Articles on this Page
- 06/02/15--14:43: _Vimeo enters subscr...
- 06/02/15--15:15: _A new season of 'Ar...
- 06/02/15--15:35: _Channing Tatum does...
- 06/02/15--21:13: _Oregon launches Boo...
- 06/03/15--05:23: _The plot thickens i...
- 06/03/15--05:51: _#WCW Anna Akana tak...
- 06/03/15--07:40: _Watch the first pro...
- 06/03/15--08:55: _Jon Stewart deliver...
- 06/03/15--09:01: _This fall, the Stre...
- 06/03/15--09:16: _Amazon's 'Transpare...
- 06/03/15--09:18: _Disney is making a ...
- 06/03/15--11:21: _Showtime pulls an H...
- 06/03/15--11:22: _Australian police a...
- 06/03/15--13:00: _Stephen Colbert mak...
- 06/03/15--13:43: _MTV's 'Decoded' bri...
- 06/03/15--19:04: _'Community' goes ou...
- 06/03/15--19:28: _Jason Alexander tol...
- 06/04/15--05:14: _You'll never watch ...
- 06/04/15--07:30: _Celebrate Daytrotte...
- 06/04/15--09:33: _How NYC.TV wants to...
- 06/02/15--14:43: Vimeo enters subscription video business with new tools for creators
- 06/02/15--21:13: Oregon launches Booklandia.TV, a literary-focused Web channel
- 06/03/15--05:23: The plot thickens in the newest 'Paper Towns' trailer
- 06/03/15--05:51: #WCW Anna Akana takes filmmaking into her own hands
- 06/03/15--07:40: Watch the first promo for E!'s Caitlyn Jenner docuseries 'I Am Cait'
- 06/03/15--09:16: Amazon's 'Transparent' gets behind-the-scenes commentary
- 06/03/15--09:18: Disney is making a 'Tangled' TV show with the original cast
- 06/03/15--11:21: Showtime pulls an HBO and launches streaming service
- 06/03/15--11:22: Australian police apprehend Jack Sparrow, take selfies
- 06/03/15--13:00: Stephen Colbert makes a big sacrifice in his first 'Late Show' promo
- 06/03/15--13:43: MTV's 'Decoded' brings hot-button race topics to YouTube
- 06/03/15--19:04: 'Community' goes out on its own terms—again
- 06/04/15--07:30: Celebrate Daytrotter's 5000th session with this exclusive stream
- 06/04/15--09:33: How NYC.TV wants to localize digital media
BY SAHIL PATEL
Vimeo is offering a new way for individual video creators to make money on its platform—as part of a broader expansion the company has planned to get into the subscription video business.
The company, which has long eschewed the ad-supported model, has released a new set of tools for creators to sell and control monthly subscriptions across Vimeo’s distribution footprint. This means that creators can now offer subscriptions via the Vimeo On Demand storefront, Vimeo’s Publisher Network (which includes more than 100 publishers offering curated libraries to their respective audiences), and on any website using Vimeo’s embeddable HD player.
Creators will also retain a lot of control over how their subscriptions work. With the new tools, they can set pricing, offer subscriptions worldwide or restrict them to select countries, and offer their fans additional perks such as free subscription trials, free episodes, and exclusive bonus material.
On the audience and monetization front, Vimeo is offering a stats dashboard that provides information on aggregate subscriber data, including new subscriber count and revenue. Creators will keep 90 percent of all revenue made from subscriptions after the customary transaction fees, said Vimeo.
Of course, this is just the beginning for Vimeo when it comes to subscriptions.
“Subscription video-on-demand is a natural extension of Vimeo’s transactional VOD platform, giving creators a new way to sell content to viewers worldwide,” said Vimeo CEO Kerry Trainor in a statement. “Online video is entering an exciting new stage where creators don’t have to rely on pre-roll advertising alone to earn money, and Vimeo is building the open global platform for paid video distribution.”
Read the full article at the Video Ink.
Illustration by Fernando Alfonso III
In April, Arrested Development’s co-executive producer Brian Grazer offered fans a cryptic yet oddly specific update about the show’s future. Now comes news that the Netflix series is returning in 2016.
Grazer dropped the news on Adam Corolla’s show this time, towards the end of their interview. The conversation starts around the one-hour mark, and Grazer explains, “Netflix is determined to do more episodes, so we’re gonna do more episodes,” with production starting at the beginning of the year. “It's a lot of juggling of all these stars’ lives,” he added; “everyone’s become a star.”
Indeed, Jeffrey Tambor is starring in Transparent, Tony Hale’s on Veep, Alia Shawkat has been on Broad City, Will Arnett voiced The Lego Movie, David Cross is working on a new Mr. Show, Michael Cera died in This Is the End, and Jason Bateman’s in the upcoming film The Gift, which creeped out entertainment journalists cross the country with its recent social media stunt.
This is great news for many fans, but the three-year gap between seasons has led others to wonder: Do we really need more? Have we gotten all we can out of the show’s parallel storyline structure and was season 4 the one where attention spans finally flickered out?
The show could debut on Netflix next summer, if these particular stars align.
H/T Vulture | Photo via Sam Urdank/Netflix
While undercover, Tatum got fans to admit they fast forward to the dancing parts, don’t care about the plot, and would like to see some full-frontal 3D nudity. Tatum half delivered during what his undercover character promised to be a “3D screening” of the film. That third dimension was pelvic thrusts, as surprise exotic dancers popped up and gave the theater a show. Tatum, not wanting to be left out of the fun, gave a few gyrations himself before stripping his disguise and wowing the crowd.
The fan who got the unsuspecting Tatum lap dance put it best, claiming, “Well, Channing Tatum twerked on my lap, so in that sense I’ve reached pretty much peak life.”
The University of Oregon’s School of Journalism and Communication, facing a tight turn away from the old style of doing journalism, but facing the continued need for its existence, has turned to Web television to reaffirm the value of the written word and to provide students with a way to do original reporting.
As faculty adviser Ed Madison pointed out in his story for PBS MediaShift, “We noted there are food channels, sports channels, and animal channels. However, we could not identify a book channel of any significance.” So they decided that nothing teaches like doing and had the students start one, Booklandia.TV. It launched on April 6.
Madison, one of the founding producers at CNN and now assistant professor at Oregon, leads the student-run project out of Allen Hall Studios, a journalism incubator at the school’s campus in Eugene, Oregon. Madison told the Daily Dot that the project is structured as a credit course that meets once a week in the AHS.
The staff consists of about 20 students and three faculty per quarter.
Journalism has a weird mandate in that it tightropes between entertainment (if no one consumes it, what’s the point?) and social need (if it doesn’t serve society, what’s the point?).
Madison cited a Pew report from 2014 that discovered the number of Americans who don’t read tripled since 1978, with nearly 25 percent not having read a single book (print or e-reader) in the previous 12 months.“Research suggests the reason may be that people who grow up reading are far more likely to go to college,” he wrote. In other words, America’s running a very real risk of getting so stupid it just lurches to a stop and falls over dead. If that happens, journalists are going to have little to do.
Powell’s Bookstore is, by some measures, the largest bookstore in the world. It’s located less than two hours away from the main Oregon campus. So Booklandia.TV struck up a partnership, allowing its reporters and editors access to the full slate of visiting writers—as many as one a day—and cross-branding and promotion.Among the “shows” that are “broadcast” by the “channel” are man-on-the street interview features What’s On Your Nightstand? and Judge a Book By Its Cover. Kid’s Corner is aimed at younger viewers ranging from toddlers to high school students and features their reflections on their favorite books. There's a Writers on Writers segment, as well as Book Banter, a “scripted animated segment that pairs historical literary figures engaged in humorous conversations, much like JibJab.”
To secure “real journalism” bona fides, some of the channel’s reporters headed to Cuba over their quarter break and brought back stories on handmade book publishers and analysis stories on the island nation’s high literacy rates. In addition to stories, the trip also rescued the students from passively received images of the country.
“There is a sharp contrast between what we witnessed and major media reporting about Cuba,” Madison explained. “Generally, people there are not depressed and downtrodden. We found Cubans to be hospitable and eager to embrace renewed relations between our countries.”Not surprisingly given the channel is run largely by young people who grew up with social media, Booklandia.TV incorporates Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter into its marketing plan, along with its distribution via YouTube and Vimeo.
Further, they are actively encouraging the contribution of other universities globally, as well as contributions from younger students—all the way down to kindergartners. At the same time they are making their content available to newspapers, radio, and television stations, and civilians to distribute and even to embed on their websites.
