Hagigit and Jerusalem’s Train Theatre Present: Purim Shpiel in the Circus

Purim Shpiel 2010 at the Train Theatre in JerusalemThe artists collective I am part of, Hagigit, has joined the Train Theatre once again to celebrate Purim. Just like our cooperation last year, we set up a photography studio and took pictures of well-costumed kids. The parents were obviously delighted since these were their kids, but I was anxiously waiting for that one photo to transcend being cute into being really interesting. This doesn’t happen often, mind you, but it did happen before. Photos captured today can be found on Hagigit’s Flickr page.

The first day already gone, you can still join us today and tomorrow in Jerusalem. Admission is 30 NIS including the play “The Cubes Circus”. More details here.

What’s Wrong With the Israeli Internet Today? – An Update

Two years ago, while watching the film Rendition I was quite taken with Moroccan actress Zineb Oukach which I mistook for Israeli actress Hadar Ratzon. This led to my making a point about the Israeli Internet being stuck in the 1990’s, a point I seem to keep on making.

Later on I used the Israeli Screen Actors Guild as an example for Israel’s laxed approach to privacy and how, for instance, Ratzon’s cellphone number, SSN and date of birth can be revealed using a simple Google search.

Now, since most people cannot distinguish between a ‘white hat’ and a ‘black hat’, it is quite likely all this made me look like a kind of stalker. Creating a portrait of Ratzon out of her cellphone digits probably didn’t help. 🙂
I get that vibe now and again from people who don’t get technology. I guess it’s true what they say: ignorance is bliss. Apparently once one’s naivete has been interrupted, one sometimes gets upset.

Okay, so in two years’ time has anything changed? Not much:
1. Israel’s leading acting agency Perry Kafri still won’t spend a couple of bucks building a website for each of its actors.
2. Two years ago, Hadar Ratzon’s page consisted of three photos, one coding error and no background information. Today it boasts eight photos, zero coding errors, some background information – but also quite a few errors including some kind of “Mongols contest” which presumably stands for “monologue contest”; Plus a characterization of Ratzon’s acting part in “Rendition” as “leading role” – a gross exaggeration.
3. Two years later, the Israeli Screen Actors Guild did nothing to curtail its privacy leakage.
4. Hadar Ratzon now has an official website! Yes, I was quite happy to be notified of this glorious fact by a friend of Ratzon who built it for her (oh, but of course). Two years ago I suggested HadarRatzon.com – but apparently she went with HadarRatzon.co.il.

And so we get enough progress to celebrate with a showreal [sic]. Here’s to hoping Hadar Ratzon is taking all this in stride:

In Journalism, Credibility is Currency

A few months ago I created a video showing how Israel’s Channel 10 news re-edited an interview conducted by one newscaster, in order to make it seem like it was done by another. I concluded my post saying:

…unlike other professions like advertising, sales or law where honesty is no longer expected — in journalism, credibility is currency. We don’t expect our newsmen to lie to us — not intentionally, not wittingly — and finding out otherwise is disheartening.

My video was quoted a couple of times, most notably in an article by Oren Persico in The 7th Eye, Israel’s media review website. With this minor brouhaha, I hoped the Israeli media would look at the big picture, understand the impact doctored footage makes on the viewers, and draw the appropriate conclusions. Apparently that was not the case, as Channel 10 chose to suspend the newscaster that ‘got caught’, while knowing full well this practice continues.

Today, on Channel 2 another such incident was revealed when newscaster Oren Weigenfeld wanted to show an interview “we conducted an hour ago” but the footage that was played was not the ready-for-air version, but the raw material where it is quite clear he is not the one conducting the interview, but acting for the camera while a pre-taped interview is being played.

H/T: Ynet

Tonight on Your Telly: Creative Atrophy

I don’t watch much Israeli TV these days, but when I do I am usually insulted by what I perceive as a general lack of effort. One specific trend that seems to catch on, be it within the actual shows or during their commercial breaks, is this notion that the creative people have decided to call it quits and just copy the latest viral video they stumbled upon on YouTube. Zero creativity, zero added value. Copy and paste.
This YouTube-Copy-and-Paste trend is in its infancy and so I am unable to eloquently dissect and analyze it, but suffice to say it feels inauthentic and corrosive in its nature – and yet very typical of this falsehood of a culture we are gradually becoming.
And so if all that I can do is point to it – pointing I shall:

Excerpt from show: Dancing with the Stars

Show promo: Shavua Sof

TV Ad: Shekem Electric

Note to self: Might need to watch these videos again.

Israeli Photoshop Disasters – Pnai Plus Magazine

Not sure this qualifies as a Photoshop Disaster but for sure putting an image this careless on the cover of Israel’s prominent TV-Guide-like magazine must amount to something:
[singlepic id=255 w=525 h=678 float=center]

[singlepic id=257 w=200 h=400 float=right]Israeli model Miri Bohadana looks right at her digital camera on last week’s Pnai Plus magazine – but her reflection stubbornly refuses to look back. From a technically perspective, capturing an image from a screen is quite difficult and usually not worth the time and effort, thus adding the reflection afterwards is quite fine. It’s just that the image added needs to look like it was taken from the point of view of the digital camera held by the model – and not the camera held by the photographer. This is why we can see the outer-side of her arm and her misdirected gaze.