Mar 11

Wayback Thursday – Love Brigade IV

This week we travel wayback somewhere around late September 2007 to Love Brigade Episode IV.  Love Brigade was the subject of many of the early New Pop webisodes.  They will always have a special place in New Pop lore not only because their founder Alyssa Key is as smart as a whip and a babe, but also because it was while shooting them in the summer of 2006 that I had a Eureka moment that would define The New Pop brand. I had been producing short videos online in some form or another since 2002 always with the intent of publishing via traditional media.  At some point while documenting Love Brigade I decided that I would make the net my target platform of distribution and expression.  There were other sites like Atomic films who were supposed to be outlets for indie filmmakers, but they were run by the same guys who ran the traditional media platforms and frankly they just did not get it. The focus of sites like Atomic was to use the net as a platform to find traditional distribution channels for filmmakers.  It was film producers networking with filmmakers.  It was not art, it was not music, it was not fashion, it was not organic, it was not us.  To me the net was a platform for expression. I will never forget the rush I felt when I realized that I could bypass the old media gatekeepers who ran the festival circuits and express myself to a new audience. There was no turning back after that and New Pop Media was born.

This particular episode is the fourth in the series of five that I shot about Love Brigade.  I posted the others on youtube but this is the one that did not pass the youtube copyright restrictions.  Please excuse the jittery player, and broken links.  Our player was custom built and many of the original files have moved or are lost.  So without further ado, Wayback from September, 2007 Love Brigade IV

Wayback Trivia: Back in 2005 when Thenewpop.com was thenewpopsensation.com we were the first site to use rotating video banners. I called them popshots.  All the rage now. Innovative, yes!


Mar 11

3 Years At The Same Place – The Remix

This past October I posted a video time-lapse titled 3 Years At The same Place by Ramon. Today Ramon posted an alternative version of that video in the increasingly popular portrait orientation. This is the second video I found shot in portrait where the form actually serves a function and enhances the experience.  The first being Enjoy 2011.  I can’t decide whether shooting in portrait has any long lasting artistic merit or whether it is just a passing fad.  I thought this might be an opportune moment to make a side by side comparison.

Most of the times it seems that shooting in portrait is a result of default camera phone settings or someone who is trying to be different for the sake of being different. However in this video the vertical nature of the main subject justifies the change in perspective.  I am also really diggin’ the Polaroid effect, the vintage color treatment and the kinetic text.  That being said everything about the original version with the exception of the landscape orientation feels more contemporary, and seeing more on the X axis as opposed to the Y axis (probably due to our familiarity with it both in real life and on screen) just feels less restricting.  But don’t take my word for it, judge for yourself.




Mar 11

Walking On The Wall At The Barbican

This is pretty cool, showing at the Barbican Gallery in London.  I hope it finds it’s way to the states.


Mar 11

Escape Machines – Suprise

I dare you to watch this and not : )



Mar 11

The Videographers Guide To Not Falling On Your New Media Face | Chapter 5 – Lipstick On A Pig

To put “lipstick on a pig” is a rhetorical expression, used to convey the message that making superficial or cosmetic changes is a futile attempt to disguise the true nature of a product.

What do you do when the shooting assignment turns out to be a dud?  Before you respond with a predictable “It’s not my job to make an event look cool” consider this.  Keep in mind that in most cases more people will experience that event through your video than were actually at that event.  If you make it your job to take a dire situation and somehow find the silver lining via a great edit and shoot, you will build a reputation as a videographer with a midas touch. There is an invisible intangible energy that flows between every person. What separates a good videographer from a mediocre one is your sensitivity to that energy and your ability to mold it.  I will share a few tips on how to turn a dud into a dandy!

1.Wait and see!

The biggest mistake you can make is to walk into an event and assume because everyone is standing around waiting for something to happen that the event is a dud.  Nine out of ten times things will pick up.  The best thing you can do is to be the fly on the wall and document things as they organically build.  The worse thing you can do is to inject your phony positive energy when it is not needed.

2. The Empty Room.

You might find yourself in a situation where the event is well attended and the energy is good but because the organizer booked a space the size of Grand Central Station it looks like nobody is there.  The solution here is an easy one.  Shoot tight.  If people don’t see the empty room, they won’t know the room was empty. Capisce?

