Strategy Roundup | 2.19.21

Jourdan B. Gooden

You’ve had a long, cold, snowy week. Alas, your weekend isn’t shaping up to be much different. Ah, but for this weekly article for which you’ve waited so patiently. Let’s get cozy. Let’s get artsy. Let’s get warm with a good read and some favorites from the week. Grab your hot cocoa — extra marshmallows. It’s time to clutch those winter mugs.

In Defense of the Art Form: Cinema

Warning: Not for the faint of creativity

“Il Maestro” is an essay by Academy Award–winning director, writer, and producer Martin Scorsese where he shares an intriguing perspective on the current state of cinema as a lost form of art. Oscillating between clear disappointment and an unwillingness to accept society’s distorted perception of principle, Scorsese deconstructs the accumulative saturation of “content” and highlights the villainous deed of the odious “algorithm” to demonstrate how they both reduce the magic of cinema. He argues that, “The cinema has always been much more than content, and it always will be,” however, today, “the art of cinema is being systematically devalued, sidelined, demeaned, and reduced to its lowest common denominator, “content.”

Championing director Federico Fellini as a prime example of an ongoing mastery and artistry that shaped, re-shaped, and evolved cinema, Scorsese asserts that “Fellini’s work goes a long way toward defining the art form.” Check out this essay for an in-depth understanding of why films like Sunrise, La Strada, and 2001 are “among the greatest treasures of our culture, and they must be treated accordingly.”

Illustration by Pierluigi Longo via Harper’s Magazine

Fortnite’s First Film Festival

Image: Epic Games

When you’ve dominated the online video gaming space for as long as Fortnite has, there is only one motive: keep on winning. Since the gaming boom brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, few competitors have displayed nimbleness and adaptability quite like that of Epic Games’s Fortnite.

Image: Marshmello via YouTube

Recall back to 2019, when ED producer Marshmello held the first ever Fortnite concert? This was a record breaking pre-pandemic event. 10.7 million people attended live in-game, and even more watched it live streamed on Twitch and other platforms. Recap video here. RPG view here.

Then there was Travis Scott’s Astronomical Tour — a 3-day 5-concert event inside of Fortnite which set a new record of 12.3 million concurrent live participants, according to Epic Games.

Image: Travis Scott via YouTube

They continue an impressive record of live concert events and grow in the music space by leveraging their Party Royale space where we’ve seen Dominic Fike, Anderson Paak and J Balvin take the stage.

Now, Fortnite will use their space to bring “acclaimed animated film shorts to Party Royale’s Big Screen’’ by way of a Film festival called Short Nite. Beginning on February 20, 2021 at 2 p.m. ET, the Short Nite series has a scheduled 30-minute runtime,which will play on repeat non-stop for 24 hours.

For instructions on how to tune in, be sure to check out this great resource from Epic Games. For a record of the Fortnite Live Events schedule check out this gamepedia.

As we continue to see the online gaming space transform, we have to begin to anticipate and always keep an eye out for how our clients fit into the picture. More growth means more opportunities, and if we stay ready, we never have to get ready.

So Wait… Dispo?

That is: the app formerly known as “David’s Disposables” founded by YouTube star David Dobrik has generated some buzz recently. “Dispo’s app works something like an old fashioned disposable camera. Users capture photographs but must wait 24 hours for them to appear on their feeds.”

According to Crunchbase, “The end result is a more authentic looking photograph–not the filtered, edited photos social media users have grown accustomed to seeing on Instagram, but more raw and real.”

Dispo via Notion

I know what you’re thinking — “24 hours?” “Where’s the instant gratification in that?” “Where’s the self-interest?” “So anti 2021!” “Nostalgic, yet, ain’t nobody got time for that!” But wait; there’s more. Dispo’s new rollout is an invite-only version of the app with a feature that allows for the creation of shared public albums. Adding this social networking element to its app may unlock the path forward for this app potentially enabling it to compete with Instagram and other image-based social networks.

Note that Dispo reportedly recently raised a $4 million dollar seed round in October led by Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian’s VC firm, in addition to celebrity investments like The Chainsmokers and Sofia Vergara.

We are Social Media

Ultimately, consumers will determine whether or not the updates to this app were sufficient and the supposed updates to come will determine the longevity of this app’s future. That is, of course, unless Facebook copies them, or buys them.

MORE GOOD NEWS!

We love a good headline! So, I’ll just leave this right here:

We love when a headline holds its weight even more. It carries a certain undertone of integrity that the best articles do bring! It’s true, it’s true! Watch Twitter CFO, Ned Segal on CNBC explaining how Twitter’s policies work: “the way our policies work, when you’re removed from the platform, you’re removed from the platform.”

Honorable Mention: Time Dilation

In 1990, Emmanuel Perrotin founded an art gallery called Perrotin. It has locations in Paris, Tokyo, Seoul, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and New York City. Current NYC resident and famous artist Daniel Arsham has an exhibit on display at Perrotin New York called “Time Dilation” and it is incredible! In the summer of 2019, I read Arsham’s self-titled book and I always wondered if it would be my turning point — would I ever get to experience the physical genre-bending, profound thought-provoking world that he designs through his sculptures and concepts? It sure was and I sure did. Check out this awesome video of Daniel Arsham, where describes how the history of curatorial restoration informed how the works took shape. I promise to share one or two of my favorite photos from the exhibition!

Sculpture by Daniel Arsham
Sculpture by Daniel Arsham

This Week’s Picks

Reading: About why Senator Ted Cruz chose to take a family vacation when his state of Texas is in a crisis (or maybe just the funny tweets and memes)

Listening to:

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