Category Archives: Film

Hulu Wrote The Blueprint For Today’s Streaming Media

Hulu Wrote The Blueprint For Today’s Streaming Media

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Phones, Tablets, Lap Tops and Desk tops are no longer just number crunching devices. They pack all the entertainment value of your cable TV at a much less cost. You can select the same program at your own leisure and often bypass commercials. How the average person consumes their entertainment has changed radically as our world now come with us in our pockets. While streaming platforms like Amazon and Netflix may be the biggest brands on the block, Fast Company just released an interesting look back at just how Hulu got the ball rolling for the streaming giants of today. Take a look below. At the end you can link to FC’s ongoing Innovation series that this piece came from.

Remember when Netflix was a DVD-by-mail service? And its chief rival was the brick-and-mortar outlet Blockbuster? Feels like an eternity ago. Now Netflix looks over its shoulder at HBO on one side and Amazon on the other. But it was the breakthroughs generated by the less-praised and underappreciated Hulu that pointed the way to all of their success.

Fast Company put Hulu on the cover of our second World’s Most Innovative Companies issue in 2009. That decision was not a dig at Netflix or a mark of suspicion about its business. (Reed Hastings of Netflix had been a cover subject three years earlier.) Rather, it was a reflection of game-changing steps that Hulu was taking. At that time, Hulu was run by former Amazon executive Jason Kilar, who had to manage an assortment of owners—including both Fox and NBC—that had yet to embrace the idea of streaming their content. While Kilar had access to a rich trove of TV shows, he faced an ownership structure that was internally divided. For several of his many-headed bosses, the prospect of Hulu was at best a test, and at worst a threat to their core operation.

Kilar’s tactic was to play these owners off against each other just enough to keep them at bay, while he and his team furiously worked to create a new kind of viewing experience. Suddenly, streaming TV and even movies was easy, fun—and legal. At that point, the model was ad-supported in a user-friendly way that still hasn’t been replicated: Viewers could choose which ads they wanted to see, increasing the value for advertisers by constructing a qualified audience.

Eventually, Hulu’s corporate structure—not to mention the rise of streaming elsewhere, among its owners and most notably via Netflix—put the company on its heels and Kilar out of a job. But the user experience, design, and mass-market acceptance of streaming were all created or accelerated by Hulu. The most common narrative of innovation success often follows a single disruptor—Steve Jobs, Phil Knight, Mark Zuckerberg—without appreciating how much rests on the shoulders of progenitors and peers who advanced the game.

Today, of course, we expect to be able to stream everything via apps. (Back in 2008, most viewing happened on a desktop computer via the web browser.) Hulu is among a constellation of providers continuing to advance a revolution whose ultimate outcome is still unclear. Hulu hasn’t reaped the lion’s share of the rewards from its early innovations, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t have a powerful impact. And it continues to play a role in pressing Netflix, HBO, and others to keep advancing.

Via Fast Company

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NetFlix Mega Hack – Welcome to the Hidden Categories

NetFlix Mega Hack – Welcome to the Hidden Categories

 

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The gift and curse of the mega popular streaming service Netflix is that often we get overwhelmed with options yet can’t seem to find exactly with we want. Netflix operates off a specific internal formula that tries to provide the best options for you to select from based on previous viewings. Notice I said the best options, not all options.

There are very detailed sub categories that open up a sea of new options for your viewing pleasure and they are accessible via a pretty simple method.

To view the categories, select a code from the list below and enter the category code at the end of the URL.

(Here’s an example: http://www.netflix.com/browse/genre/11146

Note: You must be logged into your Netflix account on a desktop pc for this to work. This is not a mobile device or direct streaming device hack (i.e a bluray player or roku)).

Hit the jump for the full list of the most popular secret codes. I’m certain you’ll find something you like plus a few surprises!!

