The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0627 Wednesday, 5 November 2008
From: Eve-Marie Oesterlen <
Date: Tuesday, 4 Nov 2008 15:59:07 +0000
Subject: Shakespeare on YouTube Collection
I have just received the following announcement from Dr Luke McKernan (see
below) and thought it would be of interest to list members.
For little while now, I've been collecting examples of original Shakespeare
videos on YouTube. This is not YouTube as a distributor of clips (legally or
illegally) from DVDs, TV programmes etc, but YouTube as a place where a new kind
of moving image Shakespeare is emerging.
Of course there's a huge amount of seeming trivia to wade through. There are
currently 33,900 videos on YouTube if you type in 'Shakespeare', and aside from
the recycled material, there is a huge amount of local stage productions filmed
with shaky camera in the stalls, school projects, failed audition videos,
in-jokes, juvenilia, and painfully po-faced readings.
But dig deeper, and gems emerge. I've been seeking out animations, mashups, the
best of student projects, intriguing audition pieces, and so forth, describing
them, identifying credits, categorising them by play and type of production,
and putting them on a website (really a blog), which I have named BardBox. And
here it is:
This is just the start of the exploration. So far I have focussed on a
particular type of original work, and looked for what I think is the best or
most interesting. But what I am discovering is that usual notions of good or bad
don't really apply. There is a new kind of audiovisual Shakespeare production
emerging here, not a mere repetition of the old - new as in who is able to
create such content, new in the reasons for doing so, new in the techniques
applied, new in the audience for whom such productions are intended, new in the
criteria by which success may be measured.
I'll continue adding examples (there are only 60 so far, and I've not even
covered every play yet), and will expand the investigation to include more of
e-trailers, stage recordings, theatre promos, lectures etc, and to look beyond
YouTube (when I can work out how to embed videos from other sources). I know
people in our field are just starting to look at the YouTube phenomenon, and I
thought it would be useful (or at least entertaining) to gather together a
canon of sorts. Do take a look, let me know what you think, add comments to the
videos, and tell me your favourites if you'd like to see them added.
Finally, this is a separate endeavour to the BUFVC's Shakespeare database
(http://www.bufvc.ac.uk/shakespeare), which I previously led. The criteria for
that has been Shakespeare on film, television and radio, and though it records
some online video production, it could not take on such a vast and
rapidly-growing field as well (the BUFVC database has 6,000 titles, YouTube
33,900 and rising).
Dr Luke McKernan
Curator, Moving Image
96 Euston Road
London NW1 2DB
Tel: 020 7412 7442
Fax: 020 7412 7441
British Universities Film & Video Council
77 Wells Street
tel: 020 7393 1502
fax: 020 7393 1555
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