May 11

New Pop Vintage – Memorial Day 2010

Not only is Memorial Day the unofficial start of the Summer movie season, it is also the unofficial start of the New Pop movie season.  That means more cool New Pop produced client movies, more personal videos, more cool new projects to announce, and possibly more Getting To Know You videos.  Last Memorial Day I found myself at Coney Island with my new Canon 7D camera and put together what I can now call my very first New Pop Vintage HD video.



May 11

Tiny Feature Saturday’s – A Plea For Modernism

Architecture is arguably the worlds most awe inspiring artistic medium.  It is why I never tire of New York City. But so many folks tend to think that modern architecture is not as worthy of preservation.  This week on TFS we feature a video by Even Mather who tells the story of The Phillis Wheatley Elementary School.  As the vimeo page states…

“The Phillis Wheatley Elementary school has served the historic New Orleans African-American neighborhood of Tremé since it opened in 1955. Celebrated worldwide for its innovative, regionally-expressive modern design – the structure sustained moderate damage during the storms and levee breach of 2005. Although it is scheduled for demolition in Summer 2011, DOCOMOMO Louisiana is advocating for its restoration via adaptive reuse.”

If you are interested, there is information on how to help in the video credits.


May 11

The Videographers Guide To Not Falling On Your New Media Face | Chapter 13 – Gaming The System

The term “Gaming The System” usually describes techniques used identify loopholes or tricks that allows one to evade community standards. In this particular instance I refer to “gaming” as legit techniques for videographers to rack up views and or build their brand.

Sex Sells

Sex sells is a time tested adage that transcends all mediums, cultures and economic climates.  Photo blog sites like Lastnightsparty or Drivenbyboredom who have been showing bare-breasted hipsters for years have delved into the video realm with impressive results.  This video Hot Girls Making Out (8/10/ update – Removed by yoututbe) which I edited for Drivenbyboredom is a good example of building a brand by using sex as a lure. Almost 100K views with very little production merit. This video works wonders for his site, but does nothing for me since my brand isn’t built around sex.

Cats, Storms & Natural Disasters

Exploiting natural phenomenon for views is another technique that has stood the test of time and you shouldn’t feel bad doing this.  If it’s good enough for CNN then it’s good enough for you.  Like sex it probably won’t do much for you if it doesn’t build your brand, but even one good video capturing the work of mother nature can be a big winner.  Here is one of the best titled The Aurora by filmmaker Terje Sorgjerd  3.7 million views at the time of this posting.  This is gaming the system on it’s highest production level.

The Bandwagon

One of the most reliable ways to get quick views is to jump on a video trend with a tribute video.  This video by my friends Shinobi Ninja is a remake of the recent Bed Intruder video meme and garnered them 53k views  (8/10/ update – private link).

The High Profile Brand Portrait

In new media high profile brands can be very different than those found in traditional media.  They can be skaters, bloggers, photographers, promoters, independent artist or they can be your traditional old media high profile celebrity.  Documenting a high profile brand for views is probably the technique that requires the most preparation. For one you will have to produce a level of work that is satisfactory enough for that brand to invest the time.  Secondly you will have to do some legwork to contact someone that will give you access.  Then you will have to do your homework and figure out if this video will translate into actual views.  Old Media Brands are sometimes more difficult to predict in terms of how many views they will bring simply because their audiences are older and not necessarily a part of the New Media experience.

The Corporate Account

The goal of many aspiring videographers is to get corporate accounts.  It says you have arrived and are now playing the game on a level that separates you from the masses.  Another benefit other than getting paid comes in the form of views.  Now that you have corporate backing it means that the videos you make are going to get seen, bringing your brand additional exposure.  This is the level of stratosphere that my brand TheNewPop occupies.  Here is one corporate video I made for The Desigual Brand titled Undie Party that has about 75K views at the time of this posting. Keep in mind that corporate accounts can also come in the form of production houses, blogs, celebrity clients and record labels just to name a few.  But it is not the holy grail that I strive for.  That highest level of videographer existence is reserved for the High Profile Brand.

