You’ll *love* Spike Jonze’s miserable new ad for Apple MiseryPod

Adverts can be some of the most truly sophisticated films. Little tiny complex stories. Whether infomercials for hardware shops or questionably abstract perfume adverts, they function in the same manner any ‘film’ does: to deliver and elicit emotion. I love them.

Even when the creatives making them scratch at the surface of our collective misery, and smear the bits from under their fingernails onto a banner that they relentlessly hold at us, like an industrial Westboro Baptist Church.

Apple’s new advert takes that concept and dances with it, in a genuinely wonderful piece of art about the power of the imagination and the lackluster reality of a young worker’s life. That same piece of art asks us to spend £319 on a product that, finally, replaces the strenuous activity of having to open Spotify yourself.

What’s this story about? The official reading is that a young woman who is having a crap day, comes home from her drudge job to a depressingly modest flat. On request, her Siri-imbued Apple HomePod plays her something she likes, and through the emotive nature of music, her world is transformed for a blissful minute.

What very few have read is: a young, employed WOC, with a quite beautiful, personalised and furnished, spacious flat, is depressed. The grey colour grade tells me that, and rain + commute = she lives in London. We don’t know what her job is, but with this kind of flat she’s gotta work in finance or arms dealing. She’s contemplating the ethics of working for an industry that exploits and destroys in rote fashion. (Maybe she works for Apple?)

She tweeted something well-meaning about Syria earlier, and was trolled by both alt-left and alt-right bots who sent rape threats, and links to videos of children being harmed. She hasn’t seen her family in a long time. Instead of engaging with this, it’s easier to lose herself in the £319 button-pressing-replacement that is constantly harvesting her data, which may in the future be sold to an authoritarian crypto-state run by alt-wing trolls. (The same ones that contacted her today, ironyyyyy!)

It’s a cynical cash-grab, exquisitely executed. Apple is slick in its attempt to convince us that it’s on ‘our side’ regarding the drudgery of neoliberal life, rather than a direct contributor to it in a far more complex and pernicious way than it would ever dare reflect in its colourful, heart-string plucking brand personality.

Squinting at the relentlessly bright Westboro-esque signage of the art-vert, our response is: “…how come we can’t see the film crew in the mirror? Amazing.”

Real Film Director Spike Jonze (Her, Adaptation, Being John Malkovich) made his name in the field of ‘non-film films’ – skate videos, music videos, adverts – in the ’90s. His work has pushed the vanguard of filmmaking technique and narrative, allowing him to straddle status as both a mainstream and cult darling.

I love his work, as much as I ‘love’ the MacBook I’m writing this on – formally, they are excellent products, technically impressive, and full of the ghosts of the Apple/Foxconn factory suicide nets.

All of which leaves me with this confused sadness, asking: “How do I marry my status as a consumer with the effects of the industries I buy into?” and “Whoa. How much did the stretchy set cost? Mental.”

Plenty of ‘film directors’ have taken the commercial reins, to make genuinely excellent little films that sell products for companies. Who can forget Edgar Wright’s Pizza Hut advert from the year 2000, featuring Nick Frost and stuttering Billy from Spaced Season 2 Ep 3?

Or American History X director Tony Kaye’s phenomenal piece of advertising work, ‘Tested for the Unexpected’. This dystopian, dream-like terrain features a nipple-pierced, silvery-Buddha antagonist, a grand piano chucked off a bridge, and a 2-second long shot of four elaborately-costumed amphibian creatures grasping around a pool of water for no reason. All this to persuade us, specifically, to buy tyres from Dunlop.

Spike Jonze’s last entry into the commercial market was, loosely, the best thing I’ve ever seen. THIS is how you do a perfume advert:

Edgar Wright’s pizza-lovers spot begins in some sort of group therapy setting. Kenzo’s unnamed woman (actress [and excellent dancer!] Margaret Qualley) is tearful and alone, trapped in the squashed formality of some elite celebration.

And FKA Twigs is, I guess, supposedly ‘one of us’, i.e. from Apple’s target market: a depressed precariat/emergent service worker who can afford a £319 talking speaker on credit, if it will take away her pain for the length of a flagship advert for the world’s wealthiest company.

My next question is: if ‘Welcome Home’ was an FKA Twigs music video rather than an advert, it likely wouldn’t occur to me to be as dismissive. But a music video is still selling something. A song download, an album, concert tickets.

