An Hour with /SCTV/'s Rick Moranis Page 9

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I'd put myself in two of the camps you mentioned earlier: I'm both a collector and an educator. I like to have the stuff, but I also like telling people - or showing them, or having them listen to stuff I think is cool - so they can get interested in it.I do a lot of time killing by reading on the Internet. I've found the ability to move around quickly from research tool to search engine to blog to been-published periodicals. It's just amazing how much information I can read in a short amount of time. The only hard copy I subscribe to is The New York Times daily and a couple of magazines like The New Yorker. I still like to get a newspaper coming in.

Ah, you gotta get that newsprint on your fingers.Gotta get a little newsprint on your fingers every day, I think. And I like to look at the ads, the whole thing. But I kill a good couple of hours daily just reading all over the place, and I'm one of these guys who will cut and paste and link something, or send a piece along that reminds me of somebody. If there's something that I think is a must-read for somebody, I'll send it to them and really piss them off.

Now, the audio version of that is that somebody gives you a mix of songs, or whatever. And when video gets to that - when somebody can send some files to my TV with 3 minutes from Conan O'Brien and a sketch they saw here and a song they saw there - when the files and the clips start moving around as easily as they are with MP3 files, I think that's when it'll take on a whole other level.

At this point, it's a matter of compression rates, since videoclips take up so much space. It's still difficult to download an hour's worth of a TV show or movie quickly and efficiently.People are doing other things with their time and their money. Some people are downloading music, and things are really fragmented. But back when I was working in radio and growing up and listening to music, people were still buying singles, buying 45s. Teenage girls were buying Top 10 records, and people were buying albums. And, undoubtedly, you'd wind up disappointed because an album would come up with two good songs and eight bad ones. Now, not dissimilar to that, you can watch an hour-long television show, and there's one good sketch in it, so why invest the hour for one good sketch when you can bypass the whole thing and just get the file on the good sketch? But what you need is the discerning critic and the aggregate and the point of dissemination.

You don't watch much TV, do you?News and sports, mainly. And I surf like everyone else does. But AOL has this thing called TV's Top 5. It's a great 2-minute way of watching some of the best moments of the 4 hours of TV you didn't want to sit through the night before. Now if there were some sort of video aggregator, a sort of a Drudge Report for TV, where a collective of people could take the very best of everything and repurpose it, then that would take video to the next level.

I think E! had Talk Soup, which sort of served the same function . . .That's a good point. E! originally had that, yes. Talk Soup is a perfect example of that.

I think they had started to broaden the scope from just recapping talk shows. Soap Net has a show like that for soap operas, too - Soap Talk, co-hosted by Lisa Rinna.You're right.

Well, it's a big job for somebody.Tom Shales. For somebody who sits on the sofa all day and watches television shows.

You mean, somebody else has got to do it.Right.

Down on Download

As I sit here, I'm surrounded by at least 500 CDs, and I still buy a lot of stuff, whereas a lot of other people are more inclined to want to download things for free, and I want to feel I'm giving the money to people who deserve it.What's interesting is that my kids went through the download thing, and they don't do it anymore - not because it's illegal, but because it's sort of redundant.

Actually, the music that they're interested in are bands like Phish, who have free downloads or sell their CDs at their concerts. They've sort of circumvented the whole problem by catering to a market that's outside of that world and loyal to them.

A lot of bands go on tour all summer, and they'll let you purchase and download all the shows you want. It's acceptable now.Not too many people had a problem with selling blank tape. The unit that I still have in my kitchen - the one that's always tuned to QXR - is a Denon stereo system that has a three-CD changer and dual cassette decks. Now why are they selling me two cassette decks if not for me to do some dubbing? [laughs] So whether I'm dubbing from CD or tape to tape, I've got a factory here if I want to use it.

The real die-hard Phish Heads that go to my kids' school will burn their friends copies of concerts that they've bought directly from Phish. And nobody's got a problem of selling CDs. The argument is a little more complex than just "no downloading." So they cultivate their fanbase, who will buy their merchandise and their tickets, and they're in a different business than rock & roll stars used to be in.

Do you still listen to much popular music at all?I listen to either classical or jazz. Occasionally when I'm in my car - which, living in New York City, isn't that often - if I'm in the mood, I'll scan around to look for some contemporary, for lack of a better word, music. But I often wind up disappointed and will end up on a classic rock station for a song or two. And then I'll hear something I recognize from having played it a thousand times when I was a DJ and don't want to hear it again. Or maybe I'll listen to it and it'll bring back memories. But I don't love the music that's out there now, I have to say.

Actually, one of the most recent things I've done - I've always written songs. And about a year ago, out of the blue, I just wrote a bunch of songs. For lack of a better explanation, they're more country than anything. And I actually demo'ed four or five of them, and I'm not sure at this point what I'm going to do with them - whether I'm going to fold them into a full-length video or a movie. But, boy, I had a good time doing that.

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