1. Trending on YouTube: A Norwegian Army Dance Troupe, An Epic Split and The Fox were among the top trending videos on YouTube in 2013, the site reports on their official blog. Kevin Allocca, YouTube's Head of Culture and Trends (cool title!) recapped the year on YouTube, noted that "with 80 percent of all views on YouTube coming from outside the U.S.,
the global community is driving pop culture unlike ever before." And while some viral videos help to bolster brands (such as Claude Van Damme's epic split for Volvo), sometimes even a viral video can't help at the box office (as was the case with "Telekinetic Coffee Shop Surprise," which made the top trending videos list, but didn't help boost the "Carrie" remake sell tickets.)
2. Unofficial Google + Film Festival: The Unofficial Google+ Film Festival (UGPFF), which kicks off tomorrow, allows film fans around the globe to participate. "This is our biggest year yet," said UPGFF Founder and visionary, Adam J. Cohen. "With live satellite events staged around the world -- New Zealand, Singapore, London, New York City, Seattle, Tijuana and Los Angeles -- we're pretty much following the setting sun and covering the globe." In its third year, the festival has partnered with Indiewire parent SnagFilms, which signed on as a sponsor. Screenwriter Corey Mandell heads up the screenwriter's panel and experimental filmmakers Max Schlesser and Conrad Mess head up the Mobile Filmmaking Panel. Find out more about the event here.
3. Vimeo: Vimeo On Demand has quietly launched a couple of handy new features, including the ability to save a credit card for faster payment and content ratings. Read about the new updates on Vimeo's blog.
4. Crowdfunding: Indie producer turned festival programmer and all-around indie film supporter Ted Hope is on a mission to improve indie film. He writes on his blog, Hope for Film, about how we should fund the work we love with the gift of crowdfunding and highlights recent campaigns for projects from Hal Hartley, Alex Winter, Steve James and Beth B.
5. Animating Chonmsky: Following the recent theatrical release of Michel Gondry's experimental
philosophy-animation documentary "Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy?"
featuring an animated conversation with Noam Chomsky, The Creators Project has posted "An Afternoon With Michel Gondry" video, which shows how Gondry animated Chomsky. Check it out here.