Weekend Challenge: Variations on a Theme

Hey there, compassionate composers,

The Challenge this weekend is to begin with one object or idea (your theme), and change it over the course of your video. A theme in music, usually a melody, is occasionally repeated in an altered way, which creates a variation of that theme. Sometimes this means adding other instruments to create harmonies, or changing the rhythm of the original melody.

A great musical example is Ravel's Bolero, which starts with the theme floating from a solitary flute and passes it around with variations by multiple instruments. The melody stays the same, but the orchestration grows in volume and density. Have a listen at 0:12 vs 13:03 (but be prepared, it's quite a volume change!):

Let's take a look at variation in nature: you might say that all of these leaves are different shapes, but they are all still leaves. Great job, Oak tree! Thanks for helping me illustrate my idea!

Some examples of variations you could try:
- Film a short clip that loops, but alter the subject a little each time.
- Work with the same clip, but gradually change the way you edit it.
- Choose a word, then introduce synonyms one by one.

Feeling creative? Ready to go? Take a look at the rules, and get started:

+ Make a video about variations on a theme of your choosing. Remember that only videos made specifically for this Challenge will be considered.
+ Keep your video under 2 minutes.
+ If you add music, make sure you use a song you or a buddy created, or something from the Vimeo Music Store!
+ Upload and post your video to the Weekend Challenge Group by Tuesday, August 20th at 11:59 PM (EST).

All videos must be approved by the Vimeo Staff before appearing in the Group, so don't worry if your video doesn't show up at first; we'll get to it!

The winner of this Challenge will receive a free Vimeo Plus account for one year, and one of our stunning new trophies!

If you're already a Plus member, you'll get another year! The runner-up will receive an extra 3GB of upload space, Plus account or not.

Ready for a challenge?

Create a theme, and develop variations!

Accept this challenge


Such varying themes this week ;) We narrowed it down to way too many favorites, but these folks came out on top. Congratulations to pinggui films for their looping video, FIT:

Runner-up this week is What a drip!, a great concept by Kim Balouch.

Thanks for your submissions, and see you next week!



Justin Waldman

Justin Waldman

What a really fantastic idea for a video. Where to start?!


Tonelf Plus

OMG! great! I have to find time to do this this weekend

paul oh

paul oh Plus

Would using studio films as the visuals work or do I need to use original film content?

mary m

mary m Plus

Hi Cam, i am happy to join again the Weekend Challenge, need just a little more time.

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Lesson Summary

This weekend, pick a subject and mess with it! We're looking at themes and variations.

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