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Remember that time I was a puppeteer?

Ten years ago this weekend, I was the host / emcee of The New York Infringement Festival, a series of plays and one person shows held over Labor Day weekend in Greenwich Village. Someone (I forget who) had created this large puppet called Bushiva to parade around Washington Square Park. I don’t know if they had any specific performance planned, at least, I wasn’t given any direction when I was asked to help operate the puppet.

Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans that weekend, and if you remember, the initial government response to the crisis was far from adequate. Consequently, there were a lot of activist groups and politically minded individuals demonstrating when we arrived with this giant George W. Bush head. I decided to give Bushiva a voice right there on the spot and started fielding questions from pedestrians, offering satirical commetary on the policies and practices of our then president.

I’m not sure who shot and edited the video below, which was posted to YouTube some years ago and I came across recently. Even though the general public’s questions prompting the responses aren’t included, you can still get the idea. It would be great to have a look at the raw footage since I’ve never seen it, but I’ll take what I can get.


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Bushiva at YouTube.

Beat the Clock & Buy Advance Tickets with MoviePass

The title says it all, doesn’t it? In this video, I explain and demonstrate how to get around MoviePassCountdown Clock and why it works. This doesn’t violate MoviePass Terms Of Service, either; I explain that towards the end, but once they get hip to this, I’m sure MoviePass will make some changes. Most ironic is that while MoviePass may not be too thrilled about this video, it’s the smoothest MoviePass transaction I’ve ever recorded. Seriously, I wonder how many MoviePass users have ever checked in and got their ticket that fast.


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Beat The Countdown Clock and Buy Advance Tickets with MoviePass at YouTube.

I can’t front, I’m feeling pretty Damian Sandow-ish right now, but this is so face palmingly simple that I’d honestly be amazed if I was the first one to come up with it. You’re welcome.

Please be sure to check out the other articles in my series on MoviePass:

Why I can’t recommend MoviePass (and why I won’t be renewing my subscription anytime soon)

If you’ve read my other posts on MoviePass, it’s clear that overall I was happy with the service and how it was implemented for the first 11 months of my membership. Even with the Countdown Clock, many of you may find that MoviePass is indeed a great value that would suit your needs. The way the Countdown Clock was implemented and announced is only the latest in a string of ethically questionable practices that I have issue with.

Right off the bat, it was pretty impossible to recommend the service to anyone, despite how much value I was getting from it. Whenever I would tell anyone about MoviePass, they would ask, “What’s the catch?” at which point, I would rattle off a list. “So, the very thing MoviePass advertises as their service is pretty much bullshit,” is how people would basically respond to the list of restrictions on the “unlimited” service. I would contend that I didn’t believe it to be an intentional deception; the service was in still in “beta,” and I believed they were working towards offering what they were advertising.

Get back to me when they’re out of beta.

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How does MoviePass work (and what happens when it doesn’t)?

The video below illustrates this paragraph if you’d rather watch than read how it works. To use MoviePass, you open the app and find the movie show time you want. You can browse or search by movie or theater. Once you’ve decided what movie you’re going to, you have to technically purchase the ticket at the theater. I say “technically,” because even though you’re the one making the purchase, MoviePass is picking up the tab. Go to the theater and verify that tickets are available for the show you want to see. Open the app, find the show time and tap it to check in. A screen will appear with the details to verify. When you confirm, your app my ask permission to use your location, because you have to be within 100 yards of the venue to activate your card. Wait a few seconds for confirmation that your card is activated; the confirmation screen will also remind you what your home zip code is in case the kiosk prompts you for it. You’ll then have 30 minutes to purchase the ticket at a kiosk. Make the purchase the same way you would make a credit card purchase (you can even earn points for a theater loyalty plan) and that’s it. Not every purchase went 100% smoothly, but customer service always sorted it out without a fuss. I know this seems convoluted, but it’s actually much simpler in practice.


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MoviePass In Action (Sort Of) at YouTube.

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Why MoviePass Is Bringing Subscription Moviegoing To Theaters

For todays #ThrowbackThursday, here’s a video interview on TechCrunch TV with MoviePass CEO Stacy Spikes from about a year ago. Does any of MoviePass’ users think they have come closer to the product he describes here or further away from it in the past year? In light of the introduction of the Countdown Clock, the section from 4:10-5:05 sounds especially hypocritical.

TechCrunch

[tc_5min code=”517508063″]

MoviePass hopes to do for the theatergoers what Netflix did for DVD renters and streaming movies, which is to let them pay one monthly fee and enjoy as many movies as they want during that time. Moviegoers can watch up to a movie a day, or 30 movies a month — that’s not bad for a membership fee that costs on average about $30 a month. In an interview with TechCrunch TV, Moviepass CEO Stacy Spikes said the inspiration to do so came about after seeing how subscriptions worked in other segments of the video entertainment market.

“We’ve been looking at the theatrical industry for a while and had noticed that home video window is subscriptionized, the cable window is subscriptionized, and we believe that given the slight decline in going to the movies, that it’s a great opportunity to help drive traffic back to theaters, by introducing…

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