Happy Friday! Welcome to Issue 78 of Rerun by Axonista!
This week's Top Pick is the Internet Creators Guild's thoughtful critique of YouTube's approach to de-monetisation.
We also look at the changing faces of TV, BBC's C.A.K.E., 360 video of the USA's National Parks, interviews with a couple of VR pioneers, ghostbusting in VR and the evolution of stop-motion animation.
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Let's get to it!
YouTube de-monetization explained
De-Monetization began in 2012, but YouTube only began notifying creators this week. Does that make things better? Or does it make things worse?
The Internet Creators Guild published a nuanced and thoughtful look at the issues with YouTube's approach to de-monetisation, an algorithmically driven process started in 2012 that automatically de-monetises videos that don't conform to advertising-friendly guidelines. Up until recently it was very difficult to even know if one of your videos was de-monetised, or to appeal against it. YouTube's algorithm also casts a wide net, which has seen videos relating to healthcare or LGBT issues being erroneously de-monetised.
Future of TV
The face of television is changing
It's a period of intense scrutiny in the arts, with a lack of diversity taking the spotlight, coming to a head earlier in the year with #OscarsSoWhite. Thus it's refreshing to see two new shows Atlanta and Queen Sugar not only giving a springboard to fresh new and diverse talent, but critically succeeding in the process.
Like Atlanta, Queen Sugar demonstrates the possibilities of widening the TV creator pool. At their best, both Atlanta and Queen Sugar spotlight what there’s room for when blandly “universal” shows and their often-patronizing tokenism no longer carry the sole burden of representation.
The Sopranos gave us Mad Men, springboarding Matthew Weiner from staff writer to showrunner. We don’t know what Atlanta or Queen Sugar will give us yet, but we’ll be waiting.
Missing Stranger Things? Play this retro point-and-click game based on the hit show
Indie devs Infamous Quests have created a perfectly retro point-and-click adventure based on Netflix's hit Stranger Things
Yet another example of the cultural phenomenon surrounding Stranger Things. Fans of classic adventure games like the Monkey Island series will appreciate!
BBC R&D's cook-along kitchen experience (CAKE)
Fresh from the R&D labs of the BBC comes CAKE, a personalised cook along experience that's highly tailored to the cook's requirements using object based broadcasting.
Object-based techniques offer new creative editorial opportunities, the advantages of shooting in an object-based way is that media becomes easily reusable, and remixing it to tell new stories or build future responsive experiences doesn't require any re-engineering.
The BBC R&D team will be demoing this and other OBB based experiences at IBC this weekend. We hope there's actual cake :) 🎂
The Hidden Worlds of the National Parks
Google Arts and Culture have released an interactive look at the USA's National Parks. The experience mixes stunning traditional video footage with 360 video, giving the user the ability to navigate at their own pace. Altogether a really cohesive experience and well worth checking out!
VR will mirror life like nothing else before
Singularity Hub published a captivating interview with VR storytelling pioneer Chris Milk talking about the state of VR as a storytelling medium .
Every other medium is an externalized version of an event. Whether it's someone writing a description with ink on parchment or it’s a movie, it's an externalized medium of someone else’s consciousness. A filmmaker tries to get what’s in his head onto the scene. You witness it. You experience it. You internalize it. But there's this gap between the actual experience and you internalizing it.
Virtual reality bridges that gap, so now you are within the experience firsthand. But the actual format right now is this thing that's really fluid.
Cinema took 60 years to get to Citizen Kane.
5 key insights from director Jon Favreau about the power of VR
UploadVR interviews director Jon Favreau about his recently released VR experience Gnomes & Goblins and what he thinks about VR, from intensity to differences from film.
With a film you are sitting and watching a screen, here you’re literally in the world. So, if you’re frustrating people or if you’re rewarding people, if they like it, they tend to use superlatives.
[In ‘Gnomes & Goblins'] we found that when littler people did it they got more scared, so we scaled up the world based on how tall the person is, so even your kid would still experience the goblin as something small that you don’t feel threatened by.
Ghostbusting finally got me to believe in the power of VR
The Holodeck is real, it's called the VOID and it's in New York.
In this WIRED article, Jake Barton, having tons of experience with VR from his day job as a media designer, visited the VOID's official Ghostbusters experience at Madame Tussaud’s Times Square.
He describes his adventure as a breakthrough moment in understanding the power of VR, and points out that realtime collaboration with other humans is key to emotional engagement in the VR story.
It’s no wonder that companies like Microsoft and Facebook are pursuing social VR; they’re all chasing what my ghostbusting cohort and I experienced in the VOID.
- Watch the first ever movie trailer made by artificial intelligence
- Facebook is changing the Like buttons (for Star Trek fans)
- Oculus wins Emmy for VR animated short Henry
Watch the evolution of stop-motion film in this 3-minute video
Stop-motion animation has been around in cinema for over a century, most recently used in Kubo and Two Strings (which you need to see). Filmmaker Vugar Efendi has created a video tribute to the technique. Happy Friday!