I attended the Portable Film Festival symposium on Thursday night, and one of the speakers, John Safran, joked that the constant exposure of banal life via YouTube would lead to the loss of all privacy and mass psychosis. The panel discussed everything from the copyright implication for broadcasters distributing user generated content to the proliferation of ‘crap’ entertainment. The idea that low production values and coarse humour are spreading via user generated content appears to despair some traditional media makers, but the ‘bedroom media creators’ simply don’t care.
The overall message of the evening was that the technology should service good innovative creative ideas, and that no amount of superficial novelty can compensate for compelling themes, characters and ideas. This is why the Portable Film Festival is selective and curated, rather than being like YouTube, where anyone can contribute. Outgoing MIFF Director James Hewison spoke eloquently about enduring values in film. It was a worthwhile way to spend an evening, and I spent some time talking to Melbourne film maker Nicholas Hansen.
There’s a video of some of the talk on Youtube.