I love speed. My my past life as a downhill ski racer and coach are a testament of the love for the weightlessness of moving with speed through space across the surface. And my sport of skiing has always had a close link to car racing. Not just the elitist perceptions of F1 and the White Circuit but the nature of each sport and it's relationship with speed. The importance of trajectory and analyzing your line in real time making hundreds of decisions faster than you can consciously think.
As such, I am very excited to have learned of one of the original viral movies. A film from 1976 made by Claude Lelouch called C'était un Rendez-Vous. Shot by Lelouch at 5:30am in Paris it is an eight and a half tear through the streets and grew in mythology to become the inspiration for numerous films including the Paris chase scenes in Ronin, right down to one of the most beautiful audio tracks ever - engine revs.
I referred to Rendez-Vous as a viral film, as it was not ever officially released apart from a few public screenings, understandable a Lelouch was arrested after the first. But it circulated as a sort of a automotive snuff film. Hand to hand, copy by copy. Basically, it was good and people went to lengths to find it. The term "viral" is very unfortunate to me. In denotes a kind of sub genre of film;, a guy making a Jackass style short movie or a brand piece such as Dove Evolution. For many it also means small budget, which is understandable as a popular style right now is the miniDV I filmed in my backyard and edited in iFilm style film. Which, don't get me wrong is some of the most interesting stuff out there. Which leads to my bigger point, shouldn't "viral" just be called good.
If something is good, meaning interesting and entertaining, be it a dog on a skateboard or the latest big budget TV spot, don't they equally become viral? Last week was out for a mini-wrap party with our director and he was lamenting a couple projects lately that were deemed to be "viral" in nature by the client. Scripts started great, but as they went through all the little bit "edgy" or subjectively deemed unnecessary bits were pulled out. Basically the good things that would have made it "viral."
As our industry is based on a reward system of award shows, hopefully they will start moving forward off the cue of Cannes last year and truly take the film category for what it is, brand films that are aired on any number of devices from TV, to computer, to outdoor jumbotrons to mobile phones. That would be cool. Or at least maybe that's what Lee Clow will do with his Media Arts Festival, which sounds very cool.