My daughter turned 4 a few months ago. We were musing over how to ask family not to give too much: we’re uncomfortable when she receives a lot of gifts. We don’t want to be ungrateful, so we experimented with asking people to give her $4. We’d then talk with her about saving a 1/3 of the money, spending 1/3, and donating a 1/3 to a charity. Tonight we discussed what...
Our team has started a tumblr for sharing progress on the revamp of webmaker.org - follow us. Meanwhile, here’s a quick glimpse of what we’re up to:
Louis C.K.: “It was a horrible process to get to... →
austinkleon: Does it matter that what you’ve achieved, with your online special and your tour can’t be replicated by other performers who don’t have the visibility or fan base that you do? Why do you think those people don’t have the same resources that I have, the same visibility or relationship? What’s different between me and them? You have the platform. You have the level of...
Webmaker 2013 Roadmap 0.1
Background: Webmaker as a community of craft There’s been broad consensus in the Webmaker community that building a community of practice and enabling users to share their work is an important part of the Webmaker formula. So in 2013, Webmaker.org will evolve to be a place where users are watching, remixing, and creating their own piece of the web - acquiring web literacies, including...
New Webmaker Prototypes
For our first week back to work, a small group of MoFos met for a few days of offsite. Knowing that 2013 is going to be a year of enabling creativity, we thought it would be suitable to meet at the Art Bar of the Gladstone hotel. Our goal was to create several prototypes of new functionality in Webmaker that would help users create new types of content. Here are the demos. note: hit the full...
On Directing Software and Movies
In this year that is now ending, I had the privilege to work with an amazing crew to create Popcorn Maker. To say that I’m proud doesn’t really sum it up: of course I am proud, but mostly I feel grateful. I don’t think I realized how ambitious we were until halfway through this summer, when we REALLY needed to put the pedal to the metal in order to pull it off. In...
Three Content Types for Webmaker
Following on some great posts by David Humphrey, I’ve used Popcorn Maker to post some thoughts around the direction we’re headed with Webmaker content. This post is meant to provide some specificity to the 2013 Webmaker goals wiki. In this wiki, we’ve identified “webpages that move” created via tools that “make it way easier than it is today to mix your...
Popcorn Maker history
This is a canned version of the presentation I gave at this year’s Mozilla Festival, launching Popcorn Maker 1.0.
News developer portraits
I really like these portraits of News Developers that Dan Sinker has created. The Open News project is accepting applications for their 2012-2013 cycle. You should apply.
Listening to a Mozillian
On Friday, I had the pleasure of visiting a local Mozillian (a Mozilla community member) in my home city. I live in Victoria, BC, which is home to a small but passionate tech community. Despite this, I often feel like where I live and what I do are often very separate. So it was with a lot of pleasure that I met with Emma Irwin for lunch to debrief on the #Mozparty event she ran this summer. ...
How the #Mozparty is changing Popcorn
This is a detailed post that has been a long time coming. In summary: Popcorn has achieved a lot in the last 5 months We’re discovering that our template model is creating too much complexity We’re realizing that Popcorn is a powerful media literacy tool We’re increasing our focus on Popcorn Maker as a remixer Over the last 5 months, the Popcorn team has been busy. While...
Popcorn and Documentary
In this post I explore how Popcorn follows the tradition of technology influencing the form of documentary. This post was created with Popcorn Maker.
Mozilla Popcorn aka The Meme Generating Machine
meme ( /ˈmiːm/) “an idea, behavior or style that spreads from person to person within a culture.” “A meme is an idea that behaves like a virus—that moves through a population, taking hold in each person it infects.” - Malcolm Gladwell” We need Mozilla Popcorn to become a virus. Hear us out here. In our early iterations of Popcorn Maker, we’ve been...
The Last Kid On Kodachrome
In 2004, I won a pitching contest at the Banff TV festival, for the film that would eventually become Rip. It was called the “New Players Pitch”, and the prize was a bunch of film from Kodak. I got a whole bunch of 16mm, which I used for some sequences in Rip, and a whole bunch of Super8. I used the Super8 on various experimental things, but a box of Kodachrome (K40) sat around in...
Video: What is Mozilla?
I’ve been working on and off for many months on a video to explain Mozilla to the uninitiated. The home for the video is now on the Get Involved page of the mozilla.org site, and I’m excited that it will be part of a process for getting people excited about pitching in at Mozilla. You can watch it below: mega hats off to Rainer Cvillink, Mozilla’s in-house video wizard, for all...
Everyone is still recovering a bit from Buttercamp. Anna Sobiepanek beat us all to it with a great recap of the event, but let me say how thankful I am for the extraordinary effort the participants put into the day. We learned a lot about how to do events like these, and definitely left wanting to do more. As Anna mentioned in her blog, our biggest lessons were a) the need for designers to...
Welcome Bobby Richter
I’m very happy to announce that Bobby Richter is joining the Web Made Movies team as Creative Technical Lead. Already a Mozilla contributor, having worked with the #audio team on a variety of demos and libraries, Bobby is joining us to, as he writes on his about page, “make Web Made Movie’s ideas tangible as quick as possible”. Bobby’s job will be diverse: contributing to the...
As a part of our webmademovies.org relaunch, I thought I’d create a screencast of Butter, the authoring environment for popcorn.js. What do you think?
Web Made Movies at BAVC
Two things I learned this week: 1) Exercise caution when giving 12 high school students access to an etherpad that is projected against a wall 2) The Bay Area Coalition (BAVC)’s Factory program for youth is srs bizness Mozilla has partnered up with the Bay Area Video Coalition and Zero Divide to implement the technologies coming out of Web Made Movies into the current curriculum of The...
