Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Documentary: VBS.TV - Heavy Metal In Baghdad

Part 1

Part 2

Go see the rest of it

VBS.TV is a web media network in Brooklyn that looks like it could become a real player on the web media scene pretty soon. They have recruited Spike Jonze as their creative director. I had the pleasure of working with Spike on that Daft Punk video with the guy in the dog suit. Spike is a very talented guy and he is giving this network startup an edgy young vanguard feel and a web user experience that makes your computer feel like a TV. They are offering what looks like a mix of all original high end (in the MTV reality show sense) and lower tec looking productions such as video logs and journals under a variety of subjects. The flash based media player that VBS offers is a very slick experience including a decent full screen view. It looks like they are going to take a traditional TV advertising approach to support the programming eventually.

Above are two episodes around 5 minutes each in a 5 part series: Heavy Metal In Baghdad. This is an interesting story about two VBS producers who got in touch with a Heavy Metal Band in Iraq and arranged to visit them and do a story. Things don't go as planned and the story becomes much different than they expected. What inspires me about this work is that they took a very empathetic subject, Iraqi guys trying to be headbangers, and told two stories at once. The story of the band, and the story of the world they live in which has become very hostile and tragic. American influenced artists, living under American occupation, dodging bullets, gangsters and kidnappers. It grabbed me immediately. It also has a really well put together vanguard style.

If you want to jump right in you start from the top on their own website you can begin HERE. It will go through the whole series hands free. Or, you can continue after watching the clips here. If you really like it there are two more series after that. One is 6 parts and the other is 7.

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