The Bathroom at the Edge of the Universe

Thursday, June 28th, 2007

Last Saturday was spent in and around a fake, semi-functional bathroom in the middle of a sound-stage. In a city of a million real bathrooms, there’s something odd about building one from scratch. Especially if it’s supposed to look real and worn in. But the economies of advertising allow such expense, and the production machine is greased for building fake realities. Every time I enter one of these spaces within a space, I feel a bit like Arthur Dent when he first sees the planet building room on Magrathea. It’s amazing, creepy, and confusing.

In this spot’s case, the line is fine between professional polish and what the people of Youtube are capable of. After-all, it’s just a bathroom, a camera, and an idea (in that order). The only difference is that this will get on TV. But if the internet is the next TV, or if they become one and the same, then this distinction is gone. There will always be a need for high-paid think-tanks and production values to get you to buy stuff, but as time goes on I bet everyone will have to get scrappier in their tactics.

Three photos:

The Bathroom at the Edge of the Universe.

Framing a shot.

The director’s mellow dog.

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