At Vimeo, we celebrate all types of videos and video makers, from the totally novice to the completely professional. And while we love a good HD tilt-shift bokeh-filled underwater timelapse video, we also love simple videos of everyday moments, caught on the fly with small point-and-shoot cameras or cell phones and uploaded with little editing or post-production trickery. These types of projects challenge Vimeans to pay close attention, push their personal boundaries, and feed off one another’s creativity.
Over the years, we’ve launched numerous video projects that champion this more candid, off-the-cuff style of video making. Here’s a look at some of our favorite super-easy, super-fun projects, which will hopefully inspire you to go out and start shooting!
1. One Minute
With an oh-so-simple premise, this project focuses on cinematography and is designed to capture the moments in life that are often overlooked. The video must be exactly one minute in length, contain no camera movements (panning, tilting, etc.) or editing, and make use of original sound. When you’re done, tag it with ‘1 minute’ and upload to the One Minute Group. For some inspiration, check out James Adamson’s Light and Water video, which won a Weekend Project a few years ago.
Again, the rules are simple, but the possibilities are endless! The video must be composed of five 5-second clips and use original sound. A 5x5 is a great way to tell a short story, illustrate a scene, or communicate a mood. Perhaps you have some short clips lying around, but don’t have enough for a longer piece? Make a 5x5! When you’re done, tag it with ‘5 Vignettes’ and/or ‘5x5’ and upload to the 5x5 Group. Here’s a beautiful example by Eirik Solheim centered around the theme of ‘motion’:
3. Memory Bank or Vidblog
When people think of video blogging, they might think of an angsty teenager ranting in front of a webcam. Vimeo is here to show you that video blogging can be creative and artistic as well! Over the years, memory banks or vidblogs have become very popular on the site, as Vimeans have used them to document certain time periods or events in their lives. They can be set to music, make use of natural sound, record vacations, or just capture moments in everyday life. For more details, look at this lesson on the Art of the Vidblog. And here’s a Vimeo classic by Stephen Niebauer from his first summer in New York City:
This unique way of vid-blogging was invented by Vimean Justin Johnson. It makes use of quick pans or tilts at the beginning and end of every shot to transition between clips and give your video a fun, dream-like feel. Not sure how to swish? The Vimeo staff breaks it down for you in this tutorial. Here’s an example by Vimeo’s own Derek Beck:
This is a fun one! Using your DSLR, point and shoot, or cell phone (or any camera that isn’t specifically a video camera), tell your subject you’re taking a photo, but then secretly take a video! The goal is to see how long you can keep the ruse going. The results can be pretty funny, as long as you don’t make people angry! Here’s one where I got my family as they posed for our holiday picture:
6. Long Portrait:
The long portrait is similar to the fauxtograph, except this time your subject is in on it. Made popular on Vimeo by Clayton Cubitt, the long portrait takes portraiture photography and transfers it to video form. The result is a video that show a subject’s subtle expressions, mannerisms, and gestures. For inspiration, check out this album of Clayton’s long portraits. Here’s another great compilation of long portraits by Patrick Lawler:
7. Me Right Now:
Me Right Nows are like vid blogs, but more immediate and in the moment — they’re videos of what you’re doing right now! Think of them like video status updates. All you have to do is make a video that expresses what you’re doing at that very moment. That’s it! When you’re done, tag the video with ‘merightnow’ and upload it to the Me Right Now Group. As an example, here’s a Me Right Now by Karen Abad from a Vimeo meetup:
8. Vertical Videos:
Using your camera’s vertical orientation when making a video can provide a unique challenge and make for some interesting results. You may find that the vertical orientation better suits your subject matter if, for example, you’re shooting people or majestic scenery. Things can get a little complicated when you go vertical, especially when importing and editing, so take a look at this lesson for some tips. When you’re done, add it to the Tallscreen Group. To get pumped for verticality, watch this mountain biking video by infine trails in tallscreen:
It’s a new year, and maybe you’re gotten a new camera or resolved to experiment more with the one you already have. Whatever the case may be, one (or all) of these projects is a great place to begin.