Creativity in the Cloud: The Internet As Global Brain

Tiffany Shlain: I just published a manifesto that I called The Cloud Filmmaking Manifesto and in it I laid out what I think the future of film is, which is collaborative storytelling.  

So, I've just started this new film series called Let it Ripple: Mobile Phones for Global Change, and we rewrote the Declaration of Independence as a declaration of interdependence, and we posted it on the internet and we invited people to send videos and art work around the film.  We got entries from all over the world and we edited it together into this four-minute film . . . Moby did the music . . . posted it on the internet, YouTube featured it on their homepage . . . And this amazing thing started happening where people started translating it, volunteer translating it.  It's now in 65 languages.  Now we're making kind of free customized versions for nonprofits.  We've already made 80 free ones.

So I cannot tell you as a filmmaker how exciting this is to me.  I mean, the fact that I can collaborate with people from all over the world because of the cloud and we can work on movies together is so exciting.  So I'm calling it cloud filmmaking, and it really is collaborating with artists and just citizens and people who want to make something together.  It's about people participating and putting in their . . . part of their soul into this bigger creative endeavor.  We’re making 20 films this way over the next 4 or 5 years.  We're working on one called Brain Power right now, and we asked artists to send us images from all over the world about the brain and videos and we're cutting it together, and it just feels like I'm able to kind of edit together the human spirit.

Directed / Produced by Jonathan Fowler & Elizabeth Rodd


The future of film is collaborative storytelling, says Tiffany Shlain, filmmaker and founder of the Webby Awards.

Related Articles
Keep reading Show less

Five foods that increase your psychological well-being

These five main food groups are important for your brain's health and likely to boost the production of feel-good chemicals.

Mind & Brain

We all know eating “healthy” food is good for our physical health and can decrease our risk of developing diabetes, cancer, obesity and heart disease. What is not as well known is that eating healthy food is also good for our mental health and can decrease our risk of depression and anxiety.

Keep reading Show less

For the 99%, the lines are getting blurry

Infographics show the classes and anxieties in the supposedly classless U.S. economy.

What is the middle class now, anyway? (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs

For those of us who follow politics, we’re used to commentators referring to the President’s low approval rating as a surprise given the U.S.'s “booming” economy. This seeming disconnect, however, should really prompt us to reconsider the measurements by which we assess the health of an economy. With a robust U.S. stock market and GDP and low unemployment figures, it’s easy to see why some think all is well. But looking at real U.S. wages, which have remained stagnant—and have, thus, in effect gone down given rising costs from inflation—a very different picture emerges. For the 1%, the economy is booming. For the rest of us, it’s hard to even know where we stand. A recent study by Porch (a home-improvement company) of blue-collar vs. white-collar workers shows how traditional categories are becoming less distinct—the study references "new-collar" workers, who require technical certifications but not college degrees. And a set of recent infographics from CreditLoan capturing the thoughts of America’s middle class as defined by the Pew Research Center shows how confused we are.

Keep reading Show less