Oscar-Worthy, my ass!

by on Dec.31, 2010, under are you serious, awards, blog, funny videos, movies, photography, reviews, technology

Ok, so there’s this renowned film critic named Roger Ebert. Some of you may have heard of him.  Well, he just listed this 3 minute YouTube video, “Idiot with a Tripod” as Oscar-Worthy. Uh…Whositwhadda??  Here are his arguments:

“This film deserves to win the Academy Award for best live-action short subject.
(1) Because of its wonderful quality. (2) Because of its role as homage. It is directly inspired by Dziga Vertov’s 1929 silent classic “Man With a Movie Camera.” (3) Because it represents an almost unbelievable technical proficiency. It was filmed during the New York blizzard of Dec. 26, and Jamie Stuart e-mailed it to me with this time stamp: December 27, 2010 4:18:18 PM CST.”

And here are my counter-arguments

  • Quality. Ok the film isn’t even listed at any resolution higher than 360p. Show me something at 1080p and THEN we’ll talk.  But let’s say Roger is talking about the quality of imagery.  Ok, fine, he has some interesting shots taken with his Canon 7D, but show me a first year film student who couldn’t shoot similarly framed shots with their own Canon 7D/5D/t2i.  Maybe it’s the fact he documented this small moment in time and that’s what’s so beautiful?  Ok, sure, but let’s be honest. OSCAR-WORTHY!?
  • Homage.  So you’re admitting that these 3 minutes aren’t even sprung from an original idea? “Man With A Movie Camera” is gorgeously shot, 68 minutes in length, and pushed film to new heights when it was released in 1929.  This is not innovative.
  • Quick Turn-around. This is what gets my goat.  I have friends that turn out more beautiful work by the end of a standard work day.  Shit, all of the videos that we created as a part of the Samsung Mobile Explorers Program during the Olympics were written, pre-produced, shot, captured, transcoded, edited, post-produced, and published to the web in under 12 hours!  I’m not saying the quality of “vision” is any better than this, but it’s just an example of how 24 hours is NOT an example of  “unbelievable technical proficiency”.  This guy stole someone else’s music and edited snow footage to it.  Not even that well I might add.

Dear Mr. Ebert,
If you want to see some amazing quality and  technical ability, please check out some of my YouTube friends: FreddieW, DeStorm, Mystery Guitar Man, Totally Sketch, Black Box TV, and, hell, ME.  We regularly churn out amazing work in LESS time than this guy from New York.  He just happened to email you a link to his.  Well guess what, check your inbox tomorrow. I bet you’ll realize just how wrong you’ve been.  Welcome to new media, my friend.

~Ethan Newberry

PS – Normally you’re pretty awesome.

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1 Comment for this entry

  • Original Justin

    I think Ebert is just really showing his age. I think he’s more marveled by the technology or turn-around than the project itself. I still have to sit back and marvel at this day and age from time to time.

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