What is astonishing to me is that anyone looking at the video clip could not immediately discern two things:
First, there is no way in the world that this thing was made for a budget of $5 million.
If it was, let me get hold of those investors right away!
Second, there is no way in the world anyone looking at this cannot tell that this was not a really badly doctored piece of video. Just listen to the audio track every time Muhammad or Islam is mentioned. It's clearly a very very very amateurish recut job.
Yet it seems that even in our very hip, digital corner of the world, there are those who are stil woefully video illiterate. And this would seem to include the hip, trendy, one-would-think-they-knew-better people at Gawker.com
This note at the bottom of their piece was most disturbing:
"Update: Even more bizarrely, On the Media points out that all the references to Islam in the trailer were dubbed, added in post-production over apparently more innocuous lines."
Come on guys at Gawker. Are you kidding me? You didn't see this yourselves?
And you call yourselves a media company?
Seriously. Cal me.
In any event....
The power of video, even a video this terrible, shows us that indeed most of the world is still not very video literate. I mean, if the people at Gawker don't get it, how can you expect 1.2 billion Muslims not to get it.
We're still in Day 1 of the Democratization of Video.
For all of our collective media history, film and video and TV were made by a handful of 'professionals'. Therefore, what you saw on TV (or online video) HAS to be true, doesn't it?
This is deep in our collective media DNA.
We don't have this feeling about print. When we walk into a supermarket and see a tabloid headline that reads '500lb Boy Found On Mars", we don't go: "Holy S**t! Did you see that???"
We are what I would call 'print mature'. We accept that in the world of the printing press and now the web, anyone can write just about anything they want and we shrug it off. We can filter. So can the rest of the world. The web is replete with content 'insulting' to Mohammed and Islam (and Christians, and Jews and pretty much everyone).
But put it in a film (or video) and pow!
That's one powerful medium
All the more reason to get video literate.
(I am offering 1/2 off for the staff of Gawker.com for the October session in NY. I am emailing them now).