A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘youtube

[URBAN NOTE] “Local stars shine bright at YouTube Space Toronto”

Michelle da Silva’s article at NOW Toronto explores what sounds like an ingenious institution. Why not a shared space for YouTube users of note?

The YouTube stars are setting up in one of two studios at the new YouTube Space Toronto, a creative incubator for online stars. The first Canadian location, located at 230 Richmond E behind George Brown College’s School of Design, is one of just nine global YouTube Spaces that include Tokyo, Berlin, Sao Paulo and Mumbai. The first one opened in Los Angeles in 2012.

“Toronto is a phenomenally creative city,” says Chris D’Angelo, the head of production and programming for YouTube Spaces. “It was important to have a large collaborative open space where our creators could come together. Community is a very big part of YouTube.”

The space was designed by George Brown students, with local elements added throughout. A red and grey pixelated print in the front entrance was apparently inspired by TTC streetcars. In another room, Toronto artist Alex Currie, who’s better known as Runt, has painted a replica of his famous Lee’s Palace mural. There is a lounge, event area, a foyer with a bar and two film studios. “You can take part in classes, and connect with other YouTube creators. We look at your subscriber count and try to offer the right help and solution, depending on what level you’re at.”

To that extent, the film studios – including professionally-built sets, cameras and lighting equipment – are free to use, but only open to YouTube stars with at least 10,000 subscribers. That isn’t a problem for the Domestic Geek, which boasts nearly a quarter million subscribers.

“I started the Domestic Geek just over two years go to share my passion for food with the world,” says Toronto’s Sara Lynn Cauchon. “I usually make cooking videos in my home kitchen, but it’s so cool that now I can come to the YouTube Space and film and collaborate with other creators here.”

Cauchon uploads several videos to her YouTube channel each week and has gotten more than 40 million views. Previously a broadcaster and TV host, she now runs the Domestic Geek as her full-time job. “You’re looking at the next generation of entrepreneurs,” she adds. “I think this space will help new creators evolve their channels. It’s really exciting stuff.”

DIY tutorials and healthy-cooking videos are just a sampling of Toronto’s online talent. A handful of YouTube stars hanging out in the space that day ranged from relationship experts (Ask Kimberly) and fashion gurus (AnthonyDelucV), to vegan chefs (Edgy Veg) and science educators (AsapSCIENCE).

Written by Randy McDonald

April 27, 2016 at 9:41 pm

[URBAN NOTE] On the New York City video archives of Nelson Sullivan

I recently came across the films of 1980s New York City-based videographer Nelson Sullivan, whose candid videos of his community are available on a YouTube channel, via Jen Carlson’s Gothamist post “This New Yorker Filmed 1,900 Hours Of Fantastic Footage In The 1980s”.

The below videos—featuring a cast ranging from Ru Paul to local bodega guys—were filmed by Nelson Sullivan, who was basically attached to his cumbersome handheld video camera (and later 8mm) during that decade. Just like Warhol, he had his own “factory” at 5 Ninth Avenue (a former carriage house, which you’ll see down below), and traveled with his own eclectic crew.

All in all he “shot over 1,900 hours of tape over a period of seven years, capturing himself and his friends in the glossy façade of Manhattan’s downtown life… He sought to tape all of New York’s citizens, including its outcasts, striving to candidly capture their lives. He taped anything and everything that interested him—outrageous performances in bars and clubs, swinging house parties, chaotic gallery openings, park and street festivals, late-night ruminations of his friends, absurd conversations with taxi drivers, prosaic sunset walks with his dog on the then-still-existing west side piers.” Sullivan died of a heart attack in 1989, just as he was preparing to produce his own cable television show.

In 2012, his video archive was donated to New York University’s Fales Library & Special Collections. Here is some of what he captured—from small details like the stickers attached to trash cans in the East Village, to a bigger picture of what was going on inside clubs and run down hotels in the Meatpacking District back then.

My attention was caught by this video featuring no less than pre-star RuPaul.

Written by Randy McDonald

January 30, 2015 at 11:04 pm

[ISL] An interesting Prince Edward Island television commercial …

… one that is not about tourism to the Island.

Peter Rukavina is responsible for linking to this ad and giving his readers some context.

[H]ere’s a television ad, produced by my longtime friend and former business partner David Moses, that ran on the CBC in the mid 1990s. It was an ad most remarkable for the fact that despite having seen in dozens of times, it was only years later that I realized it was an ad for Boyles Optical[.]

To this day I have no idea whatsoever how David managed to convince Ron that producing a minute-long noir drama set in abandoned buildings down by the docks was exactly what his optical business needed. But he did. And it aired.

I remember this, but I actually did not know that this was an eyeglasses commercial.

Written by Randy McDonald

September 5, 2014 at 2:45 am

[URBAN NOTE] On #shirtlessjogger, Toronto, and Rob Ford

blogTO’s Chris Bateman wrote the first overview I came across of the #shirtlessjogger incident on Canada Day.