A lot of people, especially young and/or disenfranchised people, are drowning in great lakes of misery. Both individuals and society at large are struggling to understand exactly how to get out of this seemingly ever-worsening epidemic, because depression and anxiety – unlike some other medical issues – are simultaneously undeniably-individual-and-rhizomatic, yet also fostered by a social, situational and global environment.

As an individual I might be able to control my depression by going running, and increasing my individual share of endorphins. I can’t control the illegal levels of pollution in my city that, often, I can literally taste in the air as I gasp it down.

I might be able to finally break away from my partner who beats and emotionally abuses me. I can’t control the fact that when they continue to contact and threaten me, the police fail to deal with it and the refuge services that used to be government funded are no longer.

I might be able to lose myself in art, and imagine myself infinitely expanding the walls of my tiny, moldy, variously-broken flat. I can’t get hold of my landlord, and I don’t have time to see my friends, who I struggle to communicate with on a meaningful level anyway. I’m scared to go to work, as I’m often bullied by my colleagues – just slightly less than I’m scared to be unemployed again.

Misery. Isn’t art an ideal place to express it? And don’t these star directors and the phenomenally talented crews they work with re-present it to consumers so well? And should Apple, who make more than $1bn a week, and avoid tax, and perpetrate abuse of outsourced workers, use our misery to sell us sentient speakers?

Rhett Jones at Gizmodo describes ‘Welcome Home’ as a “pseudo-prequel” to Her. In a sea of hot-takes titled “WATCH Spike Jonze’s amazing new advert for Apple because it’s enjoyable and you want to enjoy don’t you”, he notes the similarities between Jonze’s feature-length study of satirical tech-dystopia, and the rather more real, less considered version in today’s advertisement. “Today,” he says, “we just want tech to give us a little serotonin burst that makes us forget about the state of our lives.”

This little seratonin burst is advertising’s bread and butter. The worst offender, the one that makes me Very Fucking Angry, is Unilever. I wrote about this ad when it came out in 2013, and the cognitive dissonance it produces. The skill of its technique and form worked on me – insofar as it made me cry – but I was as furious as I was sad. Yes, the world is jumping off a series of cliffs. No, buying your margarine won’t fix it, nor will your “global campaign” that consists of hashtagging #ProjectSunlight each time that you meet with Fergie from Black Eyed Peas.

In his essay, Dulltopia, Mark Bould writes that commercial-film dystopias (e.g. Children of Men, The Hunger Games, et al.) are now conceptually rehashed to the point of monotony. To really access a gut-wrenching, newly-meaningful dystopia, one must look to ‘slow cinema’: a mostly-documentary genre consisting of static long takes, meditative staring at people living the industrial processes of their lives.

“If dystopia can no longer gain sufficient distance from our own world to generate the cognitive estrangement upon which [Science Fiction]’s political potential hinges, we should not look to the future or to alternate words. We should, for the present, stick with the present. We just need to go deeper. To dive into boredom. […] Slow cinema casts us adrift, and upon our own resources”.

In other words, look around you. Stay there. Don’t stop looking.

No, put Candy Crush Soda down. Start again.

Look around you. Stay there. Don’t stop looking.

Keep looking. What do you see? What do you feel?

Is the dread creeping in yet?

Johann Hari’s recent book Lost Connections talks about Western-cultural causes of depression. It’s kind of frustrating in that he talks about the biopsychosocial model of depression as if it’s a new thing he just discovered, sort of like how I’m currently going “oh advertising plays on our emotions to sell us things, no freakin’ way!” But it’s an interesting read with that in mind. Dean Burnett has written a couple of useful counterpoints to Hari’s method of promoting his astonishing revelation that depression isn’t created in a vacuum (celebrity endorsements, heavy narrative styling, ginormous marketing campaign), and the two men have since devolved into bickering about it on Twitter.

If these adverts make you feel more miserable or leave you feeling cold, it makes sense. Don’t worry. “It is no measure of health to be well-adjusted to a sick society,” and all that.

Don’t give up. And keep that £319 for when your country ‘unexpectedly’ freezes over and your pipes burst. Or you get pregnant, and need to feed your child when your boss ‘lets you go’ – totally unrelated, you understand. Basically, you don’t need a HomePod.

(Also has anyone noticed that they owe Paul Smith some sort of concept/finders fee?)

Advertisements

A Crushing Attack on Equality: The Musical!

STEP ONE: set this playing.

 

STEP TWO: read aloud.

