Tonight NewTeeVee played host to a hundred or more guests, six web shorts and four weblebrity judges in a new locale for us: the Big Apple. The theme was “love stories,” because who doesn’t love New York? I mean, even Mahmoud Ahmadenijad took a break from overseeing Iran’s nuclear program to visit Manhattan, do some shopping and see the sights. I’d like to think NewTeeVee was received rather more warmly, however I wouldn’t have minded at least one salacious (or punny) headline in the Post about us.How about the videos? Well, the big winner was episode 39 from Next to Heaven, a series of shorts compiled from public domain footage at the Internet Archive with a lyrical voiceover twist. Like some other shorts, which featured everything from farting to fiancees, talking about love brought out the best and if not the worst, at least the playfully vulgar (or just plain weird) in some of the entries. And while the earnest sincerity of Josh Leo’s marital appeal came in a close second, and a pathos-filled montage from 39 Second Single a close third, I’m glad that the tale of the forbidden love only a cocked eyebrow can foment came out on top.
The judges weren’t easy on the entrants, but no decisions were unanimous. At least one clip left Dinosaur Diorama‘s Kathleen Grace speechless, though when Vimeo‘s Jacob Llodwick was at a loss for words, he just borrowed Grace’s. Ben Relles and Amber Lee Ettinger from Barely Political had brought cutouts of Obama to rate the entrants — one clip got only half an Obama, while another got not only four Obamas, but a Kucinich and even a Liz Gannes. Who knew my colleague was running for the Democratic nomination? Now she would be, truly, a YouTube candidate.
Maybe if Liz did have presidential ambitions, she could have cleared up the paperwork that left our publisher, Om Malik, back home in San Francisco without a passport to get on the plane. But between me, Liz, Craig Rubens, Joey Wan and Paul Walborsky, most of the team was there pressing the flesh with the likes of our sponsors Jaman, Next New Networks (NNN) and Metacafe. There was nearly a riot to get in on the action when a Jaman-enabled Apple TV was raffled off. Another item which turned out to be literally hot was the new, water-resistant Xacti from Sanyo the NewTeeVee team just bought — whomever accidentally took that home with them, I hope you at least start a videoblog or something.
For those of you who missed the show, Bill Cammack, Sarah Meyers and Beet.tv‘s Andy Plesser were on hand broadcasting live. For more photos, and for all the entries submitted, check out Flickr and NewTeeVee’s Pier Screenings site hosted by Ning, respectively. And NewTeeVee looks forward to seeing everyone at our next event in San Francisco, NewTeeVee Live, on Nov. 14th.
From Liz: Embedded above is a walk-by shooting of the venue as we were setting up. Sadly, as Jackson mentioned, our staff video camera disappeared from the event shortly after taping this footage. If anyone’s seen a Sanyo Xacti wandering around, please return it to us, no questions asked. Register a dummy email address, send us a note at screenings at newteevee dot com, and we’ll let you know where to find us. Thanks.