YouTube “style”: Documentary art genre (?)
There’s a piece that went up Thursday in The New York Times Magazine for this weekend that examines the evolution of a genre of documentary that has been played out on YouTube – and it’s almost impossible to imagine that website is little more than four years old.
“YouTube has solidified its slot as a home for the vernacular avant-garde,” writes Virginia Heffernan in the “The Medium” blog. She posits that,
YouTube may not be making money as efficiently as Google once hoped it would, but it’s still incubating novel forms of creative expression and cultivating new audiences.
The question for documentary filmmakers is not only whether YouTube is ultimately a distribution device, but also whether the vernacular being shaped by YouTube will affect the documentary style the way that reality shows have (Sarah Klein speaks of it on this site in relation to her doc, “The Good Mother”).
Heffernan finishes her piece by noting,
As casual users have puzzled over YouTube — its mayhem and trivia, its commercial and political uses — hard-core users have quietly figured it out. It’s a place for art.