Continue reading NetFlix Mega Hack – Welcome to the Hidden Categories

SXSW Welcomes President Obama For Keynote Speech

SXSW Welcomes President Obama For Keynote Speech

AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 11: President Barack Obama speaks at the opening Keynote during the 2016 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival at Long Center on March 11, 2016 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for SXSW)
AUSTIN, TX – MARCH 11: President Barack Obama speaks at the opening Keynote during the 2016 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival at Long Center on March 11, 2016 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for SXSW)

There was once a time when SXSW was viewed as an annual mecca of indie music and film. Recently as the Austin based conference has grown in mainstream notoriety the Tech space has emerged as a thriving element of the SXSW experience. Social media standards like Twitter and Foursquare both launched during previous SXSW.

This year the SXSW attendees received a massive treat as for the 1st time ever a current President of the United States, Barack Obama delivered an opening keynote address to Launch SXSW Interactive.

You can view the speech in its entirety below. Just hop to the 40 minute mark.

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Samurai Sit Down: AmalgamPhilly Comic Shop Owner Ariell Johnson

Samurai Sit Down:  AmalgamPhilly Comic Shop Owner Ariell Johnson

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In a year where the upcoming wave of comic based material will very heavily feature characters of color there was big news recently made by a young Philadelphia entrepreneur Ariell Johnson. Her AmalgamPhilly comic book & coffeehouse has been all the rage with fellow comic book fans, gamers and more as she reflects the importance of diversity in comic business spaces as well as in the comics themselves. I recently had the pleasure of chatting with Ariell Johnson so get comfy and check this geeked out edition of Samurai Sit Down.

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Thanks for taking some time from your new business to talk with us. To start can you share your earliest comic memories and what was it that turned this hobby into a professional goal?

I started reading comics in high school, when my friend would let me borrow his comics, I didn’t buy my first comic until I was in college. It was Storm & Illyana Magik, a four issue mini-series, and I got it off of eBay.

The idea came when a local coffee shop that I would frequent on Fridays, after buying my books from Fat Jack’s, closed. It was such a great coffee shop, I loved the vibe so much, it was owned by a young black woman, and it was just everything to me. A home away from home. Her closing made me want to create the kind of space that she had created, but incorporating comic books into the mix.

Continue reading Samurai Sit Down: AmalgamPhilly Comic Shop Owner Ariell Johnson

Social Media Samurai Content & Contributions

Social Media Samurai Content & Contributions
#SocialMediaSamurai

Sometimes I take for granted that people will just always see what I’m working on and I have to remind myself to remind others what I’m up too. With so much material out there it’s easy to get lost in the static. Anyway, I wanted to just share 2 recent posts and 1 major content source.

This week my first Op-Ed for Social Media Week went live!

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***Click Here To Visit Article***

In addition to that I wrote short piece on medium.com which is clearly inspired by the current frustrating social climate in the United States.

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***Click Here To Visit Article***

Medium is a platform that I’ll be using express views on certain topics outside of what www.thesocialmediasamurai.com deals with. It’ll be a lot more personal material too.

Finally, as networks growth I always meet people who didn’t know I write. If you’re one of those people check out my digital portfolio for a solid overview of my work.

***Click Here To Visit Portfolio***

So, if you have a few moments check out the new links above and my portfolio.  I’m always open to working with folk if the need is there for content creation.  Enjoy you’re day, please share the content and don’t forget I’m currently covering Art Basel in (rainy :/ ) Miami. Follow me on IG and SnapChat (s/n: SMediaSamurai) for the latest this weekend.

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Back To Miami For Art Basel 2015

Back To Miami For Art Basel 2015

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The annual Miami art festival Art Basel has kicked off and your over sized Social Media Samurai is en route to the 305, ready to bring the creative energy directly to you all. Keep you eyes to my Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat (s/n: SMediaSamurai) & Periscope feeds for all the action taking place this weekend!

From the endless art display and live creation sessions in Wynwood to the exhibitions and launch events on Miami beach it’ll be no shortage of activity! Last night Swizz Beats opened the Dean Collection, a collabaration with Barcadi, which will be open for the duration of Art Basel.

Swizz Dean Collection Opening

Take a look at my coverage from last year if you’re new to the Art Basel experience and watch the #SocialMediaSamurai as well as that #SamuraiRides hashtag all weekend to keep connected.

