There are a seemingly endless number of websites to choose from when it comes to sharing video, each with its own audience and style. If YouTube is the everyman’s stomping ground then Vimeo is arguably aimed at the prosumer market, with a focus on the arts and independent productions rather than watching nyan cat videos with your friends.
The overwhelming majority of the videos that end up in this weekly Stuff to Watch column are (unintentionally) sourced from YouTube, so today we’re shying away from Google’s monopoly in favour of the winners, nominees and stars of this year’s Vimeo awards.
Action Sports: Dark Side of The Lens
The winner of the action sports category dares to be different to the usual extreme sports “snowboards and trip-hop” films we’ve become used to over the years with the epic Dark Side of The Lens by Astray Films. Don’t get me wrong, snowboards and trip-hop go well together, but then again so do surfers and waterproof camera housings.
The opening scenes could be the start of a Sigur Ros music video, but soon it is revealed that this is a biopic as much as it is a sports film. The short has won fistful of awards at film festivals around the world, and rightly so.
Crossover by Fabian Grodde is a post-production masterpiece chock-full of metaphors that made to the final stage of Vimeo’s 2012 awards process. Despite missing out on top spot the short is still very much worth 6 minutes of your time.
The short was built from the ground up using a miniature reconstruction of a forest scene and a lot of post production work. The film might make you squirm if you’re not a fan of spiders, but then again that’s only because the animation is so good.
Captured: Light Painting Wi-Fi
Vimeo’s “Captured” category is perhaps one of the most interesting, accepting any film that “captures your own artistic expression or performance as the subject” – and what better expression of modern art than wireless Internet signal?
Using a stick, some LEDs, a device that detects wireless signal and a digital SLR; Vimeo user timo has attempted to visualize the signals buzzing around our head. Using long-exposure photography and steady hands, the team involved managed to earn a finalist position.
Remix: Rear Window Timelapse
The deserved winner of Vimeo’s remix category, Rear Window Timelapse by Jeff Desom is an incredible achievement on a technical level. Using one of the finest Hitchcock films ever made, a painstaking chronological recreation of the events in Rear Window is presented in time-lapse format.
I’ve definitely got a soft spot for Rear Window, but then so have this year’s judges. Everything you see happens in the same order as Hitchcock intended, and you can read a little more about the production on Jeff’s website.
Documentary: Living on Ice
This short documentary from Studiocanoe attained a finalist position in its category for documenting Ben Saunders’ 2011 polar speed record attempt. The film goes into detail about the excruciating process of saving weight, something Ben admits to obsessing about somewhat before embarking.
He’s attempting a similar voyage again this year, when he intends on leading a three-man team on a return journey to the South Pole on foot. According to Ben’s website it will be “the longest unsupported polar journey in history and the first completion of Captain Scott’s ill-fated Terra Nova expedition”.
Love it or hate it, advertising is big business. Move by Rick Mereki might be a commercial for a travel company (commissioned by STA Travel Australia), but it’s also a wonderfully produced minute of video that you’ll probably want to watch a few times.
In addition to succeeding on a photographic and technical level the film ticks all the boxes for a good advert, forcing the viewer to look a little closer each time they watch.
Be sure to check out the shortlist, finalists and of course winners of this year’s Vimeo awards. There are a few other categories not mentioned here including lyrical videos, music videos, series, fashion, motion graphics and narratives. Be sure to share your favourites, and let us know what you think of these featured videos in the comments, below.