Attack of the Memes: The Strange Connection between Joe Pease, Saatchi and Saatchi and Professor Richard Dawkins

At Cannes the opening speaker of Saatchi and Saatchi’s 2013 New Directors’ Showcase was Great British evolutionary biologist, Professor Richard Dawkins.

Never afraid to be the provocateur Dawkins is hated, with vitriol, by many of the same people who oppose gay marriage, for his publicly expressed sentiment regarding a belief in God. Regardless of whether you’re bothered about his joyous banging of the atheist drum I rank The Selfish Gene as possibly my all-time favourite popular science book.

At the 5-minute mark of Dawkins’ NDS intro, the ensuing new-media-nightmare-trip – designed to illustrate the idea that the spreading and transformation of internet memes is analogous to (and even an extension of) evolution by genetic mutation – doesn’t really do justice to the memic beauty that flowed from Antoine Dodson’s brilliant Hide Yo Kids, Bedroom Intruder, news segment (this all ties in with the theme of the showcase this year). But, the floating Dawkins head, the Mars Attacks brain graphics and Dawkins electric recorder performance is well worth checking out.

Besides all that, Peter Brings the Shadow to Life by friend-of-the-bird Joe Pease ended up being featured in the showcase. He shot it on his telephone, during various afternoons and evenings between November ‘11 and Summer ’12. That it’s been included in the reel is a wonderful, encouraging, positive, turn of events for the oftentimes persecuted young warehouse manager.

Following Up with Friedberg

As requested here’s the rest of a conversation I had with 411VM founding father Josh Friedberg regarding the history of 411 video magazine. You can check out the first half here.

Who composed the opening music, how did you guys find the band and did they get residuals?

A salesmen at New Deal named Ken Wood was in the band Sol. He gave me a couple of DATs of their music and I picked The Boxcar as the opener song. We eventually bought all the rights to the song before we went through the acquisition so they got a decent check out of it.

Who designed the little blue section icons and where did the inspiration for those designs come from?

Andy Howell, Johnny Schillereff and Jose Gomez designed the first batch when they were working together in Atlanta. They were trying to create universal icons based on the article names. Later on our various art guys spruced them up when we decided they needed updating.

Some sources claim that later in 411s tenure it became harder to get footage from the top pros because they felt like they were just getting lost in the mix. How true is this? Continue reading Following Up with Friedberg