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Will Smith & Samuel L Jackson Join Star Studded Actors Roundtable To Discuss The Ills of Their Profession

Will Smith & Samuel L Jackson Join Star Studded Actors Roundtable To Discuss The Ills of Their Profession

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Recently a collection of Hollywood heavyweights got together to discuss a number of topics within the acting industry from social injustice, race tensions and more that they’ve come across over the years. Will Smith, Mark Ruffalo, Samuel L. Jackson, Benicio Del Toro, Michael Caine and Joel Edgerton make up the A List collection for this Roundtable.  Check out a couple cuts from the discussion below from personal favorites Sam Jackson and Will Smith on including some insight into why Will Smith passed on the controversial the Django role.

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How do you deal with that fear?

SMITH: I’m trying to develop a more realistic perspective of what this business is. I told my mother this the other day, and she thought it was hilarious. I said: “When I was 15 years old, my first girlfriend cheated on me. And I remember making a decision that nobody would ever cheat on me again. And the way I was going to do that was by being the biggest actor on Earth,” right? So there’s been this weird psychology that I have always felt like: If my movies are number one, my life is going to work out great.

In your superhero films, do you feel personal validation because they’re so popular?

JACKSON Those movies have very little to do with us. They have to do with the event. People love superheroes, and fortunately we’re in them, but they’re not dependent upon us. They could put that eye patch on somebody else, and it would work the same way. The green guy could be anybody. You turn Terrence Howard to Don Cheadle and nobody notices.

Will, weren’t you offered Django?

JACKSON (Mock outrage.) Django Unchained?! (Laughter.)

SMITH I was trying to avoid that [topic]. It was about the creative direction of the story. To me, it’s as perfect a story as you could ever want: a guy that learns how to kill to retrieve his wife that has been taken as a slave. That idea is perfect. And it was just that Quentin [Tarantino] and I couldn’t see [eye to eye]. I wanted to make the greatest love story that African-Americans had ever seen —

We talked, we met, we sat for hours and hours about it. I wanted to make that movie so badly, but I felt the only way was, it had to be a love story, not a vengeance story. I don’t believe in violence as the reaction to violence. So when I’m looking at that, it’s like: “No, no, no. It has to be for love.” We can’t look at what happens in Paris [the terrorist attacks] and want to f— somebody up for that. Violence begets violence. So I just couldn’t connect to violence being the answer. Love had to be the answer.

Read more of the Roundtable here. The full Actor Roundtable will air on Close Up With The Hollywood Reporter on Sunday, Jan. 17, at 11 a.m. ET on Sundance TV.

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Marvel’s Jessica Jones Brings Adult Depths & Drama Without Living Off The Avengers

Marvel’s Jessica Jones Brings Adult Depths & Drama Without Living Off The Avengers

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Marvel does it again as its latest Netflix exclusive property is the talk of entertainment circles all over. I honestly wasn’t even that pressed to check out Jessica Jones. I really was only focused on how much of a role Luke Cage would play in the series but 3 episodes in I was hooked.

Marvel is doing an amazing job giving all of their respective titles a life of their own without having to live of the overall presence of the Cinematic Universe. Jessica Jones is dark gritty, explicit and graphic. The New York that Jessica Jones presents has a level of humanity that you don’t get in the TV and Film productions and that Dare Devil touched on a bit. Jessica Jones early on opens up to the unknown experiments that gave her super human ability. This is delivered in a manner where the world is still wary and unsure what to make of individuals with the power of an army within them.

Jessica Jones and her series long pursuit of KilGrave better known as the Purple Man to comic fans is one part police drama with a series overtone of Silence of the Lambs.

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Kilgrave has powers that he has used to violate his victim, Jessica included, but what is most evil is that this isn’t Ultron or Thanos who can destroy the planet. Kilgrave’s ability to speak words to action and make conscious slaves of people allows his sadistic nature to hit home.

There is a steady theme of human frailty and imperfection with all the characters with in the show vs the element of amazement and wonder that Thor or Iron Man exude.

Marvel gives you just enough connectivity by the end of the series to let you know that paths will cross in the aftermath of the Avengers New York “incident”.

Unlike Agents of Shield which ties very directly in the Avengers world with appearances from Asgardians and Nick Fury himself, Netflix is being set up as the everyday mans view of the Marvel Universe. Who were people who were running when the sky was raining debris and alien war crafts.

