It’s amazing how many people seem to look at all this user generated video stuff and scoff that it doesn’t live up to the standards set by Hollywood; that it will never be of the quality of ‘American Idol’ or some such.
We have grown up in a culture of perfection. Our cereal box is adorned with a perfect bowl of oats and raisins (part of a balanced breakfast or whatever), our swimsuit models are 110 pounds with D cups, our L’Oreal makeup is applied to skin that clearly doesn’t need the L’Oreal to begin with. Everything has been completely totally artificially false for so long, that there is an entire generation (or two) that finds anything less than perfection somehow unnerving.
All this new stuff is messy, unpredictable and generally boring as hell, but it’s real. I can look at a movie like ‘Crank’ and actually be entertained. But it’s weird, ‘Crank’ is so over the top, so unbelievable and manufactured that I feel entertained only because it is so over the top. I’m an unreality drug addict. We’ve seen so many over the top action films that we literally have to pump ourselves full of adrenaline to feel a pulse.
But at the end of the day, when I watch YouTube it is somehow more enthralling because it is (typically) real. Thomas Hawk was recapping some predictions, one of which was the importance of authenticity in UGC in the coming year. I’ll go further to say that in UGC, authenticity is everything.
There is some disconnect when I watch an actor breaking the heart of a supporting actress. However good the actor is, I must overcome the boundary of fiction. Somewhere deep in my cortex I know that this is bullshit. It takes effort of imagination to immerse yourself in unreality. Suspending imagination to immerse yourself in real and uncensored moments is an entirely different and refreshing experience. It’s not glamorous, but it actually happened and that makes all the difference in the world.