8TH MAY – 1ST DAY IN POWER:

DWP releases document on cuts to disabled work access scheme hours after election resultDWP releases document on cuts to disabled work access scheme hours after election result

9TH MAY – 2ND DAY IN POWER:

Theresa May to revive her ‘snooper’s charter’ now Lib Dem brakes are off

Theresa May to revive her 'snooper's charter' now Lib Dem brakes are off

10TH MAY – 3RD DAY IN POWER:

Michael Gove to proceed with Tories’ plans to scrap human rights act

Michael Gove to proceed with Tories' plans to scrap human rights act

11TH MAY – 4TH DAY IN POWER:

Stockton road to be cast as ‘Benefits Street’ tonight despite campaign

Stockton road to be cast as 'Benefits Street' tonight despite campaign

12TH MAY – 5TH DAY IN POWER:

NHS sell-out: Tories sign largest privatisation deal in history worth £780MILLION

Most read Live feeds Top Videos News Politics Football Celebs TV & Film Weird News TRENDINGNEPAL EARTHQUAKECABINET RESHUFFLE 2015EL NINOSALLY BERCOWNEXT LABOUR LEADERPRINCESS CHARLOTTE OF CAMBRIDGE Sport Technology Money Travel UsVsTh3m Home News UK News NHS NHS sell-out: Tories sign largest privatisation deal in history worth £780MILLION

TODAY, 13TH MAY – 6TH DAY IN POWER:

Tory officials threatened BBC during election, says Miliband’s strategist

bbc

Interview with Tim Hjersted of Films For Action

(Cross posted from Dialectical Films, with thanks.)

As research for a panel on the subject of ‘audiences’ at the Radical Film Network‘s inaugural conference earlier this year, I spoke to a number of media organisers and radical filmmakers about their work and how they survive while doing it. This is the second of two interviews I’ve published (the other being last week’s with Franklin Lopezof subMedia.tv), with the intention of inspiring, comforting and galvanising those making political work and no money.

Tim Hjersted is the co-founder and head of operations (note the lower case, not an official title) of political video site Films For Action. He and his colleagues have been collating and curating political films, images and articles for the last eight years, and at last count they had 400,000 followers on Facebook.

Tim kindly took time to answer my questions, and gave us an insight into his beliefs about fair compensation for activists, the work that goes into running a digital venture like this, ending with a lovely quote from Derrick Jensen about integrity and social media. (What more can you ask for from a concluding sentence?)

(FUN FACT: All of us in the previous paragraph are somehow connected – last night, I attended the launch of the Bristol chapter of Films for Action, headed by Andrew who has worked for Films for Action for the last couple of years and who I will now be working with in Bristol as part of the film festival I co-run; Franklin’s work at subMedia.tv was the theme of the night, some of which is a documentary called END:CIV about the work of radical environmentalist Derrick Jensen. Thanks to the internet, it’s a small world.)

ffa2

————————————-

What spurred you to start Films For Action?

Learning about the various ways that the mass media harmed society and filtered out important information led us to thinking about how we could ‘become the media’ in our own town, to help correct the deficiencies of our local media. We had seen a few activist films by that point, and one of our co-founders worked at an independent theater, so one night we were hanging out in a friend’s kitchen and we talked about the idea of hosting a film screening. This first event was a success – 320 people came, so we kept doing more. This article goes into more detail on how we got started: http://www.filmsforaction.org/articles/be_the_media_change_the_world_a_summary_of_films_for_actions_strategy_for_change/

Are you independently funded?

95% of our funding comes from advertising on the site. The other 5% comes from donations, which we really never promote, but the support we get from people is definitely appreciated. We’d consider this independent because Google Adsense doesn’t care in any way what kind of content we promote, as long as it doesn’t violate their common-sense restrictions. Soon, we’ll be doing PPV (pay-per-view).

Do you get any say in what Google advertises on your site or is it entirely random?

We have the ability to block certain ads or ad accounts, which we do fairly often to keep the ad experience as classy as possible. This is a constant battle though as there are always new ads coming in and we only personally see a small portion of them in daily use of the site.

Do you have another job/income source than Films For Action?

No – after 7 years working on this without pay, FFA has finally become financially able to support myself full-time, as well as 2 part time staff.

How many people work for/with Films For Action?

We have 3 paid staff, 2 of whom are co-founders. We also have 2 other co-founders who currently aren’t active but were for the first several years. We also get a lot of help from our site members, who make submissions to the site.