“Our intent is to create short and therefore sharable content,” said Madison. “Studies indicate that strategy is best for the Web.”
Legacy news media has struggled with understanding and employing the new technologies that have shifted the practice of journalism. At the same time, the new media birthed from those technologies has struggled to establish credibility.The University of Oregon has been a surprising laboratory for exploring some of these changes. Not long ago, the journalism school did not have a single course on how to use the new technologies. The local “alternative newsweekly,” 10 years after the New York Times started its first blog, was still playing wait and see, its editor having told a reporter they weren’t sure yet whether or not blogs were a fad.
That has changed significantly.
“Our students benefit from experiences that allow them to chart the future of media,” said Madison, “rather than passively try to fit into existing paradigms. Technology will continue to change, and our students leave here prepared to be innovators.”
Booklandia.TV is the sort of project that points a feasible path forward, allowing students to understand the technology from the inside as a full set of tools for some basic journalistic activities: observing, discovering, building out, and presenting the events and trends that matter to the people in the community they serve.
Photo via Kate Ter Haar/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
While Quentin may be as straight-edge as it comes, his friends (particularly Ben, whose antics shine throughout the trailer) come along for the ride. And even some of Margo’s concerned friends join the effort.
We know Margo disappears after their all-night adventure of revenge, but the intrigue doesn’t stop there. There are clues, to be sure, but does she even want to be found?Screengrab via 20th Century Fox/YouTube
I’ve rewritten this intro nine times in the hope that with each rewrite, I’ll sound a little less like an over-the-top fangirl (who also happens to be a cat lady) and more like an admirer who plays it cool when her lady crush walks into the room. But alas, it appears my love for filmmaker Anna Akana runs too deep and thus, let the gushing valentine begin.
With her motorcycle license, Hollywood credentials, freshly minted clothing line, obsession with cats (she has four), catalogue of short films, and passion for pole dancing, Anna Akana is one badass babe whose YouTube vlogs have captured over 108 million views.She originally started her channel in 2011 as an antidote to the anxious waiting between casting calls as she pursued acting in Los Angeles. YouTube allowed her complete control over her own content, and in the past four years, she’s created countless videos that are empowering, hilarious, and educational for young females looking to break into the entertainment industry.
While a large portion of her videos capture stories about her daily life, Anna also makes a point of sparking conversations around topics that really matter, such as race, victim blaming, sexual harassment, suicide prevention, and positive body image. After a few years of solely creating weekly videos, Akana decided to up the ante and begin directing, producing, writing, and starring in a series of short films on her channel. In the past year, she’s created the five-part series Riley Rewind—a feature about a time-traveling girl determined to stop the suicide of a classmate—along with incredibly involved shorts such as “Miss Earth” and “Afflicted, Inc.”On top of all this, Anna also hosts her own live comedy show with her boyfriend, Brad Gage; recently launched her own clothing line, Ghosts and Stars; and is acting alongside Sally Fields in the upcoming indie film Hello My Name is Doris.
Yes, her accomplishments are vast and well-deserved, but for me, the thing I find most inspiring about Anna is her authenticity and courage to be herself even in front of 1.2 million subscribers. Her laser focus on her goals and drive to push herself as a creative talent and human being is something I find so inspiring for my own work. A creator who isn’t afraid to speak her mind and who empowers young women through example? Now to me, that’s something definitely worth celebrating.
Screengrab via AnnaAkana/YouTube
In the short trailer, we see her putting on makeup and commenting on the pressure that society puts on women about their appearance.
Take a look:
“Isn’t it great that maybe someday you’ll be normal? Just blend into society?," Jenner ponders while going out for a drive. "Put it this way, I'm the new normal."
I Am Cait premieres July 26 at 9 p.m. EST on E!.
Jon Stewart delivered the perfect takedown of how the media have portrayed Caitlyn Jenner’s transition on The Daily Show on Tuesday.
Stewart is known for his brilliant news commentary, but his commentary on Caitlyn Jenner’s coverage is especially spot-on. Stewart takes sharp aim at petty media trends, and reveals a lot about what’s wrong with the way we treat women today in America.
As Stewart puts it, we haven’t just accepted Jenner as a woman; we’re wasting no time in treating her like one.The first huge trend to emerge has been to call Jenner “beautiful.” While praising Jenner for her good looks may appear supportive, Stewart sharply points out that it’s a totally reductive path.
“You see, Caitlyn, when you were a man, we could talk about your athleticism, your business acumen. But now you’re a woman; your looks are really the only thing we care about!”
Stewart goes on to explain “phase two of [Jenner’s] transition: comparative fuckability.”
Jenner has been compared to several women from Jessica Lange, to—somewhat mean-spiritedly—Kris Jenner, and—even more bafflingly—stepdaughter Kim Kardashian.
“We want to give a woman a compliment here; we just want to make sure another woman gets taken down a peg in the process!” quips Stewart.
Then Stewart points out the final phase of the transition: Reminding a woman she has an expiration date. Many were quick to point out how good Jenner looks “for her age.”
“You came out at 65. You’ve got another two years before you become invisible to society,” chides Stewart.
Finally, Stewart congratulates Jenner and welcomes her to being a woman in America.
Screengrab via Comedy Central
As the worlds of digital and mainstream entertainment edge ever closer together, it's only fitting that the premiere digital-video awards show should find a home on a traditional TV channel.
This fall, the Streamy Awards will be broadcast live, for the first time, on VH1. The Sept. 17 awards show at the Hollywood Palladium will begin at 10pm ET, with a time delay for viewers on the West Coast. This will mark the Streamys' fifth year of rewarding the best and brightest in the digital-video world.
"Our partnership with VH1 is not only a huge milestone for the Streamy Awards, but also a triumph for the entire creator community," Streamy Awards founder Drew Baldwin said in a press release. "Having the full support of such a major media network validates what we have believed all along—native digital creators are integral to the future of entertainment."
VH1 has recently made strides to appeal to digital natives, including a Behind The Tweet video series that parodies its iconic Behind The Music series with funny celebrity tweets. The network also launched an interview series hosted by What's Trending's Shira Lazar to dive into famous YouTubers' origin stories.
“The VH1 audience is connected on every platform,” VH1 president Tom Calderone said in a statement. "So it’s a natural for VH1 to celebrate the innovators who, like us, entertain literally millions of viewers."
The VH1 Streamy Awards presentation, a joint production of Tubefilter and Dick Clark Productions, will introduce several new categories for 2015, including Lifestyle, Documentary or Investigative, and Breakout Creator. It will also introduce several "social video" categories meant to capture new media, including Short Form Comedy, Short Form Creative, and Snapchat Storyteller.
Photo courtesy of the Streamys
If you’re one of the many fans who binge-watched season 1 of Amazon’s Transparent, a sweet surprise is coming your way. Amazon released commentary for all 10 episodes of season 1 on Wednesday, reports Variety.
The commentary features insights from Jill Soloway, the series creator whose experience with her own parent’s transition inspired the show, and Jeffrey Tambor, who stars as Maura, the series protagonist.
“People are always coming up and asking me questions about how the show came together,” said Soloway. “With this audio commentary, they can hear it for themselves—whether we’re reminiscing about the technicalities of production or just showcasing some of the chemistry we shared. I can’t wait for our fans to sink their teeth into some of our behind-the-scenes goodness.”
Much like the commentary found on the bonus section of a DVD, the audio reveals interesting tidbits and factoids about the show. For example, Tambor’s pivotal line, “My whole life I’ve been dressing up like a man,” was inspired by a real-life reaction from one of Soloway’s friends when she announced her own parent’s transition.
So if you’re a diehard fan who can’t wait for season 2, grab a bowl of popcorn and dive in.
A beloved Disney Princess is getting her own TV show—and no, it isn't Queen Elsa.
Disney announced Wednesday that Rapunzel, Eugene (aka Flynn Rider), Pascal, and Maximus will make their small-screen debut in 2017 in Tangled, a Disney Channel animated series based on the 2010 film of the same name, which introduced us to this beloved cast.The Tangled TV show, which takes place after the film and before the 2012 animated short Tangled Ever After, focuses on Rapunzel as she acclimates to her new life as a princess after being reunited with her family and learning that it's not as simple as putting a crown on your head. And instead of being interested in ruling or marrying Eugene, she would rather go on adventures—much to the dismay of her father.
The film's main cast is back, with stars Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi reprising their roles and Academy Award-winning composer Alan Menken and lyricist Glenn Slater on board to create original music. The Disney Insider blog called this “roughly the equivalent of snagging Robin Williams for the Aladdin TV series.”
“The genius of the original movie was its seamless blending of cinematic adventure, character-driven comedy and touching emotion,” Gary Marsh, President and Chief Creative Officer, Disney Channels Worldwide, said in a press release. “And we are fortunate to have several of the creative talent from that movie on board with this new production. With the addition of Chris [Sonnenburg] and Shane [Prigmore] as Executive Producers, we have the perfect team in place to create a series worthy of the original film.”
Although there are no details about the animation style, it’ll be roughly based on the promotional image of Rapunzel and Eugene—but probably with Rapunzel as a brunette, as per the end of Tangled.
Screengrab via VISO Trailers/YouTube
Not looking to be left out of the standalone streaming service race, Showtime announced Wednesday that it plans to launch its own online subscription service in July.
Hot on the heels of HBO Now, which launched back in April to coincide with Game of Thrones and allows people to watch movies and TV shows on HBO without a cable subscription, Showtime’s service will be known simply as Showtime.While Showtime will initially only be available via Apple devices, it will soon launch on other platforms and providers. After a 30-day free trial promotional offer through Apple starting in July, Showtime will cost $10.99 a month for access to hundreds of movies, TV shows, documentaries, and sports programs.
“We’re excited to offer consumers the opportunity to subscribe in new ways, by simply having an Internet connection,” Showtime Networks CEO Matthew C. Blank said. “Our intent is to make Showtime available to viewers via every manner possible, giving them an enormous amount of choice in accessing our programming, starting with the season premieres of our award-winning series Ray Donovan and Masters of Sex.”
The service will launch July 12, which corresponds with the season premieres of both Ray Donovan and Masters of Sex.
H/T CNN Money | Illustration by Max Fleishman
Johnny Depp's Jack Sparrow is swanning his way across Australia's Gold Coast while filming 2017's Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, the fifth installment of the popular swashbuckling Disney franchise. For lucky local residents, that means waking up bright and early to catch a glimpse of Depp en route to the set.
And for Queensland police, it means snagging a potential new water cop.
The Queensland police service shared this selfie a few of their force grabbed with Depp while he was in costume as Captain Jack.
Depp and his wife, Amber Heard, have recently come under investigation by local authorities after their failed attempt to smuggle their dogs past customs resulted in officials threatening to kill the pets unless they were deported.
Depp must have thought the Australian biosecurity codes were more like guidelines.
Although an Australian Senate committee threatened Depp with up to 10 years of jail time for the stunt, he seemed to be on perfectly good terms with these local Queensland police. On Facebook, they captioned the photo with: "Here’s Johnny! A potential new Water Police recruit? Thanks for the selfie #JohnnyDepp"
Of course, there's no way to know whether everyone involved in shooting the photo made it out of the experience with their valuables intact, but we'll trust that everything was savvy.
Once a pirate, always a pirate.
Photo via Facebook
It’s been too long since we've heard from Stephen Colbert following his departure from The Colbert Report, but he and his beard are back on the Internet in the first promo video for Colbert’s incarnation of The Late Show.
Colbert and his beard have had plenty of adventures together, but unfortunately, he must say goodbye to it. Apparently, he’s not allowed to compete with Tom Selleck’s mustache.
But first, Colbert must appeal to the Millennial crowd and play up different hairstyles—at least until he realizes he’s still got three months before his late-night debut.
It’s not the same Colbert we're used to, but we can still see a familiar spark of his former TV self under all that facial hair.
Long live the Colbeard!Screengrab via The Late Show with Stephen Colbert/YouTube
MTV launched the show in conjunction with a new channel, MTVNews, that promises a wide variety of content. The host is Franchesca Ramsey, better known as Chesca Leigh online, and she gained widespread attention for her "Shit White Girls Say To Black Girls" video, viewed more than 11 million times. Now she's combining forces with MTV for a new series, which kicks off by delving into the issues of what makes fried chicken and watermelon a racist stereotype.MTV's last major YouTube success, Laci Green's Braless series, launched on its own channel, but Decoded will live among MTVNews's other offerings for pop culture and entertainment news. Episodes will air each Wednesday for 12 weeks.
Screengrab via MTVNews/YouTube.
Community drew to a close doing what it knows best: the sort of meta commentary that speaks to the audience just as much (if not more so) as it does the characters at Greendale.
On paper, Community should have never ever gotten as far as it did. It didn’t have the big names: Joel McHale was best known for The Soup while Ken Jeong was the big scenestealer in The Hangover. It never had the ratings, especially once it went head-to-head against The Big Bang Theory during primetime. The comedy was too niche, too self-referential, it evolved out of inside jokes within inside jokes.
Critics loved it at first, but during low points it was a pretty much a parody of itself. It lost showrunner Dan Harmon and got him back a season later. It even survived the near-impossible, cancellation, back when the idea of someone like Netflix, Hulu, or Yahoo coming in for the save was still a novel idea.
Community’s been in the business of shaping its season finale to double as a series finale for some time now. It could’ve ended after season 3’s “Introduction to Finality.” If it ended with “Advanced Introduction to Finality,” it wouldn’t have surprised many after a mostly disastrous season 4. It did get canceled after season 5’s “Basic Sandwich,” but Yahoo swooped in and saved us all from that asteroid that would’ve destroyed human civilization.
In that regard “Emotional Consequences of Broadcast Television” is similar to those finales: it’s ending a season, but it could just as well be ending the show if the powers that be at Yahoo said as much. And it knows it.You could arguably say that this one is the most self-aware of all because the entire premise of “Emotional Consequences of Broadcast Television” shows everyone imagining what a “season 7” would be like after the end of their sixth school year together; and how it'd show the crazy ways they would be able to get everyone together even when some among the group are finally ready to grow up.
It comes at the end of a season full of highs, lows, and repeated concepts it did better in earlier seasons—one with much less restriction from Yahoo. Many of its parodies, homages, and Easter eggs were on point. The end tags got even weirder and more obscure. The humor was still there.
But its cracks are starting to show. The writing staff have long since nailed down Jeff and Abed’s characters, but when it came to the rest of the group (particularly Annie and Britta), the show stumbled, the strains showed. The existence of a sixth season led some critics calling for Community to just “die already.” Is it due to the revolving cast (and lack of players such as Chevy Chase, Donald Glover, and Yvette Nicole Brown), or is the show’s age starting to show? Abed even proved that bringing Shirley back wouldn’t necessarily solve all their problems for season 7.
Talk of Community didn’t immediately disappear after the the premiere, but it wasn’t anywhere near as loud as it used to be now that there wasn’t the fear of cancellation if we didn’t watch it live. At the peak of “life getting in the way,” I was probably a good five or six episodes behind and just binged the last third of the season in two days (and noticeably cringed through a good couple of them).
The finale? While it revisited Abed’s meta mindset that life is a TV show and Jeff’s inability to face getting older (and a future without the people who’ve become his family), it examined how they imagine each other, and while amusing, TV is something bigger than what they can control.
“TV defeats its own purpose when it’s pushing an agenda, or trying to defeat other TV, or being proud or ashamed of itself for existing,” Abed says in the middle of the episode. “It’s TV. It’s comfort. It’s a friend you’ve known so well, and for so long you just let it be with you.”
But running away yet again, everyone becomes OK with where they may or may not end up. Will be there be a season 7? It doesn’t matter.
The end tag, after seeing the hashtag #AndAMovie pop up, might end up being the most self-referential and meta thing Community’s put out in ages.Harmon has the final word as he basically acknowledged every piece of criticism he’s received over the years in the guise of a disclaimer. It’s both hilarious and deeply personal.
Following the release of the finale, Deadline is reporting that Yahoo is in talks to bring more Community episodes. Would it be a season 7, or the famed movie that fans are hoping so. McHale is on board for the latter as long as Harmon is writing the script.We rallied behind #sixseasonsandamovie for years now, ever since Abed uttered the throwaway line in a season 2 episode; even Jeff was in on that dream. We’ve somehow made it this far. For the fourth time now we’ve got what essentially equals a series finale, and for perhaps the first time it satisfies.
But if there’s no more Community after this, I think I’d be OK with that. Maybe. Probably. Maybe.
Screengrab via Yahoo Screen
One reason Howard Stern is one of the best interviewers in our world is because he's not afraid to ask the tough questions that might (or might not) make a guest like Jason Alexander uncomfortable. Stern hears a rumor, and he asks his guest about it.
So, when Stern asked Alexander on Wednesday's show about why the character of Susan Ross—George Costanza's fiancée from the show, Seinfeld—had been killed off and if it was because Alexander didn't like her, it could have gone either way. Either Alexander laughs it off and dances around the answer until Stern moves on to a different topic. Or Alexander chuckles and fires right into an amazing answer.
Alexander chose the latter.
Said Stern: "The story goes she was killed off because you couldn't stand working with her."
Said Alexander: "This poor girl."
"Was it true? Was there..."
"OK, the preamble to this is that it's a wonderful girl [Heidi] Swedberg. I love her. She's a terrific girl. I love her. I couldn't figure out how to play off of her."
"You're being kind."
"No. Her instincts for doing a scene—where the comedy was—and mine were always misfiring. She would do something, and I would say, 'OK, I see what she's doing. I'm going to adjust to her.' I would adjust, and it would change... It was such a disaster."
Ross lasted 28 episodes overall, but after only a few shows into her arc, co-creator Larry David called Alexander before a season was about to begin and said he had good news.
"You're getting engaged," David said, according to Alexander.
"Who am I getting engaged to?" Alexander said.
"Great. Who's playing George?"
Though Alexander was uncomfortable, the other three main characters couldn't understand his predicament until Jerry Seinfeld and Julia Louis-Dreyfus had to interact with her during one particular episode.
"They didn't know how the season was going to end," Alexander said. "Was George going to marry her? Was she going to leave him? Finally, there's an episode when Elaine and Jerry have a lot of material with her. We do the week, and we [go out afterward], and they said, 'You know what? It's fucking impossible.' Julia said, 'Don't you just want to kill her?' and Larry went, 'Ka-bang.'"
And that is why this happened.If you want to listen to the entire segment, click below, via SoundCloud.
Update 11:20am CT, June 4: Jason Alexander has apologized for his comments on the Stern show. "In telling this story, it sounds like we are putting a heavy burden on Heidi. I, personally, am not," he explained in an extended tweet.
"[With distance, I can look at those episodes and see that there was a fun relationship there between George and Susan," he continued. "It works perfectly. I simply couldn't see it or find it at the time." Turns out absence does make the heart grow fonder.
Photo via John Athayde/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
SpongeBob SquarePants is as dumb as a doornail, but it wouldn't surprise us if he and his intelligence were just hiding in plain sight—with a familiar dark side.
SpongeBob isn't just a loveable fry cook by day. When mashed up with Breaking Bad, he’s just as terrifying as Heisenberg.
He knocks, he cooks, he’s got a powerful pie, and he’s got everyone in the palm of his hand until the you-know-what hits the fan. But with a boss like Mr. Krabs, he might not be getting the money he deserves—and that doesn't bode well for our favorite crustacean.
Now if only SpongeBob could get his license so he could make this scene possible.Screengrab via Nickelodeon/YouTube
Think back to the last great band you discovered. Now search for them on Daytrotter.
Chances are the indie music site not only has an exclusive session available for streaming but recorded it years before you were hip to them: Blood Orange (check). Alabama Shakes (ditto). Tame Impala (same). Local Natives (takeyourpick).
Founded in Rock Island, Ill., in 2006, Daytrotter is essentially the digital successor to John Peel’s legendary BBC Radio 1 sessions. The site records bands—straight to tape, no overdubs—in a patchwork collection of studios across the country and releases its sessions through a subscription service that allows members to download tracks. At this point, Daytrotter boasts more exclusive content than Spotify, Pandora, and Tidal combined, with a deep catalog that includes Wilco, Spoon, and the National, among countless others.
While it’s backed by Wolfgang’s Vault, Daytrotter is still a lovingly DIY affair: Cofounder Sean Moeller curates most of the sessions, and there’s a rough-hewn charm to the recordings—some wear and tear on the songs themselves and the people behind them—that distinguishes them from their studio counterparts. As such, Daytrotter has quietly become a milemarker of sorts for indie and alt-country acts, a check-in point for bands on the road still looking for their big break or an opportunity to promote a new album.
Just this week, the site celebrated its 5,000th session—fittingly enough, with Built to Spill—and continues to upload three new sessions daily. For the casual music listener, that’s a lot to take in. That’s where we come in.
We’ve partnered with Daytrotter to highlight one session a week, which will be available to stream here exclusively in its entirety. We’re kicking things off with Guantanamo Baywatch, a Portland trio whose blackout take on surf-punk would be better suited for dank basements than a day at the beach. This session was recorded in Austin, Texas, during South by Southwest, and it will have you counting the hours till the weekend.
