Yesterday, I (Scot) watched an independent film that premiered on Youtube (of all places) called "The Cult of Sincerity." It's about a man who is fed up with how fake everyone is and resolves to live life sincerely, whatever that may mean. It is specifically geared at people currently in college and the group ambiguously known as the "20-somethings" to the point where anyone outside of that age group might not get it. I watched it with another person in my age group, and we were both completely engrossed, but Paul was bored after just a few minutes. Still, for its target audience, it was incredible. I think something like this, with a specific Japanese target audience, could be really powerful. Check it out at http://youtube.com/watch?v=YnsLBEuqsYE or watch the trailer below.
Also, in the first few minutes of the video, they outline a special deal that they have with a website called Amie Street. If you sign up from Amie Street in connection with watching the movie, you get $2 of credit at the site and the movie makers get $2. If you then buy $3 more credit, you get a link for a high resolution download of the movie, and $2 go to a charity.
I did a bit of research into Amie Street, and I've been really impressed so far. Here's the overview. It is a website for independent musicians to get their music heard. They get an account through the website and post their music. To begin with, their music is free. After each download, the value of their songs goes up by a few cents, capping out at $0.98 per song. For the downloader, you are given a certain number of REC (recommendation) points. If you hear a song that you think really has potential, you can give it a recommendation. Then, with every person who follows your recommendation and downloads the song, you get a small amount of credit put back into your account. It seems like a really good system.
I am posting it here for all of the readers who either are independent musicians or know someone who is. This could be a great way to share newly-written music, whether the artist is Japanese or Western. One of our friends, Mark Miller, who has posted on this blog before, is on Amie Street. Currently, his music is "free", and only available for purchase in the US. But you can use the media player embedded below to listen to his songs and check out the potential of the site. (Edit: The embedded player isn't working. Sorry. Search for "theothermarkmiller" on Amie Street) If any of you put your music (or a friend's music) on this site, please comment here or email either Paul or I. It would be fun to build a network of artists we know in order to support their music.