John Herman is an actor/improviser/filmmaker/writer/ musician extraordinaire with an eye towards trend and relevance. In July 2006, he picked up a camera with admittedly “no plan, no direction,” and just started shooting things that interested him. The result was an experiment in internet media, in which John posted a new 3- to 5-minute video each Monday. The New England blogger also manages other aspects of his life on his personal website, including links to “Stranger Than Fiction,” the New Hampshire-based improv group he manages, his own comic strip, “The Old Man and The Whale,” and his band, “The Man Who Was Thursday Project.”
Although the content ranges widely from a really, really scary haunted house and a snobby film festival to a New Hampshire apple orchard and interviews with James Patrick Kelly, what I appreciate most about The Eye is its crystal clear format. The weekly posts follow one topic all the way through with a clear title (which always begins with “The Eye On…”) with links to items discussed below. Sometimes John takes on the traditional role of “host” and other times he remains behind the camera, conducting an interview or simply guiding the shots. Each show begins with a theme song intro – “You Don’t Want Yr Nails Done” by Panther, whose creative cardboard video can be seen here – and ends with a sometimes entertaining outro. You can also read more about the life of The Eye and about Herman on his personal blog.
I was particularly enamored by the Camprov video, which highlighted a summer camp that allows adults to play around with improvisation in a camp setting. Check out the intro, showing John in short shorts ala Wet Hot American Summer. And hey, they eat lobster at this camp – I’m in.