Things were already going badly for Rob Ford when the shirtless jogger arrived at the East York Canada Day parade. Booed and heckled as he and a small group of sign-carrying supporters brought up the rear of the walk, the scene was turning more embarrassing by the second.

“You disgusting man,” shouted one person. “Shame on you!” “He’s scaring kids!” “Get out of my neighbourhood!”

And then a topless Joe Killoran, a local teacher who has previously expressed his opinion on education in the pages of the Toronto Star, arrived on the scene.

I daresay a large part of the reason Killoran’s frustrated outburst went viral was his lack of a shirt, but his anger was articulate and, best of all, drenched in the frustration of a Rob Ford-weary Toronto. “Answer one of the million questions people have for you” he said. “People have a million questions about your lying and your corruption.”

The television clip went viral, first across Toronto and then worldwide. Among the blogs I read, Joe. My. God. and Towleroad picked this up internationally, noting–quite appropriately–that Killoran was cute. (It was a humid dog so shirtlessness would make sense for jogging.) Doug Ford’s statement that Killoran’s comment was motivated by a ridiculously redefined “racism” fanned the flames.

In subsequent interviews and articles, with The Globe and Mail and the National Post, Killoran explained coherently that he was frustrated with Ford’s many and continuing incompetencies and errors. Indeed, Ford still refuses to talk to police about his various problematic issues, and he and appears to have lied even in his post-rehab interviews.

Am I alone in finding it amusing that the man who has so visibly challenged Ford, the man who has helped reveal the falsity of Ford’s claims to have reformed–the man who has confirmed that the Emperor has no clothes–is known as the shirtless jogger.

Written by Randy McDonald

July 5, 2014 at 3:59 am

[MUSIC] Róisín Murphy, “Ancora Tu”

I was very pleased to learn, via Towleroad’s Occupy the Disco feature, that Róisín Murphy is set to release a new disc. In their words:

Irish disco chanteuse Róisín Murphy is back with her first official extended release in 7 years! Since 2007’s Overpowered LP, she has released a smattering of singles and guest vocals, keeping rabid fans like myself chomping at the bit for any Róisín that we could get. May 28th marks the date that her new Mi Senti EP is released, and as the name may allude, it’s an Italian-language effort containing 5 covers of Italian pop songs and one original track. Roisin has showed her chops for doing cover songs in the past, with a cover of Bryan Ferry‘s ‘Slave to Love’, used in a 2008 Gucci campaign. For ‘Ancora Tu’, a 1976 hit by Italian singer Lucio Battista, Roisin adds in her signature moody electronic sound and almost spooky background vocals to reshape the song into something that is purely her own.

I’ll be curious to see if Mi Senti shows up in stores in Canada. On the strength of “Ancora Tu” alone, I’d be quite happy to buy it.

The Soundcloud link to the song is here.

Written by Randy McDonald

April 25, 2014 at 3:59 am

[URBAN NOTE] “Ford Nation a lot smaller on YouTube”

NOW Toronto‘s Ben Spurr notes that Ford Nation, the official YouTube channel of Toronto mayor Rob and his councillor brother Doug Ford, hasn’t had the following of either their radio show or their single episode on SUN TV last year. This, I suppose, isn’t exactly a big shocker. Right?

The first episode, posted on February 4, did well, averaging 23,289.3 viewers* for its four segments. But since then it’s been downhill. The second episode reached an average of 9,337 people for each of its six videos, and the third and latest instalment, released on February 26, garnered an average of only 5,346 viewers over its three segments.

[. . .]

By conservative estimates the City, the radio show they hosted on CFRB Newstalk 1010 for almost two years, was broadcasting to upwards of 80,000 people every week by the time it was cancelled last fall, with huge spikes on Sundays after new developments in the mayor’s crack scandal.

When they moved to TV as the scandal roiled in mid November, their single episode on the Sun News Network nabbed 155,000 viewers, which the channel’s vice president Korey Teneycke said at the time made it “biggest night ever for Sun News by a country mile.”

[. . .]

One reason is simply the demographics of the internet, according to David Bray, creative director at Bray & Partners and an expert on the radio market. The people who listened to the Fords’ radio show are unlikely to watch the YouTube series, he says.

“CFRB listeners are somewhat older,” says Bray. “It does appeal largely to the 55-plus crowd… Would that same constituency move over to online? Very unlikely, because clearly that demographic isn’t as active online.”

The online show’s content is also a problem. While the Ford brothers appeared to maintain a high degree of control over their radio show, they did usually take phone calls from listeners or had guests on. There was at least the potential for unscripted moments.

