The Internet Projection of
Spike, Mike, Slackers and Dykes:
A Guided URL Tour Towards a New Millennium of Independent CyberCinema
In his new book Spike, Mike, Slackers and Dykes, John Pierson celebrates ten years of successful independent film making. These last ten years saw the power--- and the attendant financial successes--- of moviemaking extend beyond the big-budget American movie studios.
Crowned in 1994 by the awarding of the coveted Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival to Pulp Fiction, an "indie" creation of Quentin Tarantino, the independent film industry proved its potency and promise. Where Pierson's book offers a compelling insider's look at the independent filmmaker's scene-- restless, young, and inventive-- a new venue beckons, perhaps beyond the boundaries of film itself, and that evolving postscript to Pierson's book is the focus of this site.
What some call "the anarchy of the Internet" today, may prove tomorrow's CyberCinema, a recorded and online living theater. What will go into this strange new mix called CyberCinema? A script of global URLs strung together, director(s), various avatars and digital alteregos, leavened by "viewers" who become participants--- maybe these are the components of a new genre of popular digital recordings which will never blazon across a Times Square marquee, yet will be experienced by millions of netizens around the world.
Atlantis is rising. No longer the province of geeks and academics, the Internet offers a boundless canvas, with millions of keyboards and mice serving as its paintbox and pigments. Answering to this artform in search of artists, OBS adds an open postscript to Pierson's book, an opportunity for cinéastes to continue the discussion the book begins, and to experiment with and explore the paradoxical CyberCinema of internetworked life forms.
Let's not go overboard. Maybe the Net is really no more than a zippy new buy/sell gimmick, a promotional tool for paper and celluloid entertainments. But the evidence points to the contrary. Online art revels in process, not products. We can learn from the perseverence and creativity of the independent filmmakers Pierson writes about, and face new obstacles, new opportunities. The new tools, such as CU-SeeMe, may seem crude, but given connectivity and desire, the limits have yet to be discovered.
Why not see for yourself? Pick your land and language, log on to some far-out URLs and see the early stages of CyberCinema taking form.
Already online, screenwriters and scriptwriters offer each other advice, inspiration, and publication. Moviegoers, no longer anonymous and silent faces before the screen, talk back to, play with and replay their favorite movies, blurring the boundaries between filmmaker and film-goer. Participate, and you can make sure that the movie never stops, and the fat lady never sings ;-) .