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Marvels knows that we don’t need consistent reminders of the world we are witnessing. They put the focus on the personal stories and let us wonder how will Jessica Jones react to Dare Devil in the future. Or perhaps we’ll get a foreshadowing of Spiderman in the upcoming Luke Cage series before Civil War.

It’s a skill knowing how much to give people and what to hold back. Jessica Jones strikes that balance perfectly. This pull no punches story stays stay to its source material while giving those that are new to the story everything they would need to feel invested in the plot.

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Some folk missed the direction Marvel went in with JJ. Perhaps their knowledge on the story is lacking or they just want more.

“..the Marvel Cinematic Universe is just weird. It’s why if I hear something like “Marvel says Deadpool is part of the MCU!” that starts to mean less and less to me. So now, what, Ant-Man will show up in a two second cameo in that movie or something?”

Personally I hope Marvel keeps this same tone going forward until time comes to fully pull all these platforms together.  Let the stories breathe on their own a bit so that when the crossovers happen they have a true feeling worlds meeting vs a forced co-existence.

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Jack Daniels Brings Motel No 7 Experience to NYC

Jack Daniels Brings Motel No 7 Experience to NYC

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Let’s be honest. You don’t really need to convince folk to drink. Invite people to a good time at a reasonable price and you’re usually going to have a successful gathering. In spite of that, from a branding stand point, businesses know that they are constantly in competition within their fields to stand out and create engaging customer experiences to endear loyalists and gain new fans to the brand. To that end Jack Daniels truly played a masterful hand with its two night Motel No 7 event held in Brooklyn.

Stationed in the WIlliamsburg section of Brooklyn Jack Daniel set off 2 nights of imagination, entertainment and of course drinking all around the concept and theme of their Motel No 7. The main floor had multiple bars that were set up as classic throw back style drinking holes. There was also a saloon for those looking to get a quick trim before letting their hair down. Add to that the in door pool, roller derby food servers, arcade game room, photo booth with full room setting, the multiple themed hotel rooms on the upper floors and you have more fun and exploration options then you might have been able to take in within just one night.

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Oh and let’s not forget the musical acts taking place throughout the event topped off with a surprise performance by multi award winner T Pain.

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Had this been a simple private invite lounge party Jack Daniel would have still had me BUT to put this level of effort, design and creativity into making  a memorable night not just about free drinks says a lot about the brand and how they look to cultivate their relationship with consumers.

Take a look at some of the images from the 2 night affair at #MotelNo7

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Nomadness Launches Ticket Sales For 1st Annual #NMDN Conference!

Nomadness Launches Ticket Sales For 1st Annual #NMDN Conference!

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GET YOUR EARLY BIRD TICKETS HERE!! USE DISCOUNT CODE NMDN15

Travel is something that has been a part of life for many for years. Yet for the most part the media depiction of Urban travel(ers) has been a mix of tropical getaways and domestic parties in locales like Miami & Las Vegas. You would never know they people like us were in Asia, Europe or Australia just like everyone else. This misrepresentation is core to what birthed Nomadness. 4 years later there is a massive growth in the urban travel community.

Just as media is still in need of more diverse travel content the live conference space that connects and networks with the people and brands in the travel community is suffering from the same issue. If Nomadness shows the world anything, let be that when a space is nonexistent we will create it.  From that same spark that formed the Nomadness Travel Tribe we give you NMDN.

GET YOUR EARLY BIRD TICKETS HERE!! USE DISCOUNT CODE NMDN15

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On Sept 26th Nomadness presents a full day of travel workshops and panel discussions. NMDN is ideal for the modern traveler, the travel business person and more. We will be touching on all elements of travel culture the Nomadness.

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That means more fun, creativity and style then your usual hotel conference room convention gathering. Get a peek at some of our panelists here on the NMDN IG page.  Make sure you follow that and the NMDN Twitter page to stay up on all the needed updates.

Early bird tickets sales started today so don’t miss out on this event. It’s the beginning of a new day.

GET YOUR EARLY BIRD TICKETS HERE!!
USE DISCOUNT CODE NMDN15

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