Web Made Movies 2011
Sorry, your browser doesn’t support HTML5. Along with my other colleagues at Mozilla, I’ve been doing a lot of work lately thinking about what the rest of 2011 holds. It’s been great to read posts by Ben Moskowitz, Phillip Smith and Nathaniel James as they describe and forecast their work on the Knight/Mozilla Technology Partnership. It’s painting a great picture of...
Yes we did!
This past week, I was fortunate to be part of a great collaboration between Mozilla and the PBS Newshour team, creating an annotated version of Barack Obama’s State of The Union Speech using popcorn.js. While the demo itself is fairly humble, its actually quite an accomplishment given that we had only met the Newsroom staff the day of the speech during a meeting at the Corporation For...
Putting some Butter on Popcorn!
Drumbeat: A Forcing Function
Last week, in collaboration with David Humphrey, I ran the Video Lab at the Mozilla Drumbeat festival in Barcelona. I’m still recovering, so this post is a bit late, but a week has actually given me some perspective on why events like this are necessary crucibles for innovation. Everything we’ve achieved so far within the Web Made Movies project has been the result of intense...
How I'm Receiving Internet
Galiano is amazing minus one fact: it has spotty Internet coverage. DSL and cable only cover the southern end of the island, where the population is most dense. I live in the middle of the island. The only pre-existing option then is dialup (not an option) or 3G. However, as I soon discovered tethering my phone, the speeds aren’t great and my 6gb/month cap would quickly expire with only...
Lev Feels Fine demo is live
Thanks to the efforts of Anna Sobiepanek and Scott Downe, I’m happy to invite you to try out the latest experiment from Web Made Movies. As outlined in an earlier post, we wanted to pay homage to both the Kuleshov Effect and We Feel Fine. This demo is an experiment in merging the traditions of cinema with the emerging ideas of the web. Of course, we know that this demo by itself has...
Universal Subtitles + popcorn.js integration
From early on in the popcorn.js process, we’ve been imagining BUTTER - an easy way for non-coders to be able to add metadata to their videos. Currently, popcorn.js uses an external XML file (though we’ll be switching to JSON in our next releases). Neither of these formats are reasonable for lay video creators to use, so discussion of a front end has been in the works for months. ...
Web Made Movies hack day at Open Video Conference!
As the Open Video Conference in New York draws closer (Oct 1-3), we’re excited to announce our hack day on Sunday October 3rd. The Web Made Movies hack day is a chance for filmmakers, developers and anyone interested in creating Open Video to turn the inspiration of OVC into action. Are you a videomaker? Its a great opportunity to meet with people who can help you explore the...
Kuleshov Effect + We Feel Fine = Lev's all right?
Was discussing in the Web Made Movies IRC today with David Humphrey the need to create a new, and vastly different than our last, demo for the upcoming Open Video Conference. We wanted to create something that presented a dynamically generated video based on who was watching, and that created different meaning from different juxtapositions of shots. This reminded me of the Kuleshov effect -...
Web Made Movies vault
In creating our first demo for popcorn, we gathered footage from projects like Grassrootsmapping.org and The Village Telco to create the final video. However, we only used small snippets, so I took some time to edit down longer versions of each. Grass Roots Mapping The Village Telco
A week in the cloud
I’m old. Unlike people born after the first Star Wars movie (the real one), I use desktop apps for things like managing my calendar and checking my email. My hard drive recently crashed, and as someone who is terrible about backing up their computer, I was terrified - but then found that all my data actually existed in the cloud (since I use google apps for my mail), so I really...
Where I've Been - Where I'm Going
As some of my friends and colleagues know, I’m actually quite late announcing some changes that have been afoot in my personal and professional life. Let me rectify! In March I began a collaboration with Mozilla on Web Made Movies, an innovation lab bringing together software developers and filmmakers to innovate video on the web. (For folks who don’t know, Mozilla is a public...
Testimony to House of Commons
In April I was invited to present to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Heritage. For the record - these people just stare at their blackberries during committee work. Its kind of scandalous. Here is my testimony.
Web Made Movies design V3
As you can see we’ve evolved the design as well as the proposed functionality - videos will show feeds from those in the video, as well as feeds from related semantic content. Any feedback is as usual appreciated as we continue to iterate!
Early Web Made Movies wireframes
We’ve been working with the ultra-talented Gopal Raju to design some wireframes for the demo we’ll be launching at the end of the month. Feedback appreciated! Version 1 Version 2
Change in Web Made Movies focus
Web Made Movies was originally conceived as a frankenstein mashup of content and software - the idea being to create a documentary about the idea of the Open Web using the Open Web. You can see from our original roadmap that it was meant to be an episodic documentary series. The more I began to think about this, though, I realized it was still a very old-school way to make a documentary. It was...
Facebook has gone rogue, drunk on founder Mark Zuckerberg’s dreams of world...– Wired.com
Rip nominated for a Genie
Rip has been a thrilling, if not at times overwhelming, journey. It’s deeply humbling that even as I move on to other projects, its still out in the world - playing at one of the best theatres in London, the Alamo Drafthouse in Texas, national Japanese TV in April, and has now been nominated for the Genie Awards. The Genie’s are handed out by the Academy of Canadian Cinema and...
Starting the drumbeat
Mark Surman recently returned from Brazil and the first ever local Drumbeat event - he’s blogged about it here. While I wish I had been able to go, Pedro from the digital culture house represented Web Made Movies well and he and Mark were out gathering stories. I’m excited to see Drumbeat begin to roll out of people’s brains and into the real world. Some info about Drumbeat is...