LongForm/YouTube/OxyMoron (April 23, 2009)
NOTES: Origins and Context | See Also
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Origins of this content
This blog post marks my online dialogue with new media scholar Chuck Tyron, who writes the Chutry Experiment, which has a particular focus on the convergence of old and new media forms. There are a number of film blogs that pursue how indie cinema will fare in a new media environment, such as Ted Hope's Truly Free Film.
SnagFilms "is committed to finding the world's most compelling documentaries, whether from established heavyweights or first-time filmmakers, and making them available to the wide audience these titles deserve. SnagFilms.com is a website where you can watch full-length documentary films for free, but we're also a platform that lets you 'snag' a film and put it anywhere on the web."[cit]

American Gold Star Mothers are "an organization of mothers who have lost a son or daughter in the service of our country."[cit]

Code Pink "calls on women around the world to rise up and oppose the war in Iraq and future wars."[cit]

SCALE (2008) is my feature documentary about how "divisions and connections between and within the Left mark the contradictions of individual action, collaboration, media attention, and grassroots movements for social justice."[cit] It also deals with the related pressures of getting big and staying small.
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More videos related to the content of this page
More clips by Alex Juhasz from her feature, anti-war documentary SCALE: Measuring Might in the Media Age.
Thanks to Chuck at the Chutry Experiment for alerting me that the documentaries on snagfilms are now also on YouTube. Beyond the many feature docs that this now makes available (as well as the many other feature films and TV shows delivered via other corporate deals bent on maybe, finally monetizing the site), this also means that my very own SCALE is on YouTube.

My reaction is ambivalent. Thanks to YouTube, lots more people will probably view my antiwar documentary, but also see it in a context that is not ideal for activism, analysis, or community. Chances are they'll watch a minute or two and then click elsewhere. However, its hour of content was carefully crafted to grow and change and build (as is true for all features), so the first few minutes relay little of what it becomes and less of what I hope to say.

When I make YouTube videos, I speak in a messy, fast distracted vernacular suited and situated for this medium. My "professional" work is, however, long form, seeking depth of ideas and character, and produced collaboratively with a crew of professionals (cameraperson, editor, producer) and is made to be screened with the lights down in a room with others driven to be there, talk after, and perhaps even do something against the war after that.

These distinctions of viewing contexts have become at once more relevant and irrelevant. As all media becomes available all the time, the careful conditions of viewing among activists become increasingly absent and therefore more valuable and necessary.

As the differences between amateur/professional and alternative/mainstream wane, our need for "pure" acts outside of capitalism escalate. As corporations take on a larger role in alternative distribution, users must beware. When I tried to make the feature version of my documentary SCALE the main video selection on my SCALEthedoc YouTube page, YouTube instead displayed this banner announcement: "We are unable to show you the original featured video for this channel due to page or location restrictions."

Snag's corporate umbrella got my long-form doc onto YouTube (thanks!) but then firmly controls its terms of use (ads are embedded everywhere!).