The High Profile Brand

The ultimate gamer is the High Profile Brand mentioned in the sections above. This brand gets views simply because of who they are. Lastnightsparty is a great example of this brand. Bronques (The man behind the brand) has leveraged his photo blog known for documenting topless drunken hipsters into hundreds of thousands of video views and highly desired corporate accounts.  Other video brands in this category include the 13th Witness, Hypebeast, Vasthie & Maestro Knows.  Keep in mind that there are other ways to build your video brand outside of producing videos.  Of this list the only one to get their start as a New Media videographer is Maestro Knows.  The rest have either leveraged blogging fame or some combination of the gaming teqhniques listed above into building their brand. Vashtie throws parties, Hypebeast blogs about street culture. Finding even minor success in this category means that people will be vying for your services based solely on your brand name.

In the end what is the most exciting thing about New Media is it is an emerging field and the players and techniques are just coming into focus. There are a number of ways not all mentioned here for you to find a small niche or achieve videographer nirvana.  As far as “Gaming The System” goes, it’s all legit as long as your hearts in the game.

Good Luck.

Next Friday: The New Media Advertising Model.


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.


May 11

Wayback Thursday’s – Memorial Day Weekend 2008 “The Summer Of Love.”

This week we take our Wayback Machine to Memorial Day 2008 our Summer Of Love.   It was a time when we were all just discovering our fascination with social media and figuring out ways to incorporate it into our art. There was a merging of different mediums under this one umbrella that we now embrace as Social Media. But we didn’t just engage online, we were meeting every day on the streets, boutiques and lofts of downtown Manhattan and North Brooklyn and it was all organic.  I think that it was organic is what made it special.  Up until then there was a separation between what happened online and what happened in the real world.  Unless it was a scheduled “meet up” people tended to separate their off-line experience from their virtual ones. Leading up to the Summer of 2008 that line was blurring until it vanished completely.

Looking back now I see that the years following 2008 people (myself included) started to figure out ways to commoditize new media.  Corporations started paying us to do our art, our friends wanted their own shows, we started leaving our day jobs and the stakes got higher.  It wasn’t just about creating anymore.  For me the camera phone and later the DSLR video camera was about to take the novelty out of what was a special little video project I called The New Pop.  Don’t misunderstand me, I am glad it happened in fact I predicted that once everyone started shooting video it would legitimize the art form and make it easier for me to make a living as a videographer.  Still, I can’t help but reminisce about the days when people weren’t so use to having a video camera in their face, on a whole folks today are more jaded and self conscious about being documented.

In this video Texas and I decided to have a non-stop Memorial day weekend that took us from the now defunct outdoor venues The Yard and Hope Lounge in Brooklyn, to a naked Hot Tub party and a Rooftop gathering in Manhattan.  Through it all I had one question for my friends “What Are You Doing This Summer?”


Wayback Trivia: During that incredible Memorial day weekend while Texas & I were documenting parties non-stop, the visibly absent Tone (our third partner) was out of town attending a wedding.  Of course as soon as he returned we rubbed it in with repeated stories of what went down and just how much he missed out.  When we got to the story of our naked hot tub adventure Tone visibly shook by the fact that he missed out would refer to the Hot Tub as having green water. Lol.  It wasn’t green but whatever works for you Tone.

May 11

Tracey Emin On Her Childhood In Margate

Courtesy of the folks at Wallpaper Magazine this feature on artist Tracey Emin produced by Louis Vuitton’s as a part of their exhibition of the British artist’s work at the Hayward Gallery.  Shot on location in the coastal town of Margate, Emin explains the impact of the town she grew up in on her psyche and work.


May 11

The Visualmakers – Preview Trailer

Here is the 1st trailer for the documentary The Visualmakers a film “that seeks to find out what unites us as independent filmmakers who use the latest breed of relatively affordable digital tools.” The filmmakers interviewed here feel a bit like the stereotypical “insider club” of old media directors but the sound-bytes and shots are great.



May 11

Album review: ‘Born This Way’ inspired by Lady Gaga’s social media savvy, and her Little Monsters

Lady Gaga Born This Way Regular and Deluxe Edition Covers, courtesy of PopCrush.com

Three days before the release of her album Born This Way, out now,  Lady Gaga starred in a Google Chrome video that showed her dancing around on the Brooklyn Bridge.  Spliced in were fan-made videos covering her latest Billboard Hot 100 Hit, “The Edge of Glory,” as she sent inspirational messages to them via her website.

