April 01, 2008

All the inconvenience of videoblogging, with none of the timeliness

Last fall, I auditioned for a nascent Sci-Fi Network show called "Brain Trust," in which a hand-selected team of smart people would go around and solve people's problems. (I like to think of this concept as "Smart Eye for the Dumb Guy".) Apparently I made the first cut of the audition process, but then I never heard anything again, so either they went with someone else (the fools!), or the show just never got off the ground. Anyway, to audition, we were asked to make a five-minute video in which we answered one of three questions. Two of them I didn't care about -- how to bluff at poker without being caught, and how to tell when other people are bluffling (my answer: don't play poker); and how to spend less time in traffic (my answer: live in New York, take the subway) -- so I didn't think I could stretch either of those questions out to five minutes. Here, however, is the question I did answer. Hope you enjoy it.

(Video directed by Tom Bartos.)

Posted by Francis at 02:22 PM

I really thought you were gonna Rickroll us there.

Posted by: Tyler at April 1, 2008 03:31 PM

No, this is an actual video of me. It is posted on April Fools' Day not because it is a joke, but because today is my birthday and thus a fine day to be vain and post a video of myself in hopes that people will comment and tell me how much they liked it.

Posted by: Francis at April 1, 2008 03:52 PM

Aw, you should be on TV! That was utterly charming.

Posted by: Orange at April 1, 2008 04:02 PM

The girl in the video, if I'm not mistaken, appears to be solving Crasswords (working on "Union Mergers" by 'Eli Dunbar' with "Members Only" by Francis Heaney visible to the camera).

Rather savvy of her, I think.

Happy birthday!!! Oh, and...I like the video a LOT.

Posted by: Lorinne at April 1, 2008 04:10 PM

Lorinne: I do believe you are correct. You're a very astute observer. (The glasses probably help with that.)

Liking the video a lot and/or thinking I should be on TV is also very astute.

Posted by: Francis at April 1, 2008 04:16 PM

That was just great. The show itself must have collapsed.

Posted by: Eric Berlin at April 1, 2008 06:02 PM

Genius, but I expected nothing less.

Posted by: The Dan at April 1, 2008 07:01 PM

Those losers at SciFi just never got back in touch with you. The show was supposed to go into production in March.

Posted by: Debby at April 1, 2008 08:30 PM

Screw the so-called networks and their stranglehold on the "airwaves"! Take your brainy advice directly to the people!

Oh, you did.

Well, thanks then.


Posted by: Vardibidian at April 1, 2008 09:09 PM

Very nice. I was temporarily thrown by the actual good advice; I had to remember this was an audition, not merely another bit of internet video smartassery.

Posted by: Rubrick at April 1, 2008 09:45 PM

I want to especially applaud the visual take at the end of the "just hanging around your male peers" segment.

Also, not having met you, I think I'm going to read everything you write in that "oh, hello, gentle viewers" cadence from now on.

Posted by: Robert Hutchinson at April 1, 2008 10:33 PM

Astute advice. I should send this to my sister. :)

I also enjoyed seeing a couple of the shirt/tie combinations in action. I was delighted to see they look as nice on a moving body as they do in static photos.

Oh, and happy birthday.

Posted by: Janice in GA at April 2, 2008 10:09 AM

What was the "scholarly book of some sort" that you were reading at the beginning? I thought I was able to make out "Beckett" and "Pinter" on the cover, so I presume it is either an anthology of modern drama, or the new scholarly edition of Holy Tango.

Posted by: Tortoise at April 2, 2008 02:19 PM

That was excellent. I too was thinking that the date would have something to do with it, so I was rather worried when I realized that all the shots to a point had been waist up.

Posted by: Eli at April 2, 2008 05:05 PM

I'm sorry it didn't pan out as a TV gig, but these shows always tend to start out savvy and end up Ty-Penningtonesque glurge so you're probably better off. You have a nice video that will entertain your friends and maybe be useful for some future project.

Posted by: Todd at April 2, 2008 07:59 PM

That was extremely well done (though I think I may disagree with you on your philosophy of sorting the world in any very meaningful way based on sartorial preferences). Charming and amusing -- no idea why you wouldn't have gotten the gig. Thanks for sharing with us, anyway!

Posted by: laurenhat at April 4, 2008 04:16 PM

Tortoise: I think it may have been a drama anthology. Anyway, it was the largest readily available book in Tom's living room.

Posted by: Francis at April 7, 2008 09:08 AM

Yes. This video is awesome. It is the finest video on the internet out there. It totally kicks the sh#t out of that guy's History of Dance video. If the Sci Fi channel didn't broadcast Battlestar Galactica I'd say they were the dumbest channel out there (just behind Fox News).

The book is one of the many play anthologies my wife had when she was an actress. Just a little while ago, we cleaned house and donated a lot of our books to the library. This was one of them. I can't remember the title. (btw Francis, I still have 2 books waiting for you)

Look for our next collaboration, "Say it With Flowers."

Coming Summer 2008!

Posted by: Tom at April 7, 2008 12:46 PM

This is the most wonderful thing I have seen in a long time. (How did I miss it the first time around?!)

Posted by: India at April 19, 2010 03:18 PM
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