3. Too Cool For School.

Living and working in New York I’ve run into many events where it was perfectly acceptable for folks to stand around and look cool instead of having what looks like genuine fun. Many of these folks have no time to be bothered with such things as being photographed.  After all having your image captured is soooo 2009. These events although considered a success have the potential to look like a dud on camera.  If you think sending a bad edit of a bad event sucks, try sending a bad edit of a good event. Solution; Divide & Conquer. Every event regardless of the cool factor has it’s share of people who aren’t too cool to play up to the camera. Engage these people, separate them from their cool friends, ask them for an interview, or to pose for a super fabulous portrait.  More times than not many of the folks who were secretly making fun of the too cool for school crowd will flock to your camera like moths to a flame.  Trust me on this one.

4. The Asshole.

The opposite end of the spectrum is The Asshole.  We have all encountered this guy.  Usually he (or in rare cases she) is drunk, feeling all in the moment with a sudden urge to be the center of attention.  He sees your camera and in the most obnoxious manner demands that you interview him and he won’t leave until you do. Suddenly that fly on the wall thing you had going on is about as effective as a cockroach on the wall. Solution; give him his moment and if he rambles on then mid interview tell him your battery died and run to the other side of the room.  If he finds you again, repeat.

5. When All Else Fails.

Well you have tried everything on this list and still you’ve got nothing, now what?  Solution; when all else fails get drunk and party like a rockstar. Even though I listed this as number 5 on my list, it was always the number 1 criteria of Thenewpop crew to have fun first. Here is one example of that from the Danger Party I shot in 2008.  I have matured a bunch since those crazy early days, and I don’t suggest including footage of naked guys peeing on reverends but you get the idea.  Having fun is contagious and if all is lost you might as well go out in a ball of flames.

Next Friday: Lipstick On A Pig continued – How to turn bad footage into a great edit.


Trevor “Trevz” Bayack is a Brooklyn-born filmmaker who approaches his web pieces as mini documentaries. Recognized as a member of the 2008 URB magazine Next 100 for pioneering the “video blog” Trevz continually makes his pieces shorter, sharper and ever more shareable”   Follow our twitter feed for more.

Mar 11

Wayback Thursday’s | Fall Down At The Asterisk* – 3/5/2007

I am starting a new weekly called Wayback Thursday’s.  Utilizing one of the coolest sites on the web the Internet Archive, I will be posting old New Pop Episodes as they appeared in their original format.  I’ve known about this service for a couple of years now and finally decided to put it to good use.

The first video I want to feature was posted around March 5th 2007. It was shot at this artists loft out in Bushwick Brooklyn The Asterisk*.  The event was Fall Down and showcased local artists and MC’s.  During the early years I was all about documenting “underground” loft parties as much as possible.  I was bright eyed and bushy tailed and fascinated by the art and cool people that I was meeting everyday.  Social Media was just taking off on Myspace, integrating this new media with our art was sheer excitement.  We were invited to this particular event by my friend Busy Bisc 1 who I am still friends with today. The event was fun but in a low key way. What stands out to me is how just 4 years ago people’s styles have changed so much.  I also look back and remember that this was before video phones, and HD cameras.  And the DSLR video cameras that are all the rage now were not invented yet.   This was a couple of years before the photo/video blogging thing would take off so there weren’t many people documenting events back then.  In 2007 there wasn’t even a decent place to upload video since back then YouTube and Vimeo compressed the shit out of video uploads, (that’s the main reason why I invested so much into customizing thenewpop). Even as grainy as my footage looked back then, YouTube and Vimeo was so much worse.  I also noticed a photo in this video (the one with the man pointing a gun at the camera) from the artist JR who is world famous for his massive wheat-pastes.  (I don’t know if he was directly involved with the show).

These are some of the memories that made that time so cool for me and will hopefully make this series a cool experience for you.  So without further ado, Wayback from March 5th, 2007 Fall Down at the Asterisk*

Wayback Trivia: Thenewpop was the first site to utilize custom image uploads in the movie window as opposed to the random screen capture technology.  Innovative, yes!


Mar 11

The Market – Amazing!

It’s a rare occurance when a video inclines me to express my amazement in an audible fashion.   The Market by Terje Sorgjerd is one such video. The opening sequence of shots is one of the most amazing sequences I have seen in the New Media format. Terje’s composition, sense of timing and ear for music are exquisite and make this piece one of the best videos I have seen to date. Incredible!

“Bangkok’s Maeklong Market has been in existence for decades. It remained relatively undisturbed until the later creation of the Maeklong Railway… The result? Every single day the Maeklong Railway line passes through Maeklong – 8 times a day, 7 days per week. The train literally runs directly through the middle of the market…”



Mar 11

Teenage – Teaser | A Film By Matt Wolf

Based on a groundbreaking book by the punk author Jon Savage, Teenage is an unconventional historical film about the invention of teenagers. Bringing to life fascinating youth from the early 20th century—from party-crazed Flappers and hipster Swing Kids to brainwashed Nazi Youth and frenzied Sub-Debs—the film reveals the pre-history of modern teenagers and the struggle between adults and adolescents to define youth.

