Tuesday, September 12, 2006

LonelyGirl15 Is . . . Jessica Rose

(c) Grant Stenfield aka Bukanator 2006


Silicon Valley Watcher.

I really thought this girl was going to be off the grid -- and would be found only by an in person sighting. But apparently, myspace is all knowing. It just took Virginia Heffernan first, LA Times article 2nd, multiplying press articles, and enough eyes on Bree to find her. Fascinating.

UPDATE 9am ET 9/13:
For those not up to date, two pivotal articles hit the web last night (and hard copy this morning):

NY Times: Lonely Girl’ (and Friends) Just Wanted Movie Deal. (Free reg. required) "Just"? That's all? Ok, here you go!

The masterminds of the “lonelygirl15” videos are Ramesh Flinders, a screenwriter and filmmaker from Marin County, Calif., and Miles Beckett, a doctor-turned-filmmaker. Many of the lonelygirl15 videos were shot in Mr. Flinders’s bedroom. Together with Grant Steinfeld, a software engineer in San Francisco, Mr. Flinders contrived to produce and distribute the videos so as to pique maximum curiosity about them.

LA Times: Lonelygirl15 Is Brainchild of 3 Filmmakers
It turns out the people behind the wildly popular website lonelygirl15 are not studio executives, Internet moguls or, as some suspected, Satanists. Instead, they are aspiring filmmakers who met at a mutual friend's birthday party in April: Miles Beckett, 28, a Web-obsessed medical school dropout; Mesh Flinders, 26, a screenwriter; and Greg Goodfried, a 27-year-old lawyer.
"Our goal was to tell a very realistic fictional story in this medium," Beckett said. He dreamed of using the various technologies of the Web, from comment boards to social networking sites, to both build a rich identity for a character and to let fans influence the story's direction.
"Our hats are off to the really impressive investigators," said Goodfried, who found himself on the hot seat when the news swept the Internet that an application for a trademark on the lonelygirl15 name had been filed by his father, Kenneth Goodfried, an Encino lawyer. "We really didn't know what to do," Greg Goodfried said.
As for the efforts to conceal the actress' identity, the team said they took precautions such as removing pictures of the actress from MySpace and the Internet. But throughout the furor, they said, she has been living openly in Los Angeles.

Well, apparently they didn't take enough precautions.
In hindsight, if they took a few extra steps, they may have prolonged the mystery:

  • They registered the lonelygirl15.com fansite on May 12, a month before the videoblogs started. This first piqued people's interest, thinking they could find her using the internet.
  • They filmed the both outdoor videos (but key here for the timeline, the 1st) in areas identifiable by botanists as likely central california.
  • They didn't protect their IP addresses, allowing the Phorum 3 to make the CAA connection.
  • They didn't really erase all of Jess Rose's internet pictures. Is Google cache unstoppable or what?

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