social media magic

Pre-makes: an example of retro pop culture

I've started doing some research for my new Pop Culture Magic book. Bill Whitcomb recently told me about Pre-makes, which are little video previews of current movies remade as if they had originally been shot in the early fifties. The one above is a pre-make version of Ghostbusters. Aside from the charming use of older footage, these premakes grabbed my attention because of how it combined retro pop culture with modern versions of pop culture.

I think, with the right video skills, it'd be easy to make any of these premakes into an audio-visual enchantment or evocation of some kind that could be charged by the views, and even social media activity that people created around the videos. You could even set it up that every time the video was shared it was fired again. These kinds of videos can provide an infinite variety of opportunities for the enterprising magician who has time and expertise in making them.

Looking at this video, what I was most struck by, however, was how the person who created it was able to take themes from a later movie and apply them to a collage of images from older movies and "re-make" the story or at least a trailer of the story. It illustrates how themes can be re-appropriated into different media, and also how no story is so original that there isn't some basis for it in the past.

What do you think?

Social Media Magic

I'm debating right now what my next book will be about, but I've already got some good ideas percolating. No it won't be social media magic...though that could be the name of a chapter.

Anyway, I've been playing around with my Facebook Timeline, adding some events to points in the past, mainly where I moved to and where I've lived. I wish they would let you create future events on your timeline, but it doesn't look like they do. However the possibilities of using an FB timeline for a bit of retroactive magic does excite me, especially when you can add pictures and videos to a specific date in time. You can graphically rewrite your timeline and make it into a very creative experience.

For example I've added several fiction events to my timeline. I've done it for the sheer humor of it, but there's nothing to say that you couldn't go in and rewrite portions of your life with modified details, and use that as a kind of narrative that also retroactively rewrites your life. And if you can get people into participating with you via tagging, you can even come up with some clever meta events.

It's really about having fun, but also getting creative with your life. Changing what happened on the timeline might open up some possibilities for you, or if nothing else give you closure on events in your life. It's something I'll keep playing with, as much for whimsy as for any magical purpose. The time line is a graphic and textual narrative of your life. It can represent where you've been, who you've met, what you've done...and it can part fact and part fiction. FB probably wants it to be all fact, but why make it all fact?

What about you? How would you experiment with the Facebook timeline?