I recently learned about a new and very innovative video contest sponsored by Canon and hosted by the video sharing site, Vimeo. After seeing the impressive opening video here on Vimeo.com, my interest was further piqued. It’s called: “The Story Beyond The Still Contest,” and it allows photographers and videographers to “showcase their creativity in a new style of filmmaking that blends still and video images into a continuous cinematic piece begun by Canon Explorer of Light Vincent Laforet.” I would recommend anyone watching to turn up their speakers, because like most video programs (a perfect example is the show LOST), the audio really makes a difference in the impact of the overall story. And the video quality (especially in the dark scenes) is truly spectacular. I will also say, without giving anything away, that I would never do what one of the actors did in the first segment, but it is a fictional story so it didn’t really bother me.
Here’s how it works (the following text is directly from the press materials): Participants are invited to use the HD video capability of their camera to create short, two to four minute videos that tell a story based on the final still frame from Laforet’s piece, and then from each successive winning “chapter.” Videos can be submitted to and viewed on a dedicated site within the Vimeo online community before they are judged.
The “Story Beyond the Still” contest provides filmmakers with a unique opportunity to showcase their storytelling abilities in a new style of filmmaking utilizing an HD-capable camera to capture moving images while also demonstrating the social appeal of collaborative storytelling. To kick off the contest, Laforet collaborated with Grey New York to bring his interpretation of a still image to life in a short film entitled “The Cabbie,” which serves as the first installment of a seven chapter collaborative work in which each participant will be asked to interpret the previous winning photographer/filmmaker’s final still image to start their vision for the subsequent chapter.
In “The Cabbie,” Laforet’s interpretation begins on a still image depicting a teddy bear left on the sidewalk outside of an airport before telling the “Story Beyond The Still” that gives the viewer more to appreciate beyond the original moment the image was captured. Viewable exclusively on Vimeo at http://vimeo.com/groups/beyondthestill/, Laforet shot in stunning 1080p HD image quality utilizing Canon’s new EOS 7D Digital SLR camera.
“The concept behind the ‘Story Beyond The Still’ Contest was to find a way to involve people in the new realm of HD DSLR video,” said Laforet. “Working with Canon, Vimeo and Grey NY to bring the contest to light, there is tremendous anticipation to see how the story unfolds in this wonderful social experiment in filmmaking.”
Six winners will be chosen (one for each chapter) based on their submissions and will join Laforet on location to collaboratively film the final chapter of the film, In addition, winners will receive a choice of prizes including Canon EOS 7D and 5D Mark II DSLR cameras or select Canon lenses.
For complete rules and to submit “The Story Beyond the Still” videos participants can visit http://vimeo.com/groups/beyondthestill/. Projects will be judged based on how well participants execute the four criteria including:
1. Best incorporation of initial still and quality and evocative nature of final still
Each chapter winner will be selected by a three-step judging/voting process including the initial selection of 50 semi-finalists by a three member panel comprised of Vimeo, Grey NY and/or Canon U.S.A employees. Five (5) finalists will be determined by representatives from Vimeo, Grey NY and/or Canon U.S.A., and a distinguished panel of award-winning photographers and cinematographers (subject to scheduling availability) including:
Vincent Laforet – Director / Canon Explorer of Light Photographer
Russell Carpenter – Cinematographer “Titanic”, and “True Lies”
Rodney Charters – Cinematographer/Director of Photography FOX Network’s “24”
Shane Hurlbutt – Cinematographer “Terminator: Salvation”, and “We Are Marshall”
Stu Maschwitz – Filmmaker/Author of The DV Rebel’s Guide: An All-Digital Approach to Making Killer Action Movies on the Cheap
Rick McCallum – Producer “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace”, “Star Wars: Attack of the Clones” and “Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith”
Philip Bloom – Director / Director of Photography – Co-owner F-Stop Academy
Blake Whitman – Director of Community and Product – Vimeo
Nick Childs – Director/ Director of Content – Grey New York.
Following the selection of the five chapter finalists, their videos will be posted at http://vimeo.com/groups/beyondthestill/ where members of Vimeo will have five days to view the videos and vote to determine the chapter winner.
Below is a copy of the schedule for the contest from the rules page: