Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Alternative Media Gathering this weekend

May 1st-3rd - new media gathering on Raven’s Ait Island.

The imminent commercial collapse of mainstream media, and its replacement by PR-driven news, threatens the journalistic integrity and independence necessary for a free society. The next generation could be without the 4th Estate. And new media has not yet realized its potential to fill this space.

Old media and new media need to gather together, sharing skills, resources and experience to create the media of the future.

We invite:

Geeks, web designers and programmers

Traditional media people

Alt-media people

Media students

DIY culture practitioners

Indymedia people

Documentary filmmakers

Print journalists

Radio journalists

Citizen journalists

The conference will concentrate on the audio-visual side of media, with space for break-out groups for print, radio and web.

The space: an eco-conference centre on an island in the Thames 20 mins by train from central London.

We have a large hall, a cinema room, and 3 conference rooms. There is basic crash space for 40 people over the weekend. The conference will be run on an “un-conference” format, and will be funded by contributions for the space and meals.

The gathering is organised by visionOntv ( – an undercurrents project (

To book a place – please edit this wiki page


Having problems getting a computer I bought from repaired under guaranty. Took it in on 21 March over a month later and 7 phone calls I still have no guaranty of its return. The latest is that it is beyond economic repair (the hard drive failed) and they will replace the PC, but no guarantied date yet, always tomorrow each time I call. This Box was our test server for our project and we need it back, or to buy a replacement, but hard to do that when Morgan’s keeps fairy tailing about a replacement tomorrow. Be wary about buying from seams to be the moral of the story – will update with outcome hopefully soon.

UPDATE: they got a replacement PC in this afternoon, better speck then the one it replaces, I picked it up and am now installing Ubuntu and liferay on it.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

"Rap Chop" featuring Vince (Slap Chop remix)

OK this is well done, make me wont to buy one (:

Saturday, April 25, 2009

FOOD, inc (trailer)

How much do we really know about the food we buy at our local supermarkets and serve to our families? In Food, Inc., filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the veil on our nation's food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that's been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of our government's regulatory agencies, USDA and FDA. Our nation's food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers and our own environment. We have bigger-breasted chickens, the perfect pork chop, insecticide-resistant soybean seeds, even tomatoes that won't go bad, but we also have new strains of e coli--the harmful bacteria that causes illness for an estimated 73,000 Americans annually. We are riddled with widespread obesity, particularly among children, and an epidemic level of diabetes among adults. Featuring interviews with such experts as Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation), Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma) along with forward thinking social entrepreneurs like Stonyfield Farm's Gary Hirshberg and Polyface Farms' Joel Salatin, Food, Inc. reveals surprising -- and often shocking truths -- about what we eat, how it's produced, who we have become as a nation and where we are going from here.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

G20 Climate Camp in the City

A Film by Emily James and James Bayliss-Smith. To read witness statements from people in the incidents shown here , go to and click on the 'legal report' link.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Ravensait News (2)

First show from the visionOntv studio at Ravens ait island. Update on were the eco-conf center project is.

Friday, April 17, 2009

オオカミはブタを食べようと思った。Stop motion with wolf and pig


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Somali rapper Knaan tells the truth about the pirates

Somalian born rapper Knaan gives the real story about Somalia's infamous pirates.

Nanotec Angels

One of the favorite films I have made from 2005 The Heavenly Righteous Opposed to Nano-tech Greed manifested at a conference of potential investors in the nano-technology industry today. Harry Swan, once in charge of PR for Monsanto and now trying to sell nano-tech to investors, was presented with a Can of Worms Award.

Friday, April 10, 2009

ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND - Give Us Back Our F****** Money

If you go to work everyday, 9-5 and then hand over about a quarter of your income to the government every month and you're not angry about the current banking F-up, then youre either one of the financial or political elite that have been ripping off the world since time immemorial, or youre a snivelling, subservient little slave and you deserve all the subjugation you get. In a follow up to our Fishing for Bankers film we decided to have a whip-round outside the offices of RBS for a new charitable organisation called GBFMYC (Give us Back our Fucking Money You Cunts). Full article here:

Thursday, April 09, 2009

We have lots of good channals on visionontv

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Our subject embeds for visionOntv

This embed code will simply work on 90% of websites. Just paste it in where you want it to appear.

