Tag Archives: YouTube

Drew Tube

1. Drew Tube

I’m thinking of entering into the world of video blogging, but I don’t want to be another run of the mill media critic. I need a gimmick, a hook that let’s the viewer know that I have no shame and I’m not afraid to prove it.

The following is a collection of v-blog pitches, some are sheer brainstorm brilliance while others are train of thought train wrecks. At the end, you can vote on which ones are which.

Genre Fiction Mad Libs

Author, Christopher Booker believes writers keep recycling seven basic plots. Let’s prove him right. Collecting over-used film tropes I’ll outline the templates for making a romantic comedy, a home invasion horror movie, and a dystopian teen empowerment fantasy. I’ll compose five minute mad lib plot lines and invite the audience to help fill the character details in. A week later we’ll see the results unfold.

Pitch Perfected

Viewers suggest the worst movies they can think of and I’ll pitch them like they’re awesome, polishing these steaming turds into Oscar statues.

Listen to me pitch The Phantom Menace as a political intrigue thriller. Jar Jar Binks, a Gungan without a country, assumes the role of bumbling imbecile to trick members of a religious order into saving his world from a genocidal conspiracy.

Listen me intellectualize The Room as one woman’s descent into terminal narcissism, an unflinching examination of how personality disorders play into infidelity, a film that holds a mirror to society, forcing us to take a critical look at ourselves.

Listen to me call Gigli a shocking exposé of the mental healthcare industry, a rallying cry for the handicapped, and a mature look at sexual identity.

Listen to me nominate Troll 2 for inclusion in the Criterion Collection, calling it a film with a strong message about the environment.

Nostalgia Nostradamus

Nostalgia Nostradamus predicts which beloved children’s cartoon will be turned into Michael Bay’s latest series of sunsets and tracking shots. Thunder Cats? Voltron? Gargoyles?

The trick in Nostalgia Nostradamus’s tricorn hat is his ability to predict how producers of these reboots will get everything wrong:

– He-Man cries, “I have the power” as he raises the barrel of his new lightening gun.
– She-Ra’s wind resistant skirt is replaced with pants.
– Filmation’s Ghostbusters get’s rebooted. Not the team with Egon, Ray, Peter and Winston, but the one that drives around with a gorilla in a talking ghost car.

Nintendo controller by Bitter String Art. Check them out at https://www.etsy.com/shop/BitterStringArt
Nintendo controller by Bitter String Art.

Feminize a Video Game Franchise

I come up with plots for female leads in male dominated video game series. For example:

An Assassin’s Creed game starring Vultur, a Romani woman struggling to save her family from the Spanish Inquisition. Vultur uses theatrical weapons to strike fear into the hearts of Templar witch finders.

A Zelda game where Zelda takes the starring role. The sorcerer, Ganon abducts Hyrule’s princesses to use their blood to open a doorway to the dark world. Breaking out of her cell, princess Zelda works her way through Ganon’s dungeons, collecting weapons, freeing her fellow captives, and ascending the dark lord’s tower for a final confrontation.

A God of War game that takes place in the aftermath of Kratos’s resignation. Goddess of War follows a Spartan woman who stumbles upon the Blades of Olympus while the minions of a new crop of Gods burn her village down.

Stock Photo Theater

Original programing made with unoriginal pictures. Stock photo sites are all too happy to provide the cast, their blank business figures are begging to be turned into actors. All I have to do is supply the dialogue.

Shutterstock already has so many images of people laughing, isn’t it time they put out a sitcom? How about a whodunnit? Turns out the boardroom meeting, in this picture, is a gathering of all the suspects. How about a science fiction series where angry desk jockeys fight their technology? With all the shots of people shouting at their screens, we already have everything we need.

3. Point the finger at

Batman or Ingmar Bergman

A game where viewers guess whether a line of dialogue came from a Batman movie or a film from existentialist director Ingmar Bergman.

1. “… the most powerful impulse of the spirit: the fear of death.”
2. “One day you stand at the edge of life and face darkness.”

3. “I wake up from a nightmare and find that real life is worse than the dream.”

4. “There is something out there in the darkness, something terrifying, something that will not stop until it gets revenge… Me.”

1. Batman
2. Bergman
3. Bergman
4. Batman

Franchise Fixes

Franchise Fixes

I pitch reboots for your favorite ailing film franchises, raising Hellraiser, reviving Highlander’s immortality and calling Howard the Duck back to earth. Find me a series that’s at death’s door and I’ll bust out the defibrillator. Just call me Dr. Drew.

Writing Confessions

I list all the dirty tricks I use to ensure my output, like describing a setting before I know the characters or conflict that will fill it, writing dialogue with the intention of discovering the action, or planting the setups for my plot twists in later edits.

I’ll confess everything from how I spare my darlings to how I repurpose fan fiction.

Wednesday Watches

I recommend low budget, soon to be cult classics, for you to uncover on Netflix. They’re not always great movies but they’re entertaining enough for a Wednesday evening.

Clickbait Writer’s Room

A sketch comedy series, where a team of freelancers set out to ruin journalism, in order to rase their demon master Mammon. Writing titles with cliff hangers, the clickbaiters target would-be Nobel Prize winners, distracting them from their discoveries. Upsetting viewers with the first half of their captions, the clickbaiters promise to restore the world’s faith in humanity with the other, but they never do.

This coven of content creators will churn out listicles, slideshows and viral videos. Casting darkness over everyone’s newsfeed. Once they’ve sacrificed enough of our time, Mammon will rise up and claim his digital dominion.

4. Error Drew

This is my first round of ideas. Please vote on the ones you like and leave suggestions in the comments.

