Live Streaming, User Generated Content Bring Would-Be Stars out to Lower East Side, NYC.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE / PRURGENT
Lower East Side, NY. September 12, 2011 – “What’s the most fun you can have in 10 minutes?” ask the creative duo behind oofu, a new and innovative storefront concept that doubles as a live green screen video production studio. In short, the answer to that question depends on what the individual wants to use the space for. Local bands, for instance, have been stopping by the new neighborhood haunt to use the space’s lighting, set, and “tricked out communication and compositing software” to record videos of their jam sessions. On the flip side, PR companies have brought their clients over for raucously fun photo shoots, while TV hosts have used the studio’s interactive gear to size-up and chat with some colorful residents. But the more mainstream draw lies in the company’s original idea: to make and live stream, in real-time, user generated content. In other words, it’s karaoke, impromptu performances, comedy and musical acts for the digital age.
Originally run out of a truck, oofu got its start two summers ago by pulling up their 18-footer alongside such heavily populated places in the city as the Highline. Like the current storefront—which feeds all its audio and visual content to passersby via studio monitors—the truck also shared its musical and karaoke performances with the gathering crowds, in effect advertising their (very often free) services. “We drew large crowds,” says Ryan Kovalak, one half of oofu’s founders. “An incredibly diverse group of people would come out to participate. And everyone always left with a huge smile on their faces.” After year two of the traveling truck, Kovalak and partner George Cooper set their sights on providing the feel-good sing-along (and self-expression) service year round, and found a storefront on 90 Stanton Street. It was here that oofu’s offerings grew from creating video fodder to providing performance/studio space for musicians, actors, hosts and even businesses. “The performances are always so lively and random, people love seeing themselves on camera, and you never know what to expect or who will come by” notes Cooper.
Oofu’s game-changing contribution to the world of user generated content and karaoke lies in its real-time live streaming component, especially attractive to fans of DIY uploaded content in the digital age. Not only will oofu continue to source talent and content via their traveling truck—plans include hitting up music festivals—but their aim is to create albums and internet shows from all the user generated goods. Recently, oofu was busy putting together a Christmas in July series, which features pitch-perfected layers upon layers of karaoke singers churning out the yuletide carols. And in this month, oofu will be hosting their new dating show - Date Me, a fun, cheeky chance to get hooked up LES style while getting famous, and its first contest, Guitar Star, where a 10-minute guitar jam session costs only $10. At the end of the month, voters will be able to choose their favorite performance online, and the winner will win a prize from oofu’s stash of goods.
As anyone will tell you, putting content online with unlicensed music is asking for trouble. Oofu preempted any such wrist slaps and cease-and-desists by licensing a set of popular, beloved-by-many hits (classic and contemporary), both for their Christmas-themed and regular offerings. Each performance—whether of original music or set to songs like P!nk’s “Don’t Let Me Get Me,” Blur’s “Girls & Boys,” Sinatra’s “New York, New York” and Jackson 5’s “ABC,” to name just a few—is overlaid onto Oofu’s virtual backgrounds (that’s where the green screen comes in), set against a mix of imagery that includes photographic content and abstract color and patterns. The resulting clip is a real-time, fun and rich multi-media experience, broadcast on oofu.tv and even made available to social networking sites. And, yes, it only takes about 10 minutes.
And, for $40, oofu will create a dynamic recording on DVD of each play session performance (whether individual or with a group) singing and dancing along to favored karaoke tunes. Oofu calls these “Karaoke VDO Play Sessions,” and they’re live streaming now through the company’s site: oofu.tv.
Oofu is a producer and marketer of content, and invites all emerging talent—artists, musicians, comedians, hosts and all karaoke lovers—to schedule a performance or simply drop by and do an impromptu performance. Oofu works with and promotes local talent, serving as a medium of self-expression and a vehicle for viral promotion.
The oofu storefront is located at 90 Stanton Street, NYC, and is open daily 5-10pm. Accommodations can also be made for most other time slots by prior booking. Oofu is also available to rent for film shoots, private parties and events. For more information, and to schedule a performance or play session please email: playoofu.tv or go online to www.oofu.tv/open
And, as ever, oofu is always on to watch VDOs/ performances (including a live feed) at www.oofu.tv