And that video is just one of many promotional efforts Gaga employed to ramp up the excitement for one of the year’s most highly-anticipated pop records.

As it stands now, Gaga has officially reached over 10 million followers on Twitter, and over 30 million fans “Like” her Facebook page.  This makes Lady Gaga, a blond-haired, New York-bred, Italian-American Catholic (much like a certain other pop goddess she’s often compared to), more popular than President Obama.

So, either America is wrongly prioritizing, or Gaga is a visionary. Though the former can be true, I’ll argue the latter.

Born This Way is quite the achievement, and though “hype” is such an ugly word, it lives up to its own potential, thanks to an incredibly high-bar music industry standard set by Lady Gaga herself.  This album was her opportunity to bring on the crazy that the world reluctantly embraced (sales of her 2008 debut, The Fame, didn’t pick up until the following year).   With so many millions of people watching, scrutinizing, publicizing and glorifying Lady Gaga’s every move, she had to deliver.

Born This Way is not the greatest album of the decade, as Mother Monster promised. It is a heady adrenaline rush at over an hour long,  that is only squelched by any instance in which Gaga holds back.  For example, “Electric Chapel,” a melancholic 80s coo of a tune, is one of the few moments on Born This Way where Gaga sounds restrained, poised even.

The public is so used to Gaga In The Meat Dress, or Gaga Dying Onstage, that anything other than total Gaga-walk-walk-fashion-baby-move that-bitch-crazy is unacceptable.

Thankfully Born This Way, for the most part, doesn’t beat around the bush.  “Marry the Night,” the album’s opener, is a pummeling assault that hardly lets up. It’s opening church organ sets the tone for a thrilling album that finds Gaga tackling rough sex, religion, famewhoring, immigration, feminism, follicles and unicorns – often simultaneously.

Only Gaga could rope in childhood idols Clarence Clemons of the E Street Band (“Hair,” “The Edge of Glory”) and Queen’s Brian May (“You and I”) for songs that celebrate hair, public intoxication, grandfather love and Nebraska.   And only she could purposefully craft many moments like these that beg you to give the album a gold star for a high WTF factor (See: “Heavy Metal Lovers”).

Only Gaga could mix feminist politics with 90s Berlin house, while rap-singing in German (See: “ScheiBe”).  “I wish that I could be strong with no permission,” the singer pleads over a skittering gay-club unst chorus.  It’s an honest moment for the singer, whose last album, 2009’s The Fame Monster EP, found her about as lively as a vampire in the Twilight movie series.

But perhaps Born This Way’s most impressive accomplishment – despite all the cheese-tastic 80s and 90s Eurotrash-y deliciousness – is how incredibly warmhearted Gaga sounds. She sings here with her whole heart, and the power of her voice is chilling in the right ways. It’s not like The Fame Monster, where Gaga experienced oddly disconnected wanderlust, and as a result, wound up in icy Siberian terrain.

That’s definitely not the case for Born This Way.

Gaga, a star who has always expressed in interviews what religion means to her, sings about her Holy Trinity, in “You and I”:  “It’s my daddy, and Nebraska and Jesus Christ.”  It’s one moment though, not a tactless #trendingtopic throughout a highly trendy, yet trendsetting album, which makes its revelation that much more powerful.

And that’s the beauty of the bigness that is Born This Way – an effort that aims to empower the powerless, and give people reason to celebrate their existence and stuff.  Almost always, Born This Way hits the mark.

It even liberates the always-combustible Lady Gaga, a pint-sized New Yorker who is more popular than the president, a feat that isn’t bad for a second album.

Mickey Woods




May 11

Tiny Feature Saturday’s – SoLost: The Holy Land Of Cinema?

This video courtesy of Dave Anderson features The Alamo Drafthouse in Austin Texas.  This one of a kind theatre is kind of like The Prairie Home Companion for the theatre going crowd.  According to the vimeo page…

“From Master Pancake Theater to Hecklevision to Sing-Alongs and Quote-Alongs; from nighttime “Jaws” screenings from inner tubes on a lake to a car-eating Robosauras breathing fire in their parking lot to Leonard Nimoy shocking fans with a surprise world premiere of the new Star Trek, this is a spot where every day brings a grand new film event.”

