silence, intermingled with the subjects speaking, is very effective. Of course, the imagery is just tremendous. Beautiful, something I’d love to imitate.

Watch it.

The Quiet World

The L’Aquila earthquake

I wish this was bigger news in the States. 

See photos.

The Big Picture – Tough Guy Challenge 2009

Is it just me when I laugh instead of admiring these competitors? I think #14 has something to do with that.

The Photos.

The Big Picture – Mumbai under attack

Powerful essay on the recent acts of cowardice and heroism in Mumbai.

Beijing Paralympic Games Photo Slideshow by Sports Illustrated

Captivating images that highlight how wonderfully heroic people are.

Watch it.

Ticklinks: A Story in Photos

Days with my father – Heartbreaking & beautiful. Couldn’t take my eyes off them. #4 is just so dang powerful., I keep coming back to it.

Views of Jupiter – Big Picture is a blog that I cannot get enough of. I check it twice a day, I am not kidding.

Stupid ideas captured – #1 is a doozy.

Train in Vain – Traveling across America on the train.

Minor League Giants

A photo slideshow by Porter Gifford about little league baseball. Lovely.

Watch it (via Shoot the Blog)

Wonderland

This isn’t a video but it should be.

India Then and Now

I wish this went on longer.

Benazir Bhutto’s last moments before assassination

What a courageous woman! She knew she was a target and yet she tried to make change. I am shocked that such a figurehead from such an important country (Pakistan is a nuclear state) can be so easily killed. Long ago, I predicted Musharraf will end up being a major problem to the people of Pakistan, I got a couple of harsh comments which accused me of trying to rag on Pakistan. Like I said then, it had nothing to do with the country but everything to do with the fact that there is no such thing as a benovolent dictator. He will remain in “power.” Powerful enough to call himself President or Prime Minister but not powerful enough to tackle Al Qaeda. That requires the vote of confidence from the people which I doubt will ever be given to him.   

These photographs are heartbreaking in so many ways. The possibility that she could have lived if she didn’t stand up through the car’s sun roof, if she was more relunctant to be so close to the people. And so on.

Watch it – via Kottke

Our list of Best Online Videos for 2007

This is our second annual “best of” list. Like the 2006 list, this isn’t one of your neat and tidy “best of 2007″ lists. It is not like I have a problem deciding, after all we have posted over 1360 posts (and some posts have several video links), but I think all of these videos listed below are too deserving to be slighted. So if you see a strange category, you can attribute that to the video’s insistence on being heard.

While 2006 seemed like a banner year for online video, 2007 seemed to bring out a lot of pessimism that mainly revolved around the question of profitability. Also, the online video market continues to get saturated with content, just like old school blogging did. It seems like every blogger has some kind of podcast feed now. The word Youtube is synonymous with online video like Google is with internet search (scary?).

It used to be that among my circle of friends, I would be one of the initial people to find out about an online video phenomenon. This is no longer the case. I cannot tell you how often I feel l am either late to the party or missed it completely. The internet has become the biggest, baddest, most chaotic cable channel in the world and everyone is getting hip to it.

SHORTS

We had some great shorts this year, some from the years past but we found them online this year, so it officially fits our very loose guidelines to be eligible for our 2007 list.

Best Short: One Rat Short (Post) – From the story to its execution, this short is flawless. It is a dark tale of romantic love between two rats that steals from Romeo & Juliet as much as from Pixar.

Best Abstract Short: The Outlaw Son (Post) – There are no rewards in this film, you can choose to be in the moment or not. The One Rat Short showed how much can be done with excess, the Outlaw Son shows how much can be done with minimalism.

Best Animated Short: Jojo in the Stars (Post) – I saw this years ago at Resfest. The online experience is not the same, to say the least. Those rich blacks are washed out and the little animated touches are almost completely lost. Nevertheless, what a film! The animation is breathtaking. When she makes her appearance from the disco ball, I remember wanting to jump up and scream.

