The Scene

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Awhile ago I made an off-hand reference to The Scene, a made-for-internet video series about people in the clandestine world of file sharing.

I started watching The Scene’s first season some time ago, but I have only just recently finished it. The storyline for this show is extremely compelling, and I’m amazed at how well I was drawn into this fictional but all-too-real world. It was easy to predict the anti-piracy angle of the show, as that surely must be an omnipresent theme in the scene itself, but the directions the show explored from that initial trajectory were not what I was expecting at all. It was very well done and quite clever.

The real kicker here is that virtually every important plot development happens via text. The only concession to the video medium, so-to-speak, is the small quarter-screen sized video feed of a main character sitting at a computer screen, reading, typing. Even that is, ultimately, unnecessary. The actors are merely punctuation to the drama conveyed through text. Despite the seeming tedium and emotional paucity of reading text typed onto a computer screen, the result is actually quite rich, if subtle. Speed, tempo, accuracy, verbal style… All of these are elements in conveying the emotional state of someone who is depicted, more often than not, doing nothing more than staring flatly into the blue light of a monitor. The emotion of this story lies beneath the surface, but no less visible and no less real.

(Though impressive, the centrality of text is also probably the single biggest obstacle to watching the show. I can’t read text on my computer monitor from across the room, and it’s not very comfortable sitting at a computer watching a show. Additionally, it takes more mental concentration to focus on reading the show than it does to watch most traditional television shows.)

The videos are accompanied by amazing downtempo music from various artists that tend to accent and heighten the viewing experience. After I finished watching the series I went back and downloaded any music I could find by the artists featured in the show. Sadly, it seems that most of these artists are too unknown to be easily found online, but I did manage to get a few sample tracks by Beauty’s Confusion (3 tracks available to download via the “Sounds” section) and Planet Bliss (4 tracks available to download).

One Response

  1. Never underestimate the ability of IMAGE and SOUND to undermine and overcome REASON.

    After all, what stimulates us most appeals to our most primitive instincts.

    I’m as guity as anyone else,don’t let my limosene full of bikini models sway you….heh heh hehe…

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