They also have an aggressive policy on talking during their films.  According to the founder and CEO Tim League

“If you talk… we’ll warn you sternly, if we have to warn you a second time that warning will say ‘If I am coming back, you are leaving,’ there is no third warning.  And If I need to bring the police in, I will bring the police.”


Rumor has it they will be bringing their show to New York and Los Angeles in 2011.



May 11

The Videographers Guide To Not Falling On Your New Media Face | Chapter 12 – Clients

I can’t think of anything more rewarding than being your own boss and doing what you love.  You make your own hours, you are constantly challenged, and you don’t have to take shit from anyone.  I have dedicated my life to this pursuit of freedom.  It is in my blood, no one in my nuclear family works for a boss.  My father owns a cab, my brother is also a videographer and my mom and sister are house wives.  I think we would rather starve than put up with working for a boss. My pursuit of this freedom has come at a cost.  I have lost relationships, suffered humiliation, lived in constant financial hardship, met with creative crises’ and I am constantly in fear of having a bad month.  Despite these challenges every single morning I wake up at the crack of dawn excited to get to work.

The lifeblood of this creative freedom comes in the form of clients. How do I find them?  I am not a particularly social person but thanks in large part to social media and blogging I have managed to build a solid client list. In this chapter I will share a few tips that helped me in obtaining, nurturing, and expanding my client portfolio.


These days I don’t do much if any real world prospecting for new clients.  Most of them come via referrals or my website (More on that later).  But there was a time when I didn’t have a single client and had to get out and do what I hate most… Network.  In public settings I am not particularly engaging, I tend to sit in the corner quietly making observations or thinking about my next shoot or edit.  Lucky me I did manage to find my first clients through the people I initially documented.  Prospecting in the arts works well if it is organic. At first most of them wanted me to work for them for little or nothing.  This was fine, in order to get clients I needed to have a portfolio of videos to show other clients what I could do.  These initial contacts provided that.  You too should use this approach and add these new contacts on your mailing list and social networks.


In the past few years I haven’t been in personal contact with 95% of the folks that I considered my initial client base.  People grow, people change that is just the nature of business.  What I have done is I have placed a premium on quality not quantity.  I put 95% of my networking energy into nurturing the most promising 5% of clients, and the remaining 5% of my networking energy in nurturing the remaining 95% of my clients.  I work smart, not hard.  For the 95% I send them reminders that I am still around via social networking and mail blasts.  This is one way I try to be a relevant part of the collective conversation. The 5% of contacts I consider premium contacts I keep in contact with them regularly via emails, phone calls, and referrals I send their way. It is also pretty easy to maintain these relationships because more often than not they also become good friends. It is not just coincidence that the common thread between this minority of high quality clients is usually their integrity and mutual respect.


This is the most challenging and creative part of my networking strategy.  While most people see social media and blogging as a great place to keep in contact with old friends and family, talk about themselves, read the news or just to be a part of the conversation… I rely on it for expanding my client base.  Do you really think I would be sharing all these valuable ideas on this blog every week for nothing?  This blog is my primary tool for obtaining new clients and building my brand.  In exchange for the valuable insight I give the reader, I hope that he or she will spread my ideas and that they will eventually reach someone who needs my services.  Every post is either a showcase for my work, a display of my taste, or a sample of my expertise.  It is probably the most efficient prospecting and branding tool a freelancer can have.  That is certainly the case for me.

Next Friday: Gaming The Sytem.


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.


May 11

Wayback Thursday – Korrupt Chinatown | 3 Years Ago Today Where Were You?

This week on the Wayback Machine we rewind to an event that took place in May 2008 at a party organized by the folks at Mean Red called Korrupt.  I think this was the first party held at the Chinatown Mall called 88 Palace.  This video features the Retro Kids who were blowing up at the time.  At the time they were rumored to have a cable show in the works, but seemingly so was everyone else in the scene.  At the beginning of this video I pay homage to a famous video clip from The Doors Live from Europe 1968, and then it somehow turned into an impromptu music video.  The party itself was pretty spectacular featuring lots of random makeout sessions, lots of free booze, and lots of good music. It was an indication of the insane summer of ’08 that was awaiting us.  More on that next week.


Wayback Trivia:  There is a picture floating around out there from this party of one of the girls in the video eating my face.  She is literally digesting me.  If you know where too look you can probably find it pretty easily. Oh those were the days : )