Thursday, January 31, 2008
Bad reviews of future news
Since the post at this blog in mid-January about a viral video set in the future of an inundated New York City, two more supposedly viral videos have joined it online to promote National Geographic Channel's upcoming program, Six Degrees Could Change the World.
The first clip suggests a dust storm in Dallas in 02034. Like the New York underwater clip, there are no people in sight -- it doesn't carry the visceral impact it was clearly after. (And, sorry to say, but again with the shoddy CG animation!)
The second clip is a bit more interesting, from my point of view. Eschewing the (aesthetically unsuccessful) imitation of big-budget establishing shots, it provides a far more subtle, and in a sense relatable (is that really a word?) scenario; a water crisis in Southern California. The footage shows water trickling from a tap, and guys moving around boxes of water-bottles -- exactly the type of mundane stuff a news report would use to represent a story of this kind. So this, as a way of communicating the water crisis scenario, is a metonymic strategy not unlike the present-day still shots I put online this week suggesting a world without oil.
It's unfortunate that they opted for plodding consistency in framing this set of viral videos, foregoing the chance to say anything interesting about how the world -- including news reportage -- might change over the period described (beyond the focal issue of climate). The news screens are shown as interlaced video, which is beginning to look old-fashioned even now, in early 02008, as HD-TV becomes standard. Worse, the hypothetical "CNC News", for some odd reason, uses exactly the same visual style and format (logos, bugs, the headline crawl) in 02026, 02034, and 02051. Was this important to their message? I don't see how, considering the teasers all conclude by sending the viewer, a little didactically, to the same non-diegetic website, which breaks the scenarios' universe right away.
Call me critical (or better yet, sceptical), but I'm disappointed by the wasted potential here.
Could this have anything to do with the slow response of cyberspace? The dust storm was uploaded on 18 January and is showing, as I write, only 83 views. The water shortage clip was posted 25 January and has been viewed 23 times.
(Thanks to John Maus for pointing me to the water clip.)
Posted by Stuart Candy at 11:45 pm
Labels: advertising, climate, documentary, future-shock therapy, video, water
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I've just noticed that the water shortage clip embedded in this post has been deleted at some stage by the poster, "CNC News".
Weird. Wonder why?
At the moment, the other two future clips (flooded New York and the Dallas dust storm) are still live, however, together with a plain vanilla (not in-scenario) ad for Six Degrees.
Hello there! I know this is kinda off topic but I waas wondering which blog platform are you using for this site?
I'm getting sick and tired of Wordpress because I've had issues with
hackers and I'm looking at alternatives for another platform.
I would be fantastic if yoou could point me in the direction of a
Feel free to surf to my web site Curtis Debord
This runs on Blogger which I have found to be been dependable, although not nearly as flexibly designed as Wordpress, which I've also used a fair bit - most recently for the new Situation Lab blog.
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