cultural capital

Web Video to Kill the Movie Star?

Continuing today’s 1999 tech-boom theme, the Times reports that the United Talent Agency, which represents the likes of Vince Vaughn, M. Night Shyamalan, and Dick Wolf, has created a unit to scout the Web-video stars of tomorrow. Requisite photos of young men dressed in business casual with dubious stubble accompany the piece, as do on-the-Web-everyone’s-an-artist-type nostrums. But there are few details on which videos the unit is eyeing as it seeks its next-generation filmmakers.

That’s why New York film critic Logan Hill is here to help. Here are his five surefire bets for Web-video stardom. All he asks is a ticket to the premiere, 3 percent on the deals, and 10 percent of the back end.

Gem Sweater,” by Leslie and the Lys: Napoleon Dynamite and Tenacious D, meet your competition: “Can you feel me flowing inside your skull?” Leslie Hall jams, dressed in a gold full-bodysuit and, of course, some scary wallpaper-appliquéd sweaters. Beware: “With these shoulder pads, I have the strength to destroy villages, homes, and crops.”

Ha Ha Ha,” America by Jon Daniel Ligon: Satirical documentarian Jon Daniel Ligon has seen the future, and it is both Chinese and obnoxious. Take this quote from his hilariously mistranslated screed on globalization: “China population 1.5 billion maybe or 1.2 billion maybe. Either result mean America just rounding error compare to China. We barnyard buffalo. You runt pig with no formal access to prosperity tit.”

The Google,” by Unknown: A satirical short film about a technophobe leading the world’s most industrialized country. SNL should sign this guy now.

Wat a Wonderful Day,” by Philip Eddolls: This entirely bizarre animated short by 24-year-old Philip Eddolls is a twisted mash-up of Wallace & Gromit sweetness and Gondry peculiarity, starring a megalomaniacal bunny.

Deviation,” by Jon Griggs: Using the video game Counterstrike, filmmaker Jon Griggs composed an existentialist riff on the absurd repetition of first-person-shooter games. Selected for this year’s Machinima Festival at the American Museum of the Moving Image, beginning November 4, it’s a classic machinima comedy — and somebody’s going to make a bundle with an ad campaign based on these viral videos, which generate huge traffic. (Red vs. Blue is the most popular.)

Talent Agency Is Aiming to Find Web Video Stars [NYT]

Web Video to Kill the Movie Star?