Saturday, June 30, 2007

Brad Winderbaum's Satacracy 88.9.2

The second part of the ninth episode of Satacracy 88 is up at This series is getting major buzz, now that it won the Emmy. There is also a report about it on the New York Times, and all major newspapers, I think.

In this episode Calloway (Marc Cittadino) recruits a recently brainwashed Arial Zim (Adrain Zaw) to the cause. A lot of information is thrown at the viewer in a big block, which should not work. But it does, because we identify with poor wounded Zim in the first few moments, and are entertained by how overwhelmed he must be.


Streebo said...

I've been watching Satacracy 88 via Youtube and I completely love it. Brad is a very skilled director and story-teller. I guess I'm about a full episode behind everyone watching through their website as Youtube seems to get updated last.

The episode (4) when 88 confronts Arial was my favorite so far. It was nice to see some of the more otherworldly elements at play. It reminded me very much of the "Superstring Theory" episode of Heroes where I felt the potential of the show was finally realized.

To put it simply - I read superhero comics. I like glowing stuff and seeing shit blown up via psychokinesis.

As a storyteller - I can't imagine what it must be like to let the audience decide the next course of the story. I can understand it as an exercise in storytelling and a challenge to one's skills to keep up - but there were a couple times when I loaded the next video and I thought, "what the hell were people watching?"

I think this accounts for the sudden introduction of three part episodes where the audience is given a decision only after the third part. Brad must have wanted to regain control of his story to a certain degree in order to make sure that certain events and plot points played out.

I dig it so far. My only recommendation is that it needs more glowie shit and super-fights! I love it.

Mitch said...

Brad-- I had no idea about the Emmy... that is spectacular. Best of luck with the rest of the series.

brad said...

Streebo, Thanks a million. It's always a challenge to know when and how much of the supernatural to bring in. When we first began, we constructed a universe that was filled with elements from many different genres. It's most fun for me when they start to collide, like in episode 4. The three part episode was our attempt to have content come ut more regularly. We're still experimenting with the form, and some of our new shows will begin following multiple storylines at the same time, so the vote for one will occur while another is released for viewing.

mitch, Thanks man.

Streebo said...


Hey Brad. I just wanted to be a bit more specific about some of the things I enjoy in Satacracy 88. I wish I had all of the episodes open to view so I could offer precise observations – but for now – whatever my memory recalls will have to suffice.

I love how the series plays like an almost Lynchian fever dream of structured mythology. Loyalties and motivations never seem obvious and I am always left wondering as to how it all links together in a Manichean model of good versus evil. Classic symbols of elixirs and glowing eyes abound to keep one ever unsure if these events are really happening or if they are all part of some delusion. Keeping these questions in the viewers' eye keeps the series engaging.

On a technical level – I enjoy how Brad lets some of the scenes play out – such as the murder of Angela's boyfriend. I expected a quick shot of the man being stabbed followed by a sudden cut (thank you) to Angela as she runs away. Brad subverts the expected a bit here – and stays with Martin as he chokes and twitches with a gaping bloody wound in his neck. A smooth reggae song plays over the scene adding a certain melancholy to the event as it carries us over to Angela running down the road covered in blood.

In episode 4 – 88 confronts Arial at some sort of secret club. I love how Brad uses a no-cut to swing around behind Angela as she is teleported inside the club – and the same technique is used to bring Arial and 88 out of the club. This is just a smart usage of filmmaking techniques at play in the context of a world where impossibilities such as teleportation and multiple android bodies are at play. After using a nice in-camera effect to create teleportation – Brad uses actual CGI graphics to create teleportation as Arial Zim moves around 88. In this one episode we see two completely different approaches to the same effect and it shows that Brad not only possesses complete command of filmmaking techniques – but also shows a reverence for the four-color world of superheroes where the impossible is commonplace.

I could ramble on and on about certain elements such as the way the scene of the girls laughing in the car is nicely subverted in an almost Tarantino-esque fashion ending the laughter with a sudden bullet in the face. I love the constant interplay of pure mythological symbols such as “the pill” representing the heroes call or hero's refusal. I love the eye in the hand of Arial Zim and was beyond pissed off when everyone voted to go with the guy with the crooked teeth instead of staying with Arial. I wanted her to stay with the guy with the eye of Horus in his palm. That is pure good superhero awesomeness! I thought Zim was a total badass until he went out like a complete wimp when captured. I like how the villains have stripped Zim of his power by removing his hand and in effect creating an artifact of potentially unlimited power using Arial's severed limb as a sort of “hand of glory”.

I enjoy Satacracy 88 on several levels and I look forward to seeing it play out. Keep up the good work!