We are the Internet

Full disclosure: I saw a design like this on chezapocalypse.com for their Cthulu themed YA Romance novel Awakened and I loved it.

As more information archeologists dig into the web, content creators have been getting the short end of the pickax. Dependent on services to host our treasures, we’re finding them hidden, buried behind copyright claims, closed off to adventurers who once sought to share them. The internet is still their dig site of choice, but it feels like we’re being shut out of it.

Last year, YouTube launched an Auto Content ID system to seek out copyrighted material from videos. It matched waveforms to a sound library. It protected YouTube from litigation, but it had an adverse impact on content creation.

These measures were to stop users from uploading entire albums and films scene by scene. Problems arose when critics needed to show b-roll from theatrical releases, DVDs, and video games to discuss them. Better safe than sorry, the copyright bots gave warnings to videos that used clips within the guidelines of fair use.

In the aftermath of Content ID, YouTuber Angry Joe wondered if game publishers were taking advantage of these changes to quell criticism, claiming infringement to censor bad press. His fear was that these new restrictions would reduce his show to a talking head with no visuals (fortunately, this wasn’t the case).

The panic generated by Content ID is one example of how artists are at the mercy of corporate entities.

Earlier this year, Facebook changed the way posts from Pages appeared in News Feeds. They wouldn’t show up until the Page Manager paid to push them. Authors trying to build a following were destined to be nickeled and dimed. With every link and every book announcement, they’d have to pay a micro-transaction.

These changes limit all the social elements from an author’s platform. Why post an amusing anecdote if you have to pay to promote? Why share a life event if it will reach less than one percent? Why upload a clip of an embarrassing karaoke duet if it’s not within your budget?

Unless your followers are checking your page, commenting and liking on their own, your voice will be reduced to a marketing drone. Your Page will be a graveyard for links to be buried in. I’ve written about Facebook’s changes at length, but I fear they’re part of a broader trend.

Hail Hydra!
Hail Hydra!

The FCC have proposed changes to their net neutrality policy, lifting regulations that make internet service providers neutral on the flow of info. ISPs will have the ability to charge websites more for express traffic. Data with financial backing will get to its destination faster than upstarts can afford to compete with.

I’ve written a satirical short on the subject, but these are my genuine feelings on it.

If Facebook is the only social network that can afford to stay in the fast lane, they’re the last ride we’ll get to see our friends. If YouTube is the only video-sharing service on the motorway, they can control whatever we say. If Netflix is the only streaming service on the Autobahn, we’ll be paying more to ride along. Less entrepreneurs on the expressway means less competition, and higher costs for everyone.

At the turn of the century there were a dozen search engine options. This ruling will make sure that Google will always be the only game in town.

Think about it like this: if BuzzFeed is the Walmart of the internet, your blog is the mom and pop shop in its shadow. If UpWorthy is the big chain restaurant your site is the hole in the wall struggling to make a name for itself. If ViralNova is Fox News your blog is late night public access television. They’ve got readers, sharers, and advertisers. They can afford to give service that you can not.

These changes to net neutrality will make it even harder for the little person to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps.

I have an irrational fear that the Internet will devolve into the worst parts of television: news feeds becoming cesspools of advertisements, ad walls blocking entry into every site, commercials running before every captcha.

Our participation will be limited to voting on talent competitions. Meaningful content will hide behind subscription costs. Unique perspectives will shrink. Unique voices will be drowned out. The tone of the conversation will shift from sharing ideas to buying and selling. Content creators will be reduced to consumers.

There’s a lot of money in making us feel ugly, lonely, and incomplete. Advertisers give us these problems so they can sell us the solutions. The more bandwagons we’re exposed to the more isolated we feel. The more attractive figures we’re shown, the more our mirrors distort. The higher our expectation for happiness, the more depressed we get.

The formula for advertisements has had a toxic effect on how we see ourselves. The net is one of the last refuges from it. Sure, ads are prevalent, but there’s a counterbalance. In this marketplace of ideas we’ve found more positive ways to promote ourselves.

Authors might send me annoying auto-DMs on Twitter, but they’re never going to make me feel like shit to sell a book (unless they’re in the self-help business).

We’ve had a free press for some time, the trouble was none of us owned one. The internet gave us free expression we had never known. Now that we’ve tasted it, we’re never going to spit it out.

There’s a reason I called my fears “Irrational.” I’m not panicking about these proposed changes to net neutrality, because I know I’m not the only one with something at stake. I’m not the only blogger, video-logger, or podcaster whose livelihood is on the line.

Content creators won’t be written out of the code, lost in the tag clouds, or blacked out of the search terms. We’re the draw that gets users to come. We’re the stream of ideas the world gets its revenue from. We’re the sugar that lets people stomach your advertisements.

We won’t bite our tongues, hold our criticism, or muzzle our dissent. We’ve grown accustomed to the sound of our own voices. You can buy all the microphones, all the loudspeakers, and all the stages in the world, and you’ll still be a whisper in the crowd. In here, your lobbies are meek, spam our email accounts automatically sort into the junk bin. Your agenda is lost in the choir, your pundits are outnumbered, your interests bore us. Your slant has been flattened, your closed communications are open to interpretation, your opacity is an emperor with no clothes on.

Shut us out at your own risk. We won’t come to your party if you make it too exclusive. We won’t think it’s cool if you leave us to talk to ourselves. We won’t buy anything if you price us out of the bar.

The internet is the closest we’ve come to equal representation inside the system. We’re not giving up our seats at the table. We like life outside of the bottle, we’re not going back in. We know our place, it’s everywhere. Our vines stretch past your walled off gardens. You can cut us off at the knees, but it won’t limit our reach.

We ARE the internet.