YouTube Project: Direct 2009 is a short film competition in conjunction with the Sundance Film Festival. This year, two Toronto filmmakers - myself (Jake Kovnat) and Ben Goldenberg - have made it to the top 10. The winner gets sent to Sundance 2009 to screen their film and meet with industry executives and the two runners up get their film distributed on DVDs throughout the festival. Along with this, 1st and 2nd place receive $2500 and 3rd receives $1000. So how are the winners chosen?
While Toronto has been amused and abused in all types of music and media, it seems that its hip hop culture is particularly proud of their domain. Or perhaps this can better be understood as a sort of hip hop convention whereby rappers mythologize their stomping grounds in order to boost their own image? In case you haven't already seen the first video I mentioned, the song is a remix of a hit song by Young Jeezy featuring Kanye West entitled, "I Put On (For My City)."
Earlier this year, Toronto's City and Colour teamed with Gord Downie to release Sleeping Sickness - the second single off of C&C's sophomore album. Not only is it a great song, but they created an amazing interactive video to go with it. Essentially, the viewer is given an omniscient perspective looking down into a neighbourhood of decapitated houses. Using simple keyboard and mouse commands, the viewer can scan over different houses zooming in and out to find Green and Downie (among others) stricken with, shall I say, sleeping sickness.
Well as of this very moment, it has been watched 2,565,263 times. What about this one?
It has been watched 2,874,420 times. These videos, and many more like them were created by Corey Vidal, a 21 year old amateur dancer and official YouTube partner who hails from Hamilton, ON. The first video features Corey lip-syncing the four different acapella parts of a song entitled, "Star Wars." The song was originally created as a tribute to John Williams by Utah-based comedy group, Moosebutter, and given to Corey in order to produce what you see here. The second video was created to satisfy one of the numerous requests he gets from his estimated 15-20,000 visits a day. So what's so special about Corey?