Eff You Mountain Dew Blue!

moutain dew voltage

The iC’s were hoping to make the jump to the South by South West Media and Music Conference this year with one of our pics on our plate but no dice from the SxSW braintrust this time around. That’s too bad since we could have painted the town iC red (its the color you get when you mix blood, vomit and cherry Kool-Aid together) something like we did when we were at the Sundance Film Festival.

Anyhoo, I’m still petitioning to make the trip to Austin, but I’m hoping that a bigtime corporation will foot the bill since my rent money is late again. It turns out that PepsiCo is a bigtime sponsor of the conference and I just happen to use Mountain Dew Voltage as my substitute for water. At least I did until I decided to boycott Mountain Dew Voltage because they weren’t sending me to SxSW. Yes, I am retarded for staging a boycott, but that is what my mom calls me when I leave the basement to make a Ghetto Big Mac.

I’m hoping that enough of my friends will support this Mountain Dew Blue boycott along with me to convince the folks at Mountain Dew to send me and a cameraman to Austin to film the goings on. If Mountain Dew wants iC quality production then they only need to come up on some iC dollars. This is PepsiCo internets. These are the dudes that underwrote Shaquille O’Neal’s first rap album.

Sending some of us to film in Austin Texas >>> Kazam!
(^ and you know this maaaaaan)

* Monday Bonus * Monday Bonus * Monday Bonus *
DP x 40 Deez loose in the BX (<- that's the Bronx, but you knew that)

Real Talk with MC Hammer!

There were a few long interviews we did at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival that were filled with good stuff but just didn’t fit the 4 minute video a day format that we’d agreed to with The Daily Reel. So the Internets Celebs site is the perfect place to unveil them. We already showed you our interview with independent filmmakers and savvy web marketers Four Eyed Monsters. Today we cover our interview with rap’s first crossover superstar, MC Hammer. Hopefully we can also put together something soon from the talk we had with Sopranos actor turned Sundance filmmaker Louis Lombardi. Stay tuned…

Probably the greatest celebrity opening in the entire Sundance series is MC Hammer’s exhilarating and unprompted “It’s Hammer Time!” that kicks off The Filmmakers episode. Our unexpected meeting with Hammer was a definite highlight of the whole trip.

As the only peron on our team without a laptop, I was doing my usual early morning Internets addiction thing at the AOL Cyber Lounge across the street from our hotel. Suddenly I heard a gruff, familiar voice talking to some of the staff people there. I approached Hammer, told him what we were all about and asked if he’d be willing to do an Internets Celebrities interview. He was willing so I called Cas and Dallas, both of whom were sleeping as this all went down about 8am, and had them rush over to shoot an unscripted, unplanned chat with Hammer.

We discussed the repercussions of the RIAA raid on DJ Drama that had happened that week and what it revealed about the music industry. Hammer also clued us in on his long-time involvement in the spheres of film (from the 2 Legit days to financing the debut film of director Justin Lin) and Internet media. Hammer was an extremely generous interview subject – open and intelligent – and I must say we were uniquely suited to join him in a discussion of any of these channels from hip-hop to film to internets. We are the impresarios of improvising. We bring the right words to ad libs like a book of Mad Libs. And all that….

But just to show it doesn’t always come so naturally (in case watching me in this interview fidget around wishing I had a chair doesn’t reveal that), let me take you inside my head for a minute. When we were just getting set to start the interview I asked myself “what would my OhWord audience want me to ask?” The reply: “Ask him about the story MC Serch has been telling that Hammer had a hit out on him back in the day!” And I’m holding on to that question, with the White Rapper show popping off at the time I have a good enough segue to use. But as the interview goes on I get this feeling about what a genuine guy we’re chopping it up with. I start to feel like I would be a total creep to betray Hammer’s trust and breech a negative topic that may or may not have happened nearly twenty years earlier and has nothing to do with the moment.

I’m glad I didn’t go there and I’m glad I met the legendary MC Hammer, a self-made man who has been the brunt of many disses and jokes and yet radiates goodwill and extreme focus.

By the way you can check out Hammer’s blog which gives you a glimpse into his life but also touches on music, politics and technology.

Real Talk with MC Hammer – Part 1

Real Talk with MC Hammer – Part 2

Interview of Four Eyed Monsters at Sundance

Four Eyed Monsters Interview – Part 1

Four Eyed Monsters Interview – Part 2

Internets Celebrities meet Internets Celebrities.

One of the highlights of our trip to Sundance was having a chance to talk with Susan and Arin who together comprise the film-making team Four Eyed Monsters. The duo had a movie at Slamdance a few years earlier but were shocked at how little that was helping the film get distributed. So they created a video blog via ITunes and MySpace and developed a following in that way.