Best Comedic Short: The Shovel (Post) – Another film, I was lucky enough to see at a festival. Many films possess bigger, funnier set-ups and jokes but this comedy stands out because of its restraint.

Other notable shorts:

MUSIC VIDEOS

2007 has been a great year for music videos. Mainstream stuff is still all about the cinematography but the independent videos are all about the ideas. There is also a return to linearity versus the 90′s simple-minded non-linearity where a video cut back and forth between locations and scenes with no development of any kind.

Among the major video forms, this format seems to be the only one concerned with formal elements in video. Some of that is seeping into shorts but the rest of the film world is largely vanilla.

Best Music Video: Grizzly Bear “Knife” (Post) – Also, the most original video of the year. I am convinced the video was invented by an alien of some kind. For much of it, the video looks like it is concerned with mythology more than the song. And though many believe that the video desecrated the song, I believe the opposite is true.

Other notable music videos:

COMMERCIALS

What constitutes a successful ad has changed in the last couple of years. The focus is to create a buzz online. A lot of this has already become quite tiresome.

Best Commercial: Epuron (Post) – Simply brilliant.

Most sophisticated ad ever: Martin Scorsese’s Key To Reserva – The plot seems to play with genre than anything else. Is it a documentary? a short? an ad!

VIDEOBLOGGING

I am somewhat disappointed with the general direction videoblogging seems to be taking. Talking heads with a lot of personality get the views.

Best Videoblog: Alive in Baghdad – I am amazed at the result as much as how it comes about.

Best Post: Banana Bus – I award myself in all humility. So far, there is not a person who I have met who has not been seduced by the little bus.

Best Series: Young American Bodies – Some of the most daring videos from any medium.

Best Comic Series: Psycho Bob – Scary as much as funny.

OTHER AWARDS

Best Viral: Ninja Warrior (Sasuke) Makoto Nagano (Post) – Read the comments from our post to witness its effect.

Best Stop-Motion: Pes – Sneaux “Skateboard” ad (Post) – Pes = Stop-motion. No surprise.

Sexiest video: Room Service (Post) – Boing!

Best Photography Slideshow: Minutes to Midnight (Post) – A great journey highlighted by even better photography.

Best Graphics: Herr Bar “Clark” (Post) – Little to do with FX dexterity as much as prettiness of the images.

Best Video on Art: Paul Rand Tribute Film (Post) – When content and form meet perfectly.

Best Adaptations: Billy Collins Inspired Videos - Can online video bring poetry back to the spotlight? These videos sure do that.

Best Parody: Wheels (Post) – Trailer, parody and short all at once

Best WTF video: Chocolade Haas (Post) – Some have listed as their favorite video of the year.

Second Best WTF video: Nodern’s video (Post) – We are clueless as you are.

Best Documentary: Michael Moore’s Sicko (Post) – Yes, it was available online, illegally obviously.

Coolest Video: Visual Effects on a Trampoline (Post) – I’d be surprised if you haven’t seen it.

Hippest video: Hipster Olympics – If you been to Williamsburg, you know.

Best Mash-up: Put Your Hands Up for Detroit (Post) – Was in the running for the sexiest video of the year as well.

Best Action: Ryan vs Dorkman, part 2 (Post) – George Lucas has nothing on these guys.

Best Action Comedy: Deadly Finger (Post) – Jackie Chan, meet finger!

Best Television: The Office “Dunder Mifflin Ad” – This is a very personal choice. I love The Office and thus this scene.

Best Feature: Four Eyed Monsters (Post) – They put their film online this year. A daring move, much like their work.

Dek has also compiled a list of his favorites which in some ways is different from mine. He has become the primary blogger on this blog, don’t know what we or I would do without him. TickleBooth continues to grow at a healthy pace, 8 times as much traffic as the previous year with less big hit posts and more steady growth.

Thanks to all the submissions, comments and general support.

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