Zune Shoots the Moon

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Prelaunch October wildpostings were themed ``Music the way it wants to be,'' but it was November's ``Welcome to the social'' tag that set the backbone ethos for one of the two main prongs of the creative, the social films. 72andSunny shot 20 such films in New Zealand, at Cincinnati graffiti fest Scribble Jam, and during a concert they staged with rock group Eagles of Death Metal--all in the space of six weeks. ``You couldn't get a scripted thing to feel natural and real, and we couldn't cast people to pretend to be friends,'' says Boiler. ``We literally had to get into the world, meet people, follow them around and document that. For Microsoft, that's a loose marketing approach and a big challenge.'' Stills from the events, over 35,000 in all, became an enormous pool for retail groups, online teams and packaging teams to mine.

Capturing the films with a ``hope you'll get it'' approach makes the Zune Arts Program, where artists were presented ambiguous briefs and given much leeway, seem structured by comparison. 72andSunny commissioned both emerging and established artists to create films and print work as ``overarching parables about friendship and discovery'' bound by little more than that brief and, for the films, a music album from which to pick a backing track. The work resides on a site created by 72andSunny and San Francisco's Mekanism, with new work appearing biweekly, and eventually, it is hoped, crystallizing into a movement branching into events and exposure for artists. Boiler says the link between the megacorporation and the independent artist is tenuous yet strengthening, partly through a mission statement the agency is crafting. ``Microsoft really needs to value this relationship. We only get one chance to set the stage for a real commitment to this community.''
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