For nearly a decade, Daytrotter has been recording some of the best talent around, and now you can stream half of this incredible (and growing) archive, featuring thousands of band sessions, for free—or join for full access and free downloads.
Illustration by Johnnie Cluney/Daytrotter
In a globalized world, it can be hard to bring people together. Our ability to reach out across oceans to communicate with people like us makes it easy to forget we’re surrounded by people every day. There has been a lack of centralization in digital video.
Today, NYC.TV and its plan to localize digital media go live. Launching through Kickstarter, it’s the first online video platform devoted to financing, creating, curating, marketing, and distributing video by New York City artists.
Investing in and becoming a part of the city’s arts community, NYC.TV will give independent artists the tools and resources they need to share their work with the world.
NYC.TV—headquartered at NEW INC, the design technology incubator at the New Museum—stands at the vanguard of new era in digital-on-demand video: It promises to give the power of production to the creators and their community—and to share their creations with the world.
Founders Alexandra Serio, Kareem Ahmed, and Max Nelson met while working at Vice, where Serio launched and managed global integrated marketing for Noisey, Ahmed worked in global marketing, and Nelson managed the Vice YouTube network and managed marketing for Vice.com.
Serio was most recently director of content development at SFX, where she led branded video and editorial on the newly relaunched Beatport platform.
Exhausted by traditional media, they all left positions at established brands to launch this passion project, which tackles the two biggest problems facing independent filmmakers in one online location: funding and distribution.
NYC.TV helps centralize those efforts along with everything else a filmmaker needs all the way through post-production and getting their projects seen. Having enough money to get video projects off the page and onto the screen is no mean feat. Crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo have made it easier to find funding, and they’re a big part of NYC.TV’s plan too: Of the funds being raised in this round, 70 percent will fund new content and launch new projects, 20 percent will market creators’ content, and 10 percent will boost the site’s tech.
Focusing on one city reorganizes the Internet more effectively. NYC.TV is just the first in a series of .TVs for cities around the world.
“Being an artist in the city has become more isolated,” Ahmed told the Daily Dot. “The work environment has become more isolated, and that’s because the Internet has enabled us to do things on our own and then publish things on our own and put things out in the world on our own.”
Working in isolation, away from others doing the same thing you are, makes it harder to find collaborators. NYC.TV brings creators back to a physical community in a geographic place.
Serio likened this revival of local media to the public access of the ’70s and ’80s, “but the model of watching something on your television is from a bygone era.” So they tweaked the model for on-demand digital viewing. “We really wanted a place invested in New York’s creative community,” she explained. NYC.TV will be a showcase of what New York artists are doing. “It’s something completely new for the creative community.”
NYC.TV brings New York creators together, but the devotion to the island is fairly flexible.
The content has to be made by New Yorkers, but that’s the only New York–specific part. “As long as its video content, that’s really the qualifier,” Ahmed said. “If somebody’s been here for six months and produces an amazing documentary film about people picking up cans in the street, that qualifies as content from New York.”
Ahmed mentioned shows like Broad City and Seinfeld by way of example: They are New York shows, but what they explore expands beyond the five boroughs—universal themes from a single location. The content can address anything, as long as the work has a local element.
“We are a platform for New York City creators,” Serio said. “You can tell a story about China as long as the crew was a New York crew. If they went to China and shot the thing and then came back to New York and edited it all, they’re local. If they are endemic to the community, we want to showcase their work.”
The content will be a mix of genres and structures: shorts and features; comedies and dramas; narratives and documentaries—even music videos, animation, and a healthy dose of video-art.
As of launch day, the site is populated with 50-60 curated videos by artists already filming in New York, but the crowdfunding goal is to raise enough capital to give back to the creators; an independent development fund is the endgame. After launch day, there will be a one-video-per-day model, and each day the featured video will have the site’s full promotional backing.
All these videos will be brought to you by a promotional platform that harkens back to the early days of MTV. But the brand of the content has yet to emerge.
“The vibe will be reflective of the community,” Serio said, so they don’t know what it will become in the next month or two. “It’s really going to be about what everyone is willing to give out and showcase.”
Correction 1:49pm CT: An earlier version of this article misstated the extent of Kareem Ahmed's global marketing experience at Vice.
Photo via Kickstarter | Remix by Fernando Alfonso III