Danish mother seeking – Spoof video culture

September 15, 2009

So the site visitdenmark made a youtube video which turns out to be a hoax, or at least intentionally not true. I couldn’t resist the urge to grab my Gizmo and make a spoof from it.

This is my version of it: Swedish father seeking

The youtube account “karen26dk” where the original video was posted, hitting over 1.000.000 views took down the video but several copies, most notably the one on Findize has popped up. Along with this, a traditional flow of spoof videos, not too familiar for this region part from Skogsturken, has followed. Down below are a few of the more original ones and at the end the copy of the original:

The Brooklyn father version by youtube user hotgarbagecomedy

The father’s version of it posted by youtube user mindjumpers

A very funny jumpcut “cut-up” version by youtube user kazparro

Copy of the original video

The young turks on youtube had a very amusing discussion about the original clip

This is just another example of remixes of viral videos, similar to the star wars kid. The comment-section for viral videos most often end up being a place where either the video is praised or hated, or a forum for people to exchange thoughts and opinions, not always in the most productive manner. I first noticed this a year ago when I posted a vlog on the Kauhajoki massacre in Finland. the video, seen below, hit over 100.000 views in less than a week, and soon enough, the comments were no longer about the video itself, but on guncontrol and which country is the better and so forth.

I don’t know where my latest video will end up, it’s still in the waiting as youtube views over 300 only updates every few hours. But from what I’ve heard, my face is covering the Danish newspaper metroxpress this morning. The article (in Danish) is about elders not understanding the character of Karen. See the online article here.

What if I die

July 31, 2009

The lifespan of social media, the web 2.0 where people interact on platforms such as Facebook, Youtube, Dailybooth, Lunarstorm and so on is still in its early childhood. The main group of people using these platforms for interacting are young ones, age 15 to 25. Out of all questions a person of that age are juggling, the area of their death is hardly a priority, or even a well-meaning need. The few years of web 2.0 has yet to produce a highlighted death of a person where a group is not able to cope with the words and images remained online after death.

How do you prepare for the footprints you leave in blogposts, vlogs and images online? Does anyone have access to your accounts, and have you left instructions of what should happen to your accounts should you die. Some people would want the accounts erased, others kept as memories. One controversial and reoccurring problem is the facebook friend suggestion feature. People have been suggested friendship with now deceased persons, which obviously sparks emotional issues.

The second thought on this deals with letting people know. Personally I know many different people online, some only on twitter, some only on youtube or dailybooth and many on all of them. In the case where I know many, most of them know each other as well, creating a group effect which should solve the problem by itself, as long as only one gets the news. But what about that girl in Holland, whom I know really well by now, but noone in my online/offline life know about her. How will she find out? Will she think I just didn’t want to be friend with her anymore and thus stopped posting to her and after maybe six months or a year she finally realizes that what she thought was a silent quarrel, was actually one of us dying? I find this thought terrible, but it does happen.

What if a famous youtuber like smpfilm, sxephil, whatthebuck or happyslip dies? Getting the word out would not be problematic but how would the online world handle a death of one of their own, one that most likely is unknown to the offline world. Even explaining to people in Sweden that I vlog is somewhat problematic, and even worse, trying to explain all my online friends, few which I have actually met. Come to think of it, the only one I’ve met in recent time, and from Youtube is SkyyJohn.

This vlog approaches some of these issues:

Around the world (or not)?

June 27, 2009

If I could sum up the month of June 2009 as a whole, I’d say that the Around-the-world-competition, fired off by the e-booker MrJet here in Scandinavia, would dominate it.

I submitted my Swedish application video in early June. This is the uploaded one to mrjetchannel on youtube

A voting frenzy then started, with more and more videos being uploaded to the site. I made a video for my youtube channel where I asked all my subscribers, and anyone who saw it to go to the page and vote for me. I urged them not to give the other videos a bad grade to help me, it just didn’t feel honest, or as I put it in the video “that’s not how we roll”. This video is in English.

Earlier this week I recieved a mail saying I was one of a few they wanted to meet with. A few days later I then got a phonecall from Pelle Svensson, head of marketing at MrJet, saying they wanted to meet me later that day. Their office is only about 15 minutes away so I got there right on time and met with him and the CEO for about an hour’s chat. I’d say we were on the same page all the way through. This is not just simply a competition, where the winner is simply sent out in the world as a prize, it’s more of an actual job, where reporting, experiencing and enjoying oneself become part of a longer promotional campaign: exchanging services in a way. They said they’d have a decision by thursday afternoon, or friday.

