Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Geek in Black: Barry Sonnenfeld Comes Out From Behind the Camera to…Vlog?

barry2

For many years now, one of our regular attendees at the D: All Things Digital conference has been award-winning movie and television director, producer and writer Barry Sonnenfeld, who is–as it turns out–a not-so-closeted geek in his spare time.

(He also appeared onstage in 2006 at D4 in an interview with Walt Mossberg, which you can see here.)

In fact, the man behind movies like “Men in Black” and TV shows like “Pushing Daisies” (and who likes to sport a Stetson and cowboy boots 24/7) does a gadget review column for Esquire magazine called “The Digital Man.”

Now he is branching out to a vlog about his geek passions on Crackle, which will appear every two weeks from wherever he is–either from his homes in East Hampton, N.Y. or Telluride, Colo., or from movie or TV sets.

And, compared to the cinéma vérité style of BoomTown (translation: shaky filming and bad sound), Sonnenfeld’s vlogs are pretty high quality, although they are not too overdone as those from Hollywood types always are, and it’s hard not to admire the editorial use of a martini.

Here’s his intro video vlog below, as well as one about a cross-country trip Sonnenfeld and his “analog” dog, named Lucky, took in a 2010 Ford Taurus SHO (super high output) and another about his experience helping his wife, Sweetie, cook for some film industry friends using the Traeger Professional Wood Pellet Grill.

Next week: A chain saw, although I hope Sonnenfeld will go light on the martinis for that demo.

From Crackle: The Esquire Digital Man Preview:

From Crackle: Ford Taurus SHO:

From Crackle: Traeger Professional Wood Pellet Grill:


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What’s happening is that we might, in fact, be at a time in our history where we’re being domesticated by these great big societal things, such as Facebook and the Internet. We’re being domesticated by them, because fewer and fewer and fewer of us have to be innovators to get by. And so, in the cold calculus of evolution by natural selection, at no greater time in history than ever before, copiers are probably doing better than innovators. Because innovation is extraordinarily hard.

— Mark Pagel, fellow of the Royal Society and professor of evolutionary biology, in conversation with Edge.org