Video a-go-go

While many online foodies eventually find a certain niche for themselves—cheap eats, late-night dining and so forth—Matthew Dillner is more of a “hyperniche” kind of guy. He makes video blogs documenting the best places to eat near NASCAR racetracks across the country, focusing largely on upscale options. Recently, however, Dillner took a rare non-racing trip to catch a performance by the Punch Brothers in Asheville, and he decided to give the French Broad Chocolate Lounge a visit. Not surprisingly, he was quite impressed.


As more and more people become comfortable with using online videos as a means of communication, it’s only natural that businesses and groups would want to get in on the action. I don’t mean making videos—heavens no!—I mean getting other people to make promotional videos for them in exchange for prizes. Here’s a great, and seemingly well-intentioned example: The Asheville Yoga Center’s 30-second video contest.


When it comes to short, entertaining, do-it-yourself ad campaigns for local businesses, one Asheville based media outlet was actually a few years ahead of the curve. Who was it, you ask? Just a little outfit known as the Mountain Xpress. Here a video promo filmed for the 2007 Asheville Film Festival. That’s practically a generation ago in internet time.


Speaking of ad campaigns, how about a locally made one for something less tangible than any specific product. Like an ad for the idea of healthy shopping, for instance. That’s exactly what Asheville-based Red Herring Puppets have put together, as part of the UNC-TV childhood fitness special Let’s Go Shopping With Read-a-roo.


Of course, not every arts project in Asheville is quite so … safe. Take, for instance, the recent Freaks of Asheville Pageant. The event featured the “spectacular, nutty, and hilarious” antics of local folks vying for a spot in the 2011 Freaks of Asheville Calendar. (Possibly not safe for work due to suggestive themes and language.)


Although it’s become the tradition here on Video a-go-go to end on a song, this week I’ve decided to change things up a bit, and end on a dance instead. And while it was tempting to revisit local techno contra dancing, it was ultimately this video by Asheville Contemporary Dance Theatre that earned the blog-closing spot.


Each week, dozens upon dozens of interesting local videos are uploaded to YouTube. It’s a lot to keep up with. Did we miss a particularly interesting, recently uploaded local video? Share it by leaving the videos URL (but not the embed code) in the comment fields below. Also, please mark it Not Work Safe if there’s any controversial content to the video.


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