Incredible archival material mixes seamlessly with 16mm recreations featuring actors. Based on actual teenage diaries, the footage resembles period home movies made by kids themselves. Stylized narration dramatizes this turbulent story and a contemporary soundtrack heightens emotions. The result is a visually explosive, pop meditation on how teenagers were born. Teenage is in-progress and seeking funding. The film will be completed in 2012. Log onto the Teenage website for more info.

Mar 11

Marcelo Does Milan – New York Times Style Magazine Film

Marcelo Burlon editor in Chief at Rodeo Magazine, consultant to Givenchy and the founder of Milan club, Pink is Punk is considered a modern day renaissance man.  This video takes us through his journey from Patagonia, Argentina, to Milan.  The edit and the soundtrack are pretty amazing.  I love the way Marcelo and his circle of friends and artists embrace and own their inner Zoolander.


Mar 11

Film Review | Bill Cunningham New York

I must admit that I never heard of Bill Cunningham until I became a fan of the On The Street video slide-shows on The New York Times website.  I was immediately intrigued by Bill’s voice and manner of speaking and wanted to know more about him.  The film Bill Cunningham New York by Richard Press absolutely satisfied that need.  Bill Cunningham has the whole visual history of fashion in New York in the last 40 or 50 years.  He is the pioneering force behind fashion street photography.  You might think that someone with that kind of legacy working in the center of arguably the most self absorbed industry in New York might have an ego to match.  Instead what we find is an unassuming photographer of the utmost integrity, so focused on his art that he can’t be bothered with the perks of life, fame or celebrity.  As he put it “I’m not interested in celebrities with their free dresses, I’m interested in clothes.”

This film also gives an intriguing portrait of the colorful group of fashionistas and artists that make up Bill’s circle of friends. Most notably a series of scene stealing cameos by one of Bill’s Carnegie Hall neighbors photographer to the stars Editta Sherman.  In one memorable scene Editta in her 90′s who is constantly pressing the camera crew for more attention refers to herself as a legend of Carnegie Hall, in turn the crew asks her whether she means legend or fixture?  This film is littered with gems like that.

The most touching moment in the film came when with much trepidation the crew asks Bill if he has ever regretted not having a relationship. For one brief somewhat uncomfortable moment, Bill lets us in and reveals without words how his love for his art did not come without sacrifice.  Myself being a 40 year old single male simultaneously addicted to, yet terrified of living the rest of my life alone, it gave me a rare glimpse as to where such single minded focus can lead. No pun intended.

Also to be acknowledged is Richard Press’ fly on the wall approach to filmmaking.  As the filmmaker states on his website…

“Bill’s reticence to be filmed set the practical terms for how the documentary could be made. The spectacle of a camera crew, sound recorder, and boom operator would be impossible. We had to capture him the way he claims to capture his own subjects: “discreetly, quietly, and invisibly.”

While this approach may be a bit unorthodox to traditional filmmakers, blending in is an approach long embraced by New Media filmmakers everywhere.  We have always taken our cues from the event and street photographers.  It is great to see this approach utilized in a film about the photographer that pioneered this approach.  The editing of Ryan Denmark should also be applauded.  Seamlessly incorporating vintage footage with contemporary footage added to Bill’s never-ending Worker Bee aura.  Plus it’s always cool to see old footage of pre-Guiliani Times Square. I was also very impressed with the photographic animation of Keira Alexandra.  It was critical that the photo sequences look and worked right, and Kiera nailed it.

My one criticism is that the filmmakers did not go into much depth about how Bill makes his living.  Bill says that “If you don’t take money, they can’t tell you what to do.”   So how does he make his living?  The only insight is an off hand reference from Bill about having a “Day Job,” accompanied with vintage b-roll of him coming out of the old New York Times office on 43rd street.  His belief that even taking a glass of water translates to a loss of freedom can’t possibly play out in a practical world right?  We will never know from watching this film.  A more in depth look at how his income streams fit into this rigid philosophy would have served the audience well.

That aside, the power in this film lies in the fact that it strips away all the nonsense and frivolities that New York society places on art and breaks Bills work down to it’s bare essentials, the clothes.  If you have somehow forgotten how you felt at that moment when you first realized that you would sooner give up your right arm than put down your camera, your paintbrush, your notepad or whatever tool you use to express yourself, this film acts as a poignant reminder.


Bill Cunningham New York is playing at the Film Forum through Tuesday March 29th.  For other dates log on to the official website here.