Rising from Ruins: August Movie Trailer

Posted by Hanson Hosein

I’m three weeks away from the world premiere of my film, “Independent America: Rising from Ruins” on the 3rd anniversary of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.  This is the second trailer of the film (the first is here), a necessary effort even with so little time left, as all of our promoters (grassroots, online, and big broadcast sales) need more ammunition for their marketing salvo.

The film will be featured at the Katrina-related event, “We Are The Ones We’ve Been Waiting For,” organized by The New Orleans Institute.   If I’m all about “selling the message” then this is absolutely the right time and place to start doing so.

But for those who are new to this blog or the MCDM, why is this film project relevant?

1. The first Independent America film was pretty much what inspired me to take this position at the University of Washington — using social media to sell a project when Traditional Mass Media (TMM) ignored it.

2. There are direct MCDM/UW ties to this film: the Department of Communication considers my filmmaking directly relevant to my research work, and has even partially funded the project.  Two current MCDM students, Kirk Mastin, and John Liston, accompanied me to New Orleans last spring to assist in the filming.  A third MCDM’er, Adriana Gil Miner, was my researcher.  The opening music to this current trailer “Bad Dog” was produced and engineered by MCDM’er Brian Steel for the awesome blues group Gravelroad.

3. My films are a direct application of the storytelling and social media philosophies I apply to the MCDM.  That is using grassroots or institutional partnerships to get the word out, employing portable, relatively affordable technology to capture the stories, and leveraging social media tools to market the content, even while it’s a work-in-progress.  This is all fundamental to my belief in how digital media technology is fomenting this communication revolution, bypassing TMM to a large extent (although I employ a hybrid strategy as we still are able to sell the final product to broadcasters worldwide).

If you’d like a technical standards assignment, compare the various compression strategies employed by the online video platforms for the trailer (the film was shot and edited in full 1980×1080 24p HD 35 mb/s):

Blip.tv

YouTube (watch in standard and in “higher quality”)

Vimeo (watch in HD).

Just added Sony’s Crackle — which used to be quite UGC as “Grouper” and now prefers professional/serious filmmakers.

I used to be a big fan of Blip, but now YouTube has better compression standards, and Vimeo actually streams in HD.  In fact, Vimeo’s HD encoding recommendation is my new gold standard for compression: small files and excellent resolution.

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