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January 11, 2010


Oh shit, Rotwang made a weblog

"We're here to take your pornography, and sodomize our vast imaginations."

Today's episode:

"Day 2: Alchemist Fat Chicks"

Today, day 2 of my week of fame and glory as the featured blogger on the FOD homepage, I will discuss the agreed-upon topic, my methodology for determining the value of a video.

The knee-jerk reaction is "if you laugh, click funny, if you don't, click die". And that's fine for an audience member- there ain't nothing wrong with that.

When I started commenting on FOD a couple years ago, I didn't have a plan about commenting or voting. Actually, in a way, I did, but I wasn't aware of it- what I like or dislike followed a pattern but I wasn't thinking about it. After all, you can't decide what you laugh at.

So I studied what I was doing (I want to get a grad degree in philosophy someday, is anyone surprised?), and I think I can break down critiquing into two models. Each model centers around resources (time, money), but they come at it from different angles.

1. The audience-centric resource model of critique.

2. The artist-centric resource model of critque.

I probably shouldn't call them "models" here because it's more like a spectrum- we all have both of these approaches in our head, but some people lean more to one side or another. Here's how they differ:

The audience-centric model is where you ask "was this worth my time to watch this?" (For film critics it would also be "is this film worth the $10 and 1:45 to go see"?)

That's a perfectly valid approach, I can't argue that that approach is wrong. Money talks.

The artist-centric model asks the question from the other direction: "What budget/resources did the artist have to work with when he made this?"

Now, obviously, the budgets for these videos aren't public- but we can all tell when something has no budget whatsoever and when something does, right? Hell, you can just look at the number of names in the credits. If some 16 year old fat girl does something beautiful with nothing but a webcam and an idea, I mean, that's pretty damn impressive. (After Star Wars came out, George Lucas was asked about the future of cinema, and he talked about how he was looking forward to the time when video cameras would be more cheap and available, so that "some fat girl in Wisconson could be the next mozart", or something like that.)


That's not to say I hate everything with a big budget, of course not. Remember, the question is, "what did the artist have to work with"? If you have a lot to work with and you do something great with it, that's great too.

Remember that video with the spiders on drugs?

That guy blogged about that, he said he made it in his backyard with a budget of $100. I mean, that's fucking brilliant and funny. (That guy should put that shit on FOD already.)

But a budget isn't evil, here's a FOD video I liked, that clearly has some cash behind it: Rich Dicks.

Anyway, if you can't already tell, I lean way towards the fat girl on the spectrum here. If I see someone's Favorites list on their FOD profile that's all big budget stuff with tons of views, I'm like "you golddigging whore". There's just no love there. No love at all.

Think of it this way- someone has to make a decision about who gets creative control of a big budget, right? How should they make that decision? Nobody STARTS OUT with a big budget, right? So you have to be able to judge someone's work by what the artist had to deal with. And this isn't like other professions where you can just have a degree and good grades. Having a BFA diploma from a good art school doesn't mean you're a good artist, BELIEVE ME, I HAVE ONE.

One of my FOD friends, Butch Jackson, makes a bunch of videos with like no budget. He's a fat girl. It's not all great, a lot of them suck. But some of it is good, and he made that out of thin air compared to a polished FOD exclusive vid. (I kinda feel the same way about Jason Sereno, and he's starting to get a bigger budget now, I think.)

I'll pick on someone as an example- there's a user, NicePeter, who made one of the most hilarious and underrated videos on FOD- it's on my favorites list, "Japanese People Are Weird".

Japanese People are Weird.

It had like 200 views when I found it on Amy4Bird's favorites list. It's totally awesome and it cost like $0.00 to make.

But then NicePeter did something with a bigger budget, the Santa Claus rap thing. Totally lame. (I don't know his level of involvement of how much control he had.) Rap parodies are overdone already, but a Santa rap is like doubly lame. Failblog should post that video with the title "BIGGER BUDGET FAIL".

I'm still eager to see more stuff from NicePeter though. (You HAVE to judge artists only by their best work. It's the law.)

That's enough for today. I actually don't know what I'm posting tomorrow. I have a plan for thursday and for friday, but wednesday is a hole. Any suggestions? Maybe more of this stuff, I don't know.