Archive for March, 2007

Hometown Baghdad to launch on

Saturday, March 17th, 2007

We at Chat the Planet are proud to announce that Hometown Baghdad will premiere on Monday, March 19th, on

Salon has a ridiculously long history (by internet standards) of amazing news, culture, and media coverage. And since we fit somewhere right in there, I think it’s a great match. Check out Salon on Monday for the webisodes. I’ll post them here, too, of course.

Read the full press release here
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Video Grabs from Hometown Baghdad

Friday, March 16th, 2007

Before our webisodes premiere on Monday, I thought I might share a couple of video grabs from the series. I hope that these give a taste of what’s to come. I keep thinking to myself, “The everyday life of regular Iraqis is the great untold story of the Iraq War.” We as Americans know so little about what a 23 year old student does when they get up in the morning. What do laugh at? What are they afraid of? Hopefully, this series will tell these stories. So enjoy the pictures and come back on Monday to hear these Iraqi voices.
Update: At the genius advice of Tish over at Ugotrade, I’ve added an audio clip of the song that is being played in the third video grab down. Click on the picture to hear what has happening when that frame was being captured by our cameras.
Adel playing poolAusama and friends on a rare outing to a restaurant

Click on the picture to hear the song!Saif and friends playing guitar
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Help us redesign our podcast logo

Tuesday, March 13th, 2007

After the dialogue on our blog about our choice of a background image for the podcast logo, we decided to give it another shot. But this time, we want you to redesign it. Since it’s for the iTunes podcast logo, it needs to be 300×300. And keep in mind, the logo will be tiny so make the font big enough to read. And since we really like the font that was used in the past logo, I’m including a PNG frame of the series open. Feel free to grab that and incorporate it. Send in your redesigns to me at and I’ll post them here. And by the beginning of next week, if we get one that we think is more appropriate for the series, we’ll use it.

As I get pictures in from our team in Baghdad, I’ll post them here so you can use those pics if you like.

PNG File

And you may want to read the legalese in our terms and conditions that says that if you give us anything, you’re giving us the right to use it.

Update: We have two pictures for designers to work with courtesy of our crew in Baghdad.

Photo taken by Ziad Turkey

Photo taken by Ziad Turkey

Update: We have received four more pictures of Baghdad. Thanks, Saif!

HB Launch Date Confirmed

Monday, March 12th, 2007

We have confirmed that we’ll be releasing the first three webisodes of Hometown Baghdad on Monday, March 19th. That date is significant because it is the fourth anniversary of the beginning of the war in Iraq. A lot has changed for normal, everyday Iraqis in these past four years and hopefully our series will show the world what their lives are like today. However dramatic and moving these stories are, we intend this series to be apolitical. Perhaps it will spur some dialogue or make a few people think differently. And that may be good. But as filmmakers and producers, we simply want to introduce these people and tell their stories.

After the initial three webisodes premiere, we will debut a new webisode on Wednesday the 21st and then again on Friday the 23rd. After that, a new video will come out every Monday, Wednesday and Friday thereafter for the next several weeks.

Podcast Logo

Friday, March 9th, 2007

As part of our distribution for this series, we’re  sending out each webisode as a video podcast delivered to iTunes or your favorite RSS Reader.  In order to get placement in iTunes, you need a logo for the series.  So another Chat the Planet team member and I took an iconic shot of Baghdad and superimposed on it the same echo effect that is used in our series open.

Video Podcast Logo

I think it looks good.  But it’s not too late to change it.  Any other ideas are welcome.  Post a link to your version in the comments and we’ll take a look.

Repost from my Avid Blog

Tuesday, March 6th, 2007

i’ve started a blog at to talk about issues relating to the production and post production of Hometown Baghdad. And i just posted this there but I think it’s relevant to a greater audience so here is the post reprinted in full:

With long form television content, it is very easy to make something look like a series to a first time viewer. Get a theme song, cut together a montage, hold for a second on each major character for a second as they flash a toothy grin and you’ve done it. But with a web series, especially shorts, this is much more difficult. With lonelygirl15, they tried to pass it off as a real video weblog so they purposefully didn’t do an open. We are ACTUALLY real but we want to be very clear about what we are from the get go. We have cut together a really short, simple opening that just shows an image of Baghdad and has the series name appear in a tasteful way. We’ve also decided not to throw up a card explaining what the series is. We’re confident that this is the best way - the series name and the subsequent episode names that appear should do enough to communicate that this is a series…not to mention the metadata that will appear next to the videos when they’re posted on various sites. Is there an example of a web series that has an opening that we can look at?

Hometown Baghdad nears launch

Thursday, March 1st, 2007

We at Chat the Planet are close to launching the web doc series Hometown Baghdad. Over the course of the next few months, we will be releasing around 40 episodes designed for internet consumption that will tell the stories of a couple of young Iraqis trying to get by in Baghdad. The episodes range from devastating to surprising to oddly humorous. It’s a bizarre mix. But it’s also closer to everyday life in Iraq than anything you’ve seen before.

So stand by for more info..