Originally published on Sat Jan 21, 2006 3:40 AM PST at Newsvine. I’ve decided to repost the article here so that my next post will make more sense.
It seems fitting that the most famous purveyors of sampling also give it's concert goers the same privallege when it comes to a concert film.
It's no D.A. Pennebaker, but that's a good thing. The "concert film" has become an amalgamation of clichés, with standardized shot lists and routine camera choreography.
New York based hip-hop pioneers, The Beastie Boys are attempting to breath fresh air into the genre with a concert video from a show at Madison Square Garden. Fifty fans were given hand-held video cameras and little more.
No instructions, suggestions or advice. How to turn it on and off was the extent of the training and concert-goers were free to shoot to their hearts content. After the show the cameras were re-collected and the footage was pieced together to create, what one hopes, to be a unique musical experience. And they didn't stop there.
“Awesome,” was entered in the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, accepted and will be shown Saturday night. And they aren't even concerned with selling the rights. ThinkFilm already scooped them up last fall in the low seven figures, and the film will be released theatrically in late March.
For offical purposes Adam Yauch, known as MCA in the band, but who prefers the moniker Nathanial Hornblower, is credited as director. But this is truly a consumer created product.
MCA found inspiration on his bands message boards where a fan posted a concert photo snapped on a cell phone. “The energy of it looked cool, and I thought it would look interesting to document a whole concert,” he said in an interview with The New York Times.
As technology has improved so has the cost come down of consumer cameras and media creation equipment. As little as ten years ago, such an endevor would have been deemed to expensive and far to distant from the vicinity of "the box." See, we say we want to think outside the box, but truth be told we'd be happy just in the shadow of the box.
There's been much made of the "I want it now culture" of new media, but no one has attempted it on such a level. (Full discloure time: I'm a long time fan of the band so I might have bias in my praise.) For the first time, on such a scale (not considering documentary films and similar news magazine stories), the consumer of media is creating the media. It should make for a fun footnote in music and technology history.
The film reportadly will cost the Beastie Boys about $1.2 million when the sampling fees are added in. The record industry finally caught up with them. However, they're staying true to their roots, all the Hi-8 Sony cameras were returned to the stores where they were bought, in some cases for a full refund.