Written by Randy McDonald

March 13, 2014 at 9:35 pm

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

  • The Dragon’s Tales links to a private proposal for the ESA to launch
  • The Everyday Sociology Blog’s Peter Kaufman finds sociology and mindfulness meditation quite compatible.
  • Far Outliers takes a look at the instability of the post-Ottoman Arab kingdoms of the Middle East.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that AIDS denialists are trying to shut down YouTube commentary on their ideas by claiming copyright on videos referenced in these commentaries.
  • Marginal Revolution notes that Spain is now partaking in the European Union-wide market for health care services.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw observes that, perhaps contrary stereotypes, his Australian region of New England had a very large Chinese population.
  • J. Otto Pohl notes how the social geography of Accra, Ghana’s capital, has changed and not changed over time.
  • The Planetary Society Blog features a guest post from Bill Dunford talking of various missions sent to our sun.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy announces a week of posts on the position of sharia law in the United States.
  • Window on Eurasia notes that Ukrainian Orthodox (Kyiv Patriarchate) as well as Ukrainian Catholics are opposed to Russia, and quotes statistics (the high number of .ru-registered websites outside of Russia, the high Kazakh birth rate, conspiracy theories about Ukraine) which suggest things might be problematic for Russia.

[URBAN NOTE] “Second video shows Ford with Lisi at Steak Queen”

From BlogTO:

A second video from Rob Ford’s bizarre visit to Etobicoke’s Steak Queen restaurant has surfaced on YouTube. This one, apparently taken surreptitiously by another diner at the Rexdale Blvd. hamburger and souvlaki joint, shows Ford seated calmly with a man who appears to be Sandro Lisi, the mayor’s former driver.

Lisi, a “close friend” of the mayor, is facing a charge of extortion related to the video of Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine and is currently on bail.

toronto rob fordThough Ford appears to be wearing the same red tie as in the video released earlier today, it’s not clear when it was filmed. One of the TV screens shows the logos of the Toronto Raptors and the Philadelphia 76ers. The two teams are due to meet Friday. The specials board at the counter also seem to be a match to the first video.

Perhaps more conclusively, the newspaper in front of the person making the video is open to Mike Strobel’s column in this Sunday’s edition of the Toronto Sun, meaning it could only have been taken late on Sunday or Monday.

Written by Randy McDonald

January 22, 2014 at 3:35 am

[URBAN NOTE] “Rob Ford admits to drinking after video from restaurant surfaces”

From the Toronto Sun::

Mayor Rob Ford admits he was drinking alcohol Monday night just two months after he swore he had a “come to Jesus” moment and given up booze.

Ford’s confession came after a new video surfaced online that showed him slurring his words, swearing and complaining about Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair at Steak Queen restaurant in Etobicoke. Just two months earlier, Ford publicly stated he had sworn off drinking after he admitted to smoking crack cocaine while in a “drunken stupor.” The mayor’s sobriety pledge came after police confirmed they had obtained the video showing Ford smoking crack cocaine.

The mayor arrived at City Hall around 2:15 p.m. on Tuesday and left just after 4:30 p.m. – admitting he was drinking the night before as he left his office.

“Yes, I was,” Ford said at City Hall when asked if he was drinking on Monday night. “A little bit, yeah.”

“I was with some friends. What I do in my personal life and my personal friends, that’s up to me. It has nothing to do with you guys. It’s on my own time.”

Ford said no repeatedly when he was asked if he did any drugs on Monday night or drove to the restaurant.

“I was there, I met some friends … that’s how I speak with some of my friends,” he said. “I don’t think it was discriminative at all.”

He ignored questions about his promise to quit drinking or when he started drinking again.

“That’s it,” Ford said as he got on the elevator to go to the City Hall parking garage.

From the CBC:

Throughout much of the minute-long video, titled “New Video of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Drunk, Swearing in Jamaican Patois,” Ford attempts to use Jamaican slang, using the word “bumbaclot” — profanity in patois — at least four times.

The mayor admitted he was drinking alcohol. “A little bit, yeah,” he told reporters. He had pledged numerous times he does not drink anymore, after revelations in 2013 of his crack use while in office.

When asked if his Jamaican accent was offensive, he said no. “I met some friends. If I speak that way, that’s how I speak with some of my friends and no, i don’t think it’s discriminative at all,” he said. “It’s my own time.”

Ford would not say who drove him to the Steak Queen.

“They’re chasing me around five months. They’re counter surveillance me. He’s hiding here. He’s hiding here. F–k off,” said Ford in the video, apparently talking about the police surveillance on him and his friend and driver Alexander (Sandro) Lisi in the summer of 2013.

Toward the end of the clip a bystander says, “This guy deserves to be better than Stephen Harper.” Ford replies, “I am a straight-up guy. Who goes to TCH, Jane town, and Jane and Finch?”

The video ends with Ford getting takeout food, saying “I’m a straight-up guy,” while staff compare him to Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

More later.

Written by Randy McDonald

January 21, 2014 at 11:30 pm

[DM] “Hans Rosling: Religions and babies”

Over at Demography Matters, I point–thanks to Will Baird–to a 2012 TED talk by the Gapminder Foundation‘s Hans Rosling, examining the question of the relationship between religion and fertility.

Written by Randy McDonald

June 13, 2013 at 3:59 am