The embed is also very adaptable:

- you can change the size by changing the numbers in the supplied code

- we can change the colour etc at our end. Just let us know.

- Video is mostly posted at 800x480 pixels, so it is best to make the video embed window as large as you can to take advantage of the quality of video we stream. If you are going to embed it on the homepage, then a smaller setting is probably best. If you are going to link off the homepage to another page for the embed, we would recommend making the embed the full width of your website. Change the numbers in the embed code to make this happen.

The videos in the embed will all be high-quality, editorially-selected films appropriate to the tag you have chosen. for some of the embed codes.

Video of police assault on Ian Tomlinson, who died at the London G20 protest

The Guardian obtained this footage of Ian Tomlinson at a G20 protest in London shortly before he died. It shows Tomlinson, who was not part of the demonstration, being assaulted from behind and pushed to the ground by baton-wielding police

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

How can open video become the new TV?

Intro to the visionOntv project

visionOntv has the goal of making open video activate social change. We have modest foundation funding for 2 years to launch this (starting April 2009).

As a platform, visionOntv has a skinned and simplified version of Miro, currently with 5 main TV channels, enabling downloadable HD content. (All the other channels and options on Miro are easily available - our version merely adds an interface which helps users to transition from old to new media. All the options for wised-up users are still there.)

The "main channels" are a mixture of "smart aggregation" (syndicated rss feeds and separately posted content) and original programming which contextualises the other content for a wide audience. All content posted is also streamed, currently on 10 different sites via tubemogul.

We ran a solar-powered TV studio at the UK Camp for Climate Action in August 2008, producing some 25 shows ( We will have a beta of our CMS running by the time of the Open Video Conference.

The Presentation

Our presentation asks precisely how open video could activate social change, and sets out some of the answers we are pursuing. Some of the questions are:

Can alternative media really break out of the ghetto?
Why do people watch mainstream TV news? – (info-tainment, slick packaging, personalities, etc).
How can we compete with the mainstream in terms of entertainment and production values, so that our important ideas reach out beyond the small circles that they currently reach?
What kind of filtering and molding of video content will enable it to become the new mainstream?
How can compelling content be produced on a huge and global scale, for little or no budget and (therefore) with a short turnaround?
Could citizen video journalism explode, with high-production-value, watchable films no longer being limited to a small group of the highly-trained?
Can it be done effectively by people whose main work is something else?
What else does the new TV need to be?
Much of the technology for IPTV already exists, but the social outreach does not. We have not yet built effective communities around video content, or, in many cases, around open source tools. Video blogging is individualistic, and we have not yet worked out how to deal with passivity, the thing which “old media” was actually designed around.

It is vital that we don't underestimate how difficult any of this is to achieve. Here are 6 things that are needed for it:

1. Production templates

visionOntv has prepared templates for effective films which can be made in an hour (, using automated animation of stills ( We are currently preparing a template for short video reportage, such as, which was picked up by rocketboom. There is a further template for the live-edit production of rapid-turnaround studio shows using webcams and software mixing ( The emphasis throughout is on how to do effective story-telling at very low budget for the widest possible viewership.
We will demonstrate all of these at the Open Video presentation.

2. Training

The key to the mainstreaming of citizen journalism is training. visionOntv has funding to carry out a training programme in the UK, beginning June 2009, and plans to do it internationally.

3. Smart aggregation

The careful selection of creative commons content based on quality. Putting the viewer first to build user trust and loyalty.

4. Quality content needs quality upload

We have developed a transcoding standard which ensures that the video file is not too large, but can also be projected on a video beamer (important for communities with limited broadband access, and for promoting the collective experience which is a community screening). We will demonstrate this in the presentation.