I slept very bad wednesday night, anticipating the result. I wondered what the others would say, two of them, I was told, and how I had presented myself. It was a duality of thoughts were one side said of course you will get to go, you had very high ratings and you made your concept very clear of how you would maximize the trip, both for you and MrJet. The other side, the hesitant side said, but what if your logic and experience is outplayed by young super-enthusiastic hunger, not that I don’t possess that, but in life, it’s all about presentation, first impression last? Thursday was quiet and so it became friday and I still had butterflies in my stomach. Then, sometime after lunch, the call came, that number I knew from the earlier call that week. I took a deep breath, my girlfriend lowered the music and answered.

When Pelle said “I’m sorry but you will have to… (I had almost given up on this dream).. wait til monday to know the result.” I was relieved, though the extended waiting was somewhat torturing (as someone on Twitter remarked). So now, I’m awaiting monday, and I’m constantly thrown between how amazing it will be to do this in august, and how empty so much will be, should it not work out.

So many people around me and online are hoping for me but all I can do is wait and keep my fingers crossed. For what a trip it will be, what a trip…

Everybody’s free (to vlog) Baz Luhrmann Youtube Spoof

June 22, 2009

It was a project in the making for quite some time. I was listening to Baz Luhrmann’s Everybody’s free (wear sunscreen), a song/speech which used to be played before public speaking class at Bond Uni in Australia. According to the amazing instructor, and now my very good friend Mike Grenby, it was a way to cool nerves. I started thinking that much of what was said could be changed to fit the Youtube community of vloggers, and so I tweaked it here and there. The soundtrack was done several weeks before I started doing filming and editing but once I got the core podium footage down, it was only a matter of putting it all together, filling gaps here and there.

The Youtube community has since (it was posted 5 days ago) given me praise and much kindness in their comments, which I am thrilled about. Like I mentioned in one comment-response, there’s always a slight hesitation when uploading something very new, and out of the ordinary. Also, by making it a spoof, you open yourself up to a potentially bigger audience, one where haters lurk in. Have a look at the clip and please comment, either here or on the actual Youtube location, if you have an account there. I’d really appreciate it. Thanks!

Around the world with MrJet

June 4, 2009

When the news of MrJet, the online flight/hotel booker dropped the news that they are sending someone around the world, as a travlling reporter, using social media to conenct back home, came up, I got very, very excited. This is what I do, I travel, I meet people and I make videos about it. It couldn’t be a better fit for me, but how could I show this in a short video?

I sat myself in front of the camera and words just came out. I edited down to 3.30 soemthing and included a map of the world and the destiantions I was aiming for. I am very proud of my contribution and I encourage anyone who feel they want, to go vote for me, using the link below. Please don’t give other applicants bad grades because of this, especially if you can’t understand their swedish, or danish or norwegian. It’s all about fair play!!!!

here is the video click the stars next to “rösta” (vote)

Thank you so much. I am so excited right now, I should go out and play some disc golf, but the weather is horrible. Weeee!!!

Have a good one

/Martin in Stockholm

Pouring Blacksburg

April 14, 2009

Tuesday, Mill mountain coffee shop and the rain is pouring down outside.

Yesterday, I had some good b-roll filming done on campus and I scheduled almost all of my meetings for filming for the next two days, starting today over at Torgersen hall. After that, I’m hoping the weather will clear some so the long-awaited return to Golden hills disc golf course in Christiansburg will be a pleasant one with Michael.

Coming back this year is a whole different ballgame from last year. So much less pressure, I know what to expect, and what to do. The only issue would be the cold I’m trying to fight off my nose.

I am very excited about the interviews as they will shed a new light, a new angle on all the other material I have so far. Thursday april 16, 2 years after the shooting here at Virginia tech, will be the closest I’ll get to a strong reminder, but I believe my positive view of Blacksburg is still dominating over that cold and blustery morning. Go Hokies.

Documentary Filming at Virginia Tech

April 6, 2009

view from McBryde staircase

view from McBryde staircase

There is a relaxed calmness about the upcoming trip to Blacksburg Virginia, a place I have been to around this date for two years running.

Coming back to Virginia Tech last year for the first time since that overwhelming week beginning with the april 16 massacre on a snowy morning was in many ways also overwhelming. I had to combine both “coming back” with filmmaking and the fact that my girlfriend came along. At least I had been present on campus during the turmoil but for her, this was almost hell on Earth, the place where I had been almost missplaced during a very terrifying event.

