In Read, Watch on February 24, 2011 at 9:43 am
Palladium is a French boot manufacturing company. Johnny Knoxville is best known for his MTV series “Jackass” and its subsequent movie iterations.
Put this unlikely pair together and you get a remarkable 3-part documentary on the current state of Detroit. From the Palladium website:
Once the fourth-largest metropolis in America—some have called it the Death of the American Dream. Today, the young people of the Motor City are making it their own DIY paradise where rules are second to passion and creativity. They are creating the new Detroit on their own terms, against real adversity. We put our boots on and went exploring.
Part 1 of Detroit Lives is embedded here above. You can find Parts 2 and 3 on the project’s website.
The documentary is unexpected in a few ways. Johnny Knoxville doing something serious? Detroit isn’t a complete disaster? A city actually going with lack of regulation and/or structure to help with rebirth?
One of the most grabbing things for me was at 3:00 in Part 1 (above). Ko Melina is a Detroit musician who describes an instance of “pick-and-choose journalism” about Cass Tech high school. The news story talked about the old dilapidated abandoned school campus without mentioning the brand new campus right across the street. The video is striking.
It is good to see evidence of the city’s rebirth, even in the face of an American public and a press that only want to tell one story.
UDPATE: Another noteworthy Detroit video would be the Superbowl commercial for the Chrysler 200. (Watch here.) After the game, Fast Company did a piece talking about the impact the ad had on the city:
But a Super Bowl ad from the company that is now 25%-owned by foreigners has the whole city buzzing today. Chrysler, which is run by Fiat chief Sergio Marchionne, delivered a rousing two-minute spot last night that summed up the hopes of everyone who believes the city can come back strong. The ad made the front page of today’s Detroit Free Press, with the headline “Motor City Pride.”
In Read on September 14, 2010 at 7:28 am
17-year-old Steven Ortiz used Craigslist to trade up from an old cell phone to a 2000 Porsche Boxter:
Steven started his lucrative journey when his friend gave him an old cell phone – the sort most people would throw away or shove into a junk drawer. He traded that phone for a better phone, which he then traded for an i-Pod touch. He traded that for a series of dirt bikes, a MacBook Pro, and a 1987 Toyota 4Runner.
At the time, Steven was just 15 and unable to drive his new acquisition. So he quickly swapped it out for a souped-up off-road golf cart, another more valuable dirt bike, a streetbike, then a series of cars ending with a 1975 Ford Bronco. He spent a few months enjoying each acquisition before determining he was looking for something else.
Ortiz with his Boxter. Photo by Watchara Phomicinda/Whittier Daily News.
Steven made 14 swaps over two years. The Bronco (his second-to-last item) was probably worth more than the Porsche. Someone offered him a locksmith business in exchange for the Ford, but he turned it down to get the Boxter instead.
In Read, Watch on July 28, 2010 at 7:03 am
You’ve likely been aware of the recent Old Spice ads featuring Isaiah Mustafa. The first commercial aired during this year’s Superbowl and garnered tons of attention:
A couple weeks ago, Old Spice Man reappeared in a well-executed two-day social media frenzy, posting 180-ish videos that directly interacted with real-life people via Twitter.
Business Insider has a great wrap-up on the campaign which includes some behind-the-scenes info:
As people tweeted questions about manliness to the Old Spice Man, he began posting near-real-time video vignettes responding to the queries, all in character and with no small degree of humor as he stood bare-chested, abdominals front and center in a bathroom set with the creative crew and comedy copywriters of Wieden + Kennedy behind the camera furiously writing jokes and chasing down props.
Here’s the link to Old Spice’s YouTube page and a slew of the response videos.