There’s Eli, who works part-time, maybe a third or fourth of the year, on back-end site coding and feature enhancements for the site. In September 2014, I hired a long-time contributing member of the site to do content curation (seeking out, reviewing, and publishing content on the site, then sharing it on Facebook). Andrew (Butler, who has just set up the Bristol chapter of FFA) lives in the UK and does 20 hours per month.

Then there’s me. I do everything else related to the project, mainly content curation like Andrew. I follow dozens and dozens of activist Facebook pages and websites to filter and scan for good content worth sharing, add the best stuff to the website and share it on social media. I also answer a ton of emails and occasionally speak with chapter leaders on the phone. I used to organize local film screenings but haven’t done that very much in the last couple years, although I occasionally offer advice to others who want to do it (see screening guide at the bottom of the page.)

We also have dozens of city chapters that operate independently from us, and each of those chapters has at least one chapter leader doing work locally. A lot of these chapters are at various levels of activity or inactivity.

Do you consider Films For Action to be politically and/or aesthetically radical?

Yes, politically, as in we try to seek out the root causes and the root solutions to society’s problems. Aesthetically we’ve designed the site to be appealing to a global, mass audience, without any obvious connotations (such as how many anarchist sites have a particular aesthetic which might turn off non-anarchists).

Do you consider your way of organising radical?

I’ve never thought of it is radical, but we’re certainly very different from conventional non-profits and media networks. Our organizing work might be considered anarchist in that we’ve pursued a DIY ethic from the beginning, not content that tries to persuade conventional media to change, or to get anyone else to try to solve these problems. We haven’t tried to appeal to any other non-profit groups, politicians or media to change. We recognized the problem and felt that the best approach would be to create a better media ourselves. The benefit of this is that it doesn’t require waiting on anyone or anything – hosting film screenings or creating a Facebook page or website is something anyone can do.

We’ve also tried to model the kind of organizational values that we believe should be a part of ‘the new media.’ In our case, the people working on FFA have operated in a tribal, non-hierarchical fashion. While I’ve been considered the leader or project director for many years now, decisions are made collectively by the people involved. I’ve frequently deferred to others preferences when there is a disagreement on some aspect of making changes to the site, or occasionally, with content choices.

I think the fact that our group started out among 4 close friends really helped us be productive and effective. We already shared a very similar political perspective, and we already got along really well. We each also had some expertise in a particular area. Because of this, we’ve avoided some of the pitfalls of groups which start out among a bunch of interested strangers who might show up to a public meeting to volunteer, and who may or may not have the relevant skills.

What is your (brief) definition of ‘radical’, if you have one?

To go to the root. To address root-causes.

Do you find any conflict between the work you do and earning money from it?

I used to share a commonly-held notion in our culture that any truly ‘good’ non-profit work should be done out of the goodness of your heart, but over the years I’ve come to see how this perspective is really problematic. Other activists fortunately helped me dispel this notion. Money in our society is an exchange of value, but presently our society holds entirely backwards notions of what is valuable in society. Sports players and movie stars may make millions of dollars, while teachers and social workers may barely make salaries above the poverty line. It doesn’t make sense to me that people doing some of the most important work in the world (including social change activists) should have to scrape by earning very little, while it is perfectly acceptable for people who work in the financial sector of our economy to produce nothing of any value for society but be making millions every year.

What is interesting is that very few question the ethics of making money from being a doctor or stock trading or serving food, but there is this perceived conflict for those doing social change work. I had this notion stuck in my head too, until I had a hour-long conversation with an activist who called me from Australia. He really helped me to see the value of my work and that there was nothing wrong with being paid to do something that is helping other people. It was his opinion that activists deserve to be compensated for their work, a lot more so than a lot of the jobs that are highly compensated.

This is something that I’ve also seen encountered frequently by documentary filmmakers. Because so many films are released for free, whenever a filmmaker isn’t financially able to do that and needs to charge people to see or buy the film, there are a lot of people that don’t really have any respect or understanding for the fact that filmmakers need to eat and make a living just like everyone else. Yes it’s certainly wonderful when a film can be released for free so that the film can reach a larger audience, but I think it’s unfair that filmmakers are expected to put so much work into their films but people balk when asked to pay to see it, because it’s in the social change category. Some filmmakers can afford to do it, some can’t. We should do our best to support the films that cost money, because for better or worse, money is one of those ways that we can show support for each other. It’s one of the ways that we give value to what people do.

What contact do you have with your audience/viewers?