Four Eyed Monsters are trailblazers in that they showed how indie filmmakers can create their own distribution channels and have great success cultivating their own audience. Their success online led to audience-demanded screenings across the country. Most recently Susan and Arin partnered up with YouTube and their movie became the first feature length video at YouTube.

But when we first found them they were in a jacuzzi surrounded by a crew of similarly pale indie filmmakers. This was no standard Hollywood hot tub party. This was Utah – there was frost on the deck of the pool! Instead of snorting lines and discussing Scientology, these guys were having a panel about how new media is changing filmmaking and film distribution. Arin with his voice recorder stood in the center of the hot tub leaning over people or passing the device around to capture the forum for posterity.

Immediately afterwards we had a chance to do a rare serious unscripted interview with Four Eyed Monsters. Ian was with us that evening and he was already a big fan of their work so he quickly got us familiar.

We hope you enjoy this interview with two bright, passionate evangelists of the Internets.

For more on Slamdance, check out Internets Celebrities at Sundance episode 5 – the Filmmakers

For a glimpse of the jacuzzi party, check out Internets Celebrities at Sundance episode 6 – the Parties

Video: Internets Celebrities at Sundance 2007

The Internets Celebrities – as nom de plume – is really first put into effect when we storm down on Park City, Utah. Faced with the daunting task of producing 7 videos in 7 days about the Sundance Film Festival, we decide to form like Voltron and phrase our movies under a name that characterizes what we are: internet dorks with a vision.

Specifically, Sundance comes about through the largesse of one An internet content aggregator – which is to say a website that links to their favorite viral videos – The Daily Reel names Ghetto Big Mac one of their ten favorite videos of 2006 and soon after, licenses the one-week exclusive premiere of our second movie, Bodega. Pleased with the attention it gets on sites like Huffington Post and, they vow to do business with us again soon.

And by soon they mean the following week when they propose sending us to Sundance as would be correspondents. Going to a cultural flashpoint like Sundance with a movie-making purpose sounds right and good – the next step in the Internets Celebrity evolution and a great chance to stretch our video reporting muscles.

We tell the Daily Reel that we have a plan for the shooting and blueprint a scenario that sees us making two videos – one to be posted during the festival and one immediately following. They take two weeks to get back to us while they search for a sponsor. During that time, radio silence convinces us the deal is dead. Then the Wednesday before the festival, we get a call: TDR has found a bed-partner in and we are all set to ride their dime to the festival. Somehow the short notice does not create major waves in our day-jobs and we holler back that Saturday to Saturday sounds like a fine ole time to uncover the Hollywood/Redford/Mormon connection clearly at play in Park City, Utah.

Oh, also GoDaddy wants us to make 7 videos in 7 days. Not 2. No problem. We slept enough last year. This winter its all about the work: In retrospect, its funny to think that we almost head down there with just one camera-man/editor. Said camera-man/editor would have died. In fact, we add Mr. Ian Savage to the mix who brings a fancy camera, extra computers, bright ideas and limitless enthusiasm to the project. Having produced Rocketboom for a couple months he knows what its like to churn out the videos. Okay we’re good to go. Lets catch a plane.

Two of us skid over to JFK at 5AM and just barely make the plane. Two of us miss the heck out of the plane and get stuck at the gate inexplicably unable to board despite the plane continuing to sit at the gate de-icing. Plane takes off with only two of us aboard. This does not bode well. No matter, the two of us on the plane are waylaid anyway in Phoenix when we miss our connection. We manage to find a much later connection and all parties wind up at the Park City Hotel on Main St. in Park City, Utah a comfortable 12 hours after we leave New York City. Time to hit the hay? Hell no. Its time to hit the streets. We’ve got videos to make. Moments after we all rendezvous, were out on Main St. investigating the proceedings: Dallas supplies the theme for the week: Sundance is actually Grown Ass Spring Break.

People at Sundance are dying to be on camera and interviews are easy to come by. We are certainly never for lack of material. The challenge starts to take the shape of managing post-production. Between taking/fighting notes from the website in LA and continuing to accumulate new footage from varied locations (as in not always in front of out hotel – a veritable font of celebrity sightings) theres not much margin for error if were to stay on schedule. We draw out themes for each episode and then quickly eschew those themes when new ones present themselves in the shooting. We tackle opening weekend, swag, the parties, the filmmakers, survival tips (laminate your own press badge) the networking scene, the local celebrities, Robert Redford’s unicorn problem and other “real facts” of Sundance . We stay up very late every night drinking beer and throwing together five little movies while at the festival with two more to follow the Monday and Tuesday after our return.

Highlights include:

A candid interview with MC Hammer
The Hot Tub Party
Spicy Sausage, egg and cheeses at the Clockwork Cafe
Turning local residents into instant Internet Celebrities
Interviewing Four-Eyed Monster
Interviewing the FBI agent from Sopranos
Teaching Hollywood how to fill their hearts with love again
Getting on the bus and asking people in loud voices where all the filmmakers were at

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