A Special Place

A Special Place

The week we were there last year was very sunny and after the initial return to the McBryde building from where me and my classmate Carl had been watching the event, I felt much calmer. People in Blacksburg had seen a year go by, a full circle and they were all very much agreeing on the fact that yes, we will remember but it is time to move on.

I met up with Roanoke Times reporter Evelio Contreras whom I had met after the lockdown on april 16. He did a short video piece on me and we hung out during our stay. I believe there will be even less media this year, which should be good for a town which certainly was on edge after the invasion following the shootings in 2007.

I will land in Roanoke this friday evening and go home via Atlanta a week later and aside from filming for the documentary, I hope to do some disc golf, eat good food and listen to bluegrass in the company of good people and great friends.

“A special place” will then move into post-production.

[Red snow] part 1-3

March 24, 2009

The first 3 parts of “Red snow” are up, with 1 more part to go.  Visit my Youtube channel for more videos.

“Massacre at Virginia tech” documentary

March 17, 2009

A while back, I heard of a documentary made by the BBC concerning Virginia tech and the shooting there on April 16, 2007. It turned out that it was an hour long profile of the shooter. I believe I saw it split into six parts on Youtube but it was taken down shortly after. It is, as most presentations coming out of that channel, a very high quality production.

Seeing it again I recognized one of the students who survived the Norris hall shooting, Derek. I had seen him with Katie Couric as well as on Fox news. I googled him and found out that he has written a book along with his cousin, a reporter with the Arizona Daily Star.

I have contacted Derek via Facebook mail to see if he would be interested in meeting up with me when I return to the Blacksburg area in April. All though he was a witness from within Norris hall, something I wasn’t, his possible input on media could be important for the film. Also, his story might give me additional input into the event. When I came back in 2008 I was offered to see the inside of Norris hall, but I declined. I wanted to keep my impressions, my personal impressions from the point of view of where I stood, the windows of McBryde hall. After not getting responses from other people concerning the film, I have little faith that he will either, but I feel I must exhaust every possibility before finalizing it. The problem however, is that I am a rather non-intrusive person, so e-mail really is my best option.

The BBC documentary has a dramatic/somber piano and horn soundtrack which returns over and over and gives the profiling of shooter Seung-Hui Cho an almost psychological undertone. In the eyes of the film, Cho is not just a guilty perpetrator, they are trying to ask the question beneath just the reasons given by Cho himself in the package he sent to NBC, why?

At the very end of it, there is a fade in/fade out box photo slide of the 32 students and faculty, left dead by the shooter and the remaining thought in my head is that they are not alive anymore. But they were, when I had my whopper with Carl at Burger King about an hour before it started…and ended.

Winnenden massacre and Virginia tech aftermath

March 11, 2009

Listening to the radio, coming back from a snowcovered round of disc golf in western Stockholm, it sent a shivering reminder back at me. The news this morning was that two people had thus far died from a shooting at Albertsville Realschule in Winnenden, Southern Germany. Coming in from Christiansburg, VA two years ago the number I had in mind then was 1 dead and 17 injured at Virginia tech. That number would then rise to 22 and finally 33. The number now is 16, 17 including the shooter, almost as usual not surviving himself, this time gunned down by police after what seems to have been a shootout at at parking lot some distance away from the school.

The feeling I carried with me after Virginia tech in april 2007 was that I needed to have instant talks with those responsible at my campus, what will you do if/when it happens here? I calmed myself down, only to see it happen in Finland, twice, at Jokela and Kauhajoki. This recent event in Germany feeds even more fuel into the dreaded question I had two years ago, when will it happen in Sweden? Not if, but when?

Growing up we did firedrills quite often. For us it was both fun and exciting as well as a way of getting out of class for the period. No-one ever anticipated a fire, and the irony of it all would be that if there really was a fire, would people take it seriously? So my question now is: should there be drills for these types of events or is it better to act like nothing’s wrong, not to fuel thoughts among some deranged students and give them ideas? What are the warning signs for teachers to look for with noises? Close to Norris hall on Virginia tech there was a construction site, which gave people the natural idea that the bangs heard from outside the classroom came from a hammer, or something related to the contruction. There were no mental warning signs. Had I known myself what was going on from across my view in the adjacent building, I would certainly not have kept on filming, or laughed at the police for their over-reacting response to the shooting. I would run.

if I ever end up in a similar situation, I will get out of there as quick as I can, and I hope people who have not been where I have, realize this when something unusual happens. Don’t think that it couldn’t happen to you, cause on the oposite side of it, just as lucky as you might be on the lottery, just as unlucky you might be being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

My thoughts go to Germany tonight.