We get lots of emails and Facebook messages. I also regularly read the comments we get on our Facebook posts. I try to respond to all our emails, and I reply a lot on our Facebook posts. It’s getting harder to respond though with the increasing volume of messages we get.

Which medium do you find to be most useful in terms of creating an audience or community around Films For Action?

Facebook. By far. It’s where 90% of our traffic comes from.

Was there one piece of work or event that led your audience to grow, or has it been mostly gradual/organic?

We’ve had several articles or videos go viral now, which gave us dramatic boosts in traffic a few times over the last 2 years. In between that it has been very gradual. We’ve been doing this for 8 years now and if you look at our growth curve the tail at the beginning is suppppperrr long. Things really only took off in the last 2 years.

Do you dedicate time specifically to building your audience, or have you let it happen organically?

Yeah, a little bit. Our main concern has been getting a high viewership for the content we share. This has meant optimizing the title and description of the videos to get a higher click-through and share rate. We’ve taken some lessons from Upworthy in this case, without going as far as they do. Sharing images has also been a good way to build our Facebook audience, more so than sharing links.

If our traffic goes up, that generally ties directly to increasing our Facebook community, so we’ve generally just focused on finding the most important and meaningful content, packaging it as best as we can and then getting it out there.

One interesting factoid is that 2/3 of our Facebook community is outside the US. This has made us focus on content that is relevant to people everywhere, not just the US.

Do you have any qualms using corporate social media, since you are running an anti-corporate media initiative? (No judgment, we all do it…)

No, not really. We’d certainly prefer if there were alternatives that were as widely adopted as Facebook is, but right now, it’s just the nature of the situation.

I’d rather see Facebook used for activist purposes and have some good come out of it then have it not used at all. If activists abandoned it, then it would just become even more entertainment and distraction-oriented and I don’t think that’d be any better.

Reminds me of a quote from Derrick Jensen: “The role of an activist is not to navigate systems of oppressive power with as much integrity as possible, but rather to confront and take down those systems.”

———————————–

Look for an FFA chapter in your city at their website, and if there isn’t one, create your own. Tim has written a guide to hosting your own public film screenings:http://www.filmsforaction.org/takeaction/films_for_actions_guide_to_hosting_public_film_screenings/

Follow @FilmsForAction on Twitter, and on Facebook, and watch and read their social change films atfilmsforaction.org.

Elizabeth Mizon is a writer, filmmaker and organiser based in Bristol, UK, and recently finished her first feature documentary The Fourth Estate. Follow her @elizabethethird.

Media: Business or Public Service? – my first piece for The Bristol Cable

I recently finished my first feature documentary, and became a co-director of nascent media co-operative The Bristol Cable. This obviously calls for a welded celebration in the form of an article-shaped, self-aggrandizing plug.

Enjoy!

http://thebristolcable.org/2015/04/media-business-or-public-service/

Interview with Franklin Lopez of subMedia.tv

(Cross posted from Dialectical Films, with thanks.)

As research for a panel on the subject of ‘audiences’ at the Radical Film Network‘s inaugural conference earlier this year, I spoke to a number of media organisers and radical filmmakers about their work and how they survive while doing it. This is one of two interviews I will publish, with the intention of inspiring, comforting and galvanising those making political work and no money.

Franklin Lopez is an anarchist video maker based in North America (though, as he noted early on in our conversation, he considers himself stateless) and creator of the video site subMedia.tv. He has been producing quality political videos (from feature length documentaries to collaborations with poets and mash-ups) for over a decade, all of which can be watched for free at the site, and he produces a monthly radical newsreel vlog that can be found there and on YouTube.

Franklin kindly took time to answer my questions, and thankfully gave some encouraging answers about the contact he has with his audiences, being fairly compensated for his work, and refusing to give up his political values in the name of ‘expansion’.

it's the end of the world as we know it and i feel fine, the stimulator, subMedia.tv, Franklin Lopez interview

——————————-

How did subMedia.tv and The Stimulator come about?

Well, subMedia and the stimulator are two different things. subMedia.tv is a website that published anarchist films me and my friends produce as well as other videos, and The Stimulator is the character of a web-vlog we produce called “It’s the End of the World as We Know It and I Feel Fine” or as we call it “The Fuckin Show”.

subMedia.tv was created as an independent venture, owned and funded outside of corporate media with the goal of broadcasting radical and anarchist films. The Fuckin Show was created to provide radical news and analysis on a monthly basis to an audience of radicals and anarchists, and those who are curious about radical and anarchist ideas. The Fuckin Show is supposed to be funny and provide much needed comic relief to the stuffy real of radical and anarchist discourse.

subMedia wasn’t always radical; we made political films with a liberal left sensibility, but it evolved over the years to be the rabble rousing agit prop propaganda media production house that it is today. So in 2001 while the US beat the drums of war, we felt a need to aid the anti-war movement, came into contact with anarchists and thus began this process that radicalized how and why we make films.