5. Open source production tools

automated animation for fast-turnaround citizens' reportage using stills
- video mixing for studio shows
- a really simple-to-use transcoding tool where all the options for the more technically-minded are available, but where the basic interface is “stupidly simple”.
- video editing (lite and full version)

At the moment, unfortunately, we have to use corporate solutions for all of the above. We will never recommend to a novice citizen journalist a piece of software which is complex and forbidding.
We need open source tools which have the potential to take over completely from corporate tools.

In an adjoining proposal we have suggested working groups at the Open video Conference to develop these tools, which would match up software developers with professional users.

But something more than quality content is needed to enact social change.....

6. Social media tools

visionOntv is customising a completely modular open source cms, where any part of it can easily be imported to any other media project. This is vital. By using a java-based cms, any part can be taken and used as widget code. We are seeking to empower the users with a do-it-yourself cms. We are giving people a whole pile of tools which glue together, but can also be taken out separately into other sites and blogs, and where the keys to creating projects are not in the hands of the techies who created the original cms. This is a new kind of web application where users can create their own resources around our content, and all the tools will talk to each other. Users can build their own gateways into our material for their particular needs, and we could then gain from their new creative commons content. Put simply, it allows the user to manage the content.

visionOntv's cms will have superior chat functions on video streaming, by being layered in such a way that you will be able to chat to anyone else who is watching the film, or to anyone who is watching the channel, or to anyone who is watching anything on the station as a whole. Viewers can then break out into campaigning (or more purely social, even dating) forums, so that an activist minority starts to feel like a large community, sharing ideas and ideals, planning actions together, discussing the effectiveness of different tactics, and in all kinds of unpredictable ways making social change.
(We will have a beta of the cms by the time of the Open Video conference)

The playlist generator
This will be created in three phases: the first allows us to create a coherent look and feel using an "old TV" metaphor – permitting us to create seasons which publish at the same time each week, to insert "in-betweens", and to differentiate daytime programming from "primetime".
In future versions, content will be user-controlled, for instance by "I like it / I don't like it" ratings.

Metadata standards need to derive from actual practice, in a decentralized way, rather than being centrally-defined in the abstract. visionOntv is doing this, rolling out embeds in content-specific websites using tags.

Proposal 2: Workshop

Wouldn't we all like to make a living from what we do?
Funding / monetizing open video production – a round-robin – an opportunity for everyone to share their experiences, good and bad, of funding or monetizing the production and distribution of radical or open video. We can contribute our own experience from a UK/European perspective. And we have a concrete plan for sustainability of the VOTV project which we would like technical support for.

Proposal 3:
Working groups on the different pieces of software to define a spec for development:
 video editing – both lite for citizen journalists (replacing i-moive and movie maker) and full for professionals (replacing FCP, Avid and Adobe Premiere)
 video mixing for studio shows
 transcoding tool – really intuitive to use on first sight
 automated animation – for fast-turnaround citizen journalist reportage with stills

Proposal 4:
We would also like a suitbale corner (preferably in a cafe) to install a “min-sin”, a computer in kiosk mode playing a custom version of Miro. The organisers of Open Video could then insert info-announcements into this player.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Web 2.0 Expo NY: Clay Shirky ( It's Not Information Overload. It's Filter Failure.

Interview with two Eyewitnesses of G20 Death

Interview with two eyewitnesses of the events preceding the death of Ian Tomlinson, the man who died during anti G20 protests in the City of London on the 1st of April.
They can be contacted through this press liasion email:
Video is edited down for youtube's special needs, find full version and written statement at:

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Ravensait NEWS (1)

News from the island

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Climate Camp sets up in the middle of the City of London

Direct from the streets of London as people protest on the eve of the G20 London Summit. With world leaders in town people will be marching and taking direct action against a system that puts profit above people and planet. If ever there was a time for change it's now.