The Webby Awards bill themselves as “the Web’s highest honour”, and while that’s a pretty bold statement to make; few others try to distill a year of Internet into a fairly short award ceremony. This year’s big winners included Banksy, Kickstarter, and De La Soul, and as ever there were a lot of honours for video content too.
Organised by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, pretty much anyone can win a Webby award (thanks to the nature of the Internet) and today we’ll be taking a look at some of the best videos celebrated in this year’s awards.
Climate Name Change
Winner: Branded Entertainment Scripted
This rather thought-provoking little film takes a little revenge on those policy makers in the US who continue to deny that climate change exists at all, and proposes naming hurricanes and storms after these politicians rather than the generic names currently used. The film fuses a cheeky sense of humour with a very serious message to thrilling effect.
Leaked: The Internet Must Go
Winner: Public Service & Activism (Channel)
You know when a film wins an award for activism and public service, it’s probably worth sitting up and taking note. John Wooley has produced what he calls a “confidential” film performing market research for the big Internet Service Providers (ISPs). What follows is a beginner’s guide to net neutrality, and why it’s so damn important for someone like you, reading an article like this.
3D Printed Guns
Winner: Documentary: Individual Episode
Produced for Vice Magazine’s intriguing science and technology channel Motherboard, “Click, Print, Gun” as it is also known won a documentary Webby for best individual episode. The film takes a look at the story of the 3D printed gun movement, and the world of Cody R. Wilson who seems hell-bent on bringing working 3D printed guns to the masses. Read the full story on the Motherboard website, or click play and watch above.
Winner: Drama: Long Form or Series
Room 8 is one of five different films from the same script, written by Oscar winning screenwriter Geoffrey Fletcher who was tasked with writing a short film stripped of any stage direction. Rather than explain the premise, I’d recommend just watching it – it has after all won a short film BAFTA award, and now a Webby too.
Google+ Hangouts: Same Sex Marriage
Winner: Corporate Social Responsibility
Before same sex marriage was legalised in France, a movement sought to bring couples together using video conferencing – or Google+ Hangouts, to be exact. Regardless of how you feel about massive companies using such a personal plight in such promotional context, it’s hard to deny that the campaign must have had a tremendously positive effect for all those involved.
Winner: Animation (People’s Voice)
Rarely do we feature advertising in Stuff to Watch, but rarely do we see such brooding and well-produced campaigns. The advert, which faces up to the harsh realities behind much of the world’s food supply, was produced as a companion film to Chipotle’s new mobile game and isn’t afraid to share its rather serious message through the use of wonderful 3D animation.
Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee (Season 2)
Winner: Best Individual Performance
This isn’t the first time we’ve featured Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee in a Stuff to Watch column, and it’s also not the first time this particular video has been posted either. This particular episode sees host Jerry Seinfeld meeting Tina Fey, the mastermind behind so many of Saturday Night Live’s best sketches (and her amazing Sarah Palin impression) for a hilarious drive around New York in the best-looking car Volvo ever produced.
In Saddam’s Shadow: Baghdad 10 Years Later
Winner: News & Politics: Individual Episode
Ten years after the invasion of Iraq, Vice founder Suroosh Alvi returns to Iraq in order to survey the rather short-term effects of the Allied occupation. The film reconnects with the lead member of Iraq’s first heavy metal band, as discovered by Vice ten years ago when they filmed the documentary “Heavy Metal in Iraq”. If you enjoyed this, there’s a good chance you’ll like the rest of Vice’s videos as well as their latest short-form project, Vice News.
Winner: Experimental & Weird
Box is a demonstration of projection mapping on moving objects, and everything you see was captured by an actual camera rather than applied using post-production techniques. Not only is it experimental and weird (just like the category it won) but also beautiful, captivating and quite frankly mind-boggling.
Bob Dylan: Like A Rolling Stone (Interactive Video)
Winner: Best Editing
And now for something completely different! The video embedded above only gives you a taste of the genius involved in the interactive video produced for Bob Dylan’s classic, Like A Rolling Stone. Use the controls to switch the video while the song (and lip syncing) continues unabated, fitting each scenario almost perfectly. Hit up video.bobdylan.com and enjoy the whole thing, multiple times.
There are so many videos I couldn’t feature here, and you can explore even more (text, photography, design and beyond) of the nominees, honourable mentions and of course all-out winners at the Webby Awards 2014 winners page. Because I couldn’t resist, I’ve also embedded the Webby’s list of winning videos as a playlist below.