PressPausePlay – a documentary on technology in the digital age of artists – take time to watch this

by planetmitch2 Comments

Last week, I watched this fascinating documentary and then promptly sent it to my daughter who's very interested in pursuing a career in some kind of art. It isn't specifically aimed at HDSLRs, but it sure hits home to all kinds of artists including filmmakers.

“The artist always comes after the technology… The artist didn't invent the movie camera… in that sense, technology is great” Bill Drummond.

The documentary (should I really call it that because it seems to ask more questions than just documenting something?) puts all sorts of questions to you about what the digital revolution has done in terms of creativity (“anyone can go out and make a movie now… but it makes it a lot harder to break thru the noise” Lena Dunham – film director) and the ‘democratization of digital media' via the proliferation of the digital tools. It is especially interesting since the HDSLR revolution has contributed to the ability for anyone to create a movie (and yes, it isn't just the HDSLR – youtube and vimeo and the tons of video recorders (including smart phones these days) have all contributed). And how does one find the “next Hitchcock?” as it all “gets lost in this ocean of garbage” (quote from author Andrew Keen early in the movie).

As the artist Robyn in the documentary notes, you used to need to “at that time, you had to be around 30, 35, know people and have a little bit of money to be able to record stuff. Where as now, you can do it on your own computer and anyone can record music now.”

Or this quote from Moby: “it's software… so now any kid can use a cracked version or buy a version of (product name here) and in about 5 minutes do what took 6 months or years 20 years ago.”

The first ‘example' of how things have changed is the artist Ólafur Arnalds (whom I'd never heard of but my daughter has) blasted into notoriety by “Ólafur Arnalds mixes strings and piano with loops and edgy beats crossing-over from classical to pop.” (from wikipedia – I was struggling with describing his music) and PressPausePlay follows Ólafur as he prepares for a concert and discusses how he's emerged thru luck and talent. “I started making my music early 2006 recording my first album… I think only 3-4 months after I actually put some of the music online, I was playing my first shows and they were already sold out. So it happened very fast, it was not some years of preparation, it was just a few months.”

This is a fascinating look at our times and makes you wonder what will be coming in the next years. I highly encourage you to watch!


[tentblogger-vimeo 34608191]


The digital revolution of the last decade has unleashed creativity and talent in an unprecedented way, with unlimited opportunities. But does democratized culture mean better art or is true talent instead drowned out? This is the question addressed by PressPausePlay, a documentary film containing interviews with some of the worlds most influential creators of the digital era. @presspauseplay Facebook: you like the film you can support us by rating it on IMDB – Thanks!

via PressPausePlay on Vimeo.

Ólafur Arnalds' video that he mentioned

Since part of it was included in the documentary, and I hadn't seen it, I thought you might like to see it:

[tentblogger-youtube mYIfiQlfaas]

(cover photo credit: snap from the video)


  1. I watched the video and loved it but I have to say that I disagree with the statement that the “next Hitchcock would get lost in an ocean of garbage.” From my experience the Internet gives everyone three days to prove themselves great. I wrote a blog post about it here:

  2. Very captivating story in “PressPausePlay”. One thing that does rise to the top, is the mention of the population “settling into mediocrity”, which seems to run rampant in all corners of our lives. From food to art, products to experiences, the proportion of those items that rise to the top is a smaller percentage.
    I find that it’s not that people cannot afford to purchase quality, so much, but through the diversification of our lives we have spread our resources so thin by wanting everything.
    It will be quite interesting to see what happens over the next 35 years!

Leave a Comment