Are you completely independently funded?

150 per cent!

How the hell do you fund this operation?

Mostly small donations from viewers, some from DVD sales and some from screenings.

Is there one activity/source that provides the majority of your funding?

Viewers of our videos.

Do you have another job or source of income aside subMedia?

Once or twice a year I’ll do a gig, usually because it falls in my lap but not out of necessity. Last year I did one video for AJ+, the year before some TV channels bought some of our footage and films. Other people who collaborate with us have freelance gigs or are on welfare.

How many people work for and with subMedia?

Right now it’s three of us. Me on a full-time basis and two others on a part-time basis. We also have about 5 volunteers that dedicate a few hours helping us out with media production – in return, they learn video skills.

You are clearly politically radical. Do you consider your work aesthetically radical?

Sure, but I don’t think we’re breaking new ground artistically. We “steal” most of the footage and music we use, blatantly script in our politics no holds barred, use the language we fuckin want, try new things every chance we get.

Do you consider your way of organising and producing work radical?

Sure, one of the things we do that most people don’t notice is to be connected with movements, so a lot of the media that we produce is done with the hope to aid movements. For example, we take some direction from indigenous groups in so called “Canada” to create videos that will help them further their struggle.

What is your definition of ‘radical’, if you have one?

To get to the root of the matter, to not “sugar coat” or dumb down things, to tell it how it is.

Radical is antonymous to Liberal. Radical is antonymous to reformist.

Do you find any conflict between the work you do and earning money from it?

I’m not sure I understand the question. subMedia has been crowd funding since 2008, and we have never bent our politics in the hopes to generate more income. Sometimes our opinions have cost us viewers, but that’s the price you pay for being honest.

What contact do you have with your audience?

Lots. Emails, Facebook / Twitter / website comments, but my favourite is face to face during or after screenings.

Which social media do you find to be most useful in terms of creating an audience or community?

Unfortunately Facebook. We’ve had some success on Twitter, but we find more engagement on Facebook. It was a bit of struggle coming to terms with it, in terms of FB being a capitalist project with little regard to privacy, but our audience are not purists and I think most of them have fake profiles anyway.

Was there one piece of work or event that led your audience to grow, or has it been mostly gradual/organic?

The 2008 Democrat and Republican conventions. subMedia teamed up with a video collective out of Seattle called “Pepper Spray Productions”, and we cranked out 10 shows in 10 days bringing daily reports from the street protests. People at those convergences would gather to see what was accomplished and laugh a little before the following day of action. Same is true of our coverage of the G20 protests in Toronto.

Do you dedicate time specifically to building your audience, or have you let it happen organically?

We have never had the time or foresight to do a marketing plan, so things have happened organically.

Is it important to you to measure/follow this, or do you just sit back and let it grow?

I think it’s interesting to see where your audience is coming from and yes we would like to grow our audience, but not out of the desire to make more money, or just for the sake of reaching more people. We are more interested in reaching the right people, i.e. people who are most likely to engage and get involved with a movement. We’re not that interested in reaching pensioners who sit at home and watch TV, for example. What we have found is that our audience has shifted over the years, and while we have some hardcore fans, we also have fans that outgrow our content and new fans who are excited to engage with radical ideas.  I think it’s a bit dangerous to try to appeal to a certain group based on metrics in order to get more viewers, because you run the danger of bending or softening your discourse in the name of getting more people, instead of staying true to your “raison d’etre” – ours being to disseminate anarchist and anti-authoritarian ideas and to aid social movements.

Do you have any particular skills or advice to pass on to others starting their own radical media organisations?

Mainly to be consistent, to be true to your ideals, to honor your audience and not short change them, to the make the best fuckin media you can with the resources available to you.

—————————

Follow @subMedia and @stimulator on twitter, and on Facebook: subMedia/Stimulator, and find all their film and video for free at subMedia.tv.

Elizabeth Mizon is a writer, filmmaker and organiser based in Bristol, UK, and recently finished her first feature documentary The Fourth Estate. Follow her @elizabethethird.