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大都市 或者 都市生活
Grass roots culture in DIY videos
BEIJING, July 30 -- Nie Sulin began to learn digital video editing only months ago. It's just a spare-time amusement and he never expected his 90-second video clip, a mashup of dancing animals, would be Net world hit.
The 18-year-old international trade major at the Sichuan Business Vocational College uploaded his amusing short adaptation of animal dances to www.7-Up.qq.com as an entry for the "7-Up I Lemon You MV Contest."
This mashup trailer remixes the funny postures of animals such as the parrot, mouse, cat and bear to offer a fresh funny insight into their playful moments. The promotional music for 7-Up covers Nie's original soundtrack.
Thousands of people who watched this hilarious Web video expressed their praise and appreciation on Nie's blog.
"That praise comes as a big moment for me," Nie says. "I am so happy and proud that this casual work can receive the support and encouragement from so many strangers."
Actually Nie only spent four hours editing the scenes taken from animal documentaries and videos. He has shown his sense of humor as well as talent in digital editing, just like his predecessor Hu Ge, a famous Internet prankster who is also Nie's icon.
Early last year, 33-year-old Hu made the popular Web clip "A Murder Sparked by a Chinese Bun," which notched several million viewers.
The work is an online parody of director Chen Kaige's kung fu epic "The Promise." The farfetched storyline of the movie was changed into a funny TV crime report even with two lighthearted commercial breaks.
"Hu is so cool," says Nie. He can't conceal his admiration for Hu's editing skills, creativity and courage to express himself on the Internet.
Nie has even made a video clip titled "A Murder Sparked by a Bottle of 7-Up" to pay tribute to Hu's influence on today's young Netizens. Based on the thrilling scenes of the Japanese movie "The Ring," Nie added a few funny lines and elements, turning the thriller into a comedy.
However, Nie is not satisfied to only present Web-video recasts. He also plans to make his own original short Web film.
"I will soon have multiple roles as director, actor and photographer," he adds. "The script is underway. I will keep it both scaring and light-hearted."
Nie is just one among the many young people today who are used to expressing their emotions and opinions on the Internet.
Dido, 26, whose real name is Wu Jingjing, is a veteran cyber game commentator and hostess. She still remembers her funny (but not so funny at the time) screen test experience when she applied for the position for the first time.
"I was then too nervous to qualify in the screen test," Dido recalls. "But I really had a lot of fun from that and I want to share it with others."
She reappears in the screen test scenes in the two-minute short "My Screen Test Adventure," also an entry for the "7-Up I Lemon You MV Contest." At the end of the DIY video, the depressed character is recharged by a bottle of 7-Up.
"Actually everyone who wants to showcase their works on the Website requires courage and confidence," Dido says. "You know, the Netizens always express their true feelings. There are no compliments. And the author has to be ready for any possible criticism."
A native of Henan Province, Dido hopes to record her working and living experience in Shanghai with DV as a serial online video. "Every month I will upload the clips onto my personal online space," she adds.
According to PepsiCo (China) Ltd, the contest organizer, so far they have received 30,000 entries, including those from Internet stars like Xiao Pang (Little Fat), whose real name is Qian Zhijun, and EDIQ.
The winner will receive a cash prize of 70,000 yuan (US$9,210) and will have the chance to take part in the making of next year's 7-Up ad film.
"7-Up is a fashionable brand that highlights a spirit of humor, creativity and wisdom," says Harry Hui, chief marketing officer of PepsiCo (China) Ltd. "It's really hard to ignore this new force of grassroots culture. The contest allow these people to voice their viewpoints and individuality freely through the do-it-yourself Web videos."
Obviously, the popularization of easy video software has enabled a lot of amateurs to produce and remix short films on their personal computers.
"The spread of the digital video and its merger with the Internet has largely enriched the online culture, which was once unnoticed by the mainstream media," says Professor Wu Gang, a media expert at East China Normal University.
However, though it fulfills the film dreams and desire for self-expression of ordinary Netizens in this image-decoding era, Professor Wu is very doubtful whether this "fast-food" phenomenon is really good for youngsters.
"Many of the short videos are just superficial fragments of the lives of the young generation," he says. "It may weaken their passion to express themselves with words. You know, creation is not only rebellion against classics and traditions, but many times it is based on the deep understanding and inheritance of them."
The winner of the contest will be selected by the votes from Netizens. The final result will be released on the Website on August 16.
And now the 5th Media
Traditional media platforms
such as radio, television, newspaper and the Internet still cannot satisfy people living in fast-paced modern society.
The highly technical development of mobile phones also nurtures the "thumb culture" and a new alternative media.
With the aim of "putting the world in your pocket," Shanghai Dragon New Media Co Ltd has recently launched a special cell phone channel - the 5th Media, the first of its kind in China.
The channel provides all-day broadcasting of the latest metro, economic, entertainment, sports, fashion, food and travel news. Both China Unicom and China Mobile can use wireless devices to connect to the 5th Media net.
"All the programs on this channel will be specially planned and edited for cell phone users," says Wu Chunlei, general manager of Shanghai Dragon New Media Co Ltd.
Based on the programs of Shanghai Media Group, the video clips presented by the cell phone channel are more condensed, immediate and straightforward. The channel also has its own host, hostess and reporters.
"'Infotainment' (information plus entertainment) is a core concept for us," Wu says. "It is inevitable that the public's attraction to this new form of media will be greatly increased."
Last Wednesday, the cell phone channel presented a live broadcast of "My Hero" concert, which included performances by the winners of the star-making television show. It was the first time locals could watch a live concert on their mobile phones.
The channel will initiate more interactive programs, such as cellflix film displays and a serial cell phone drama contest.
"The cell phone channel is a good supplement to traditional media," says Fan Yong, an IT worker. "But we are concerned about its price and the quality of the programs. The cell phone screen is small. The point is whether the programs are really appealing enough to watch through a mobile phone."