YouTube may have greatly fuelled the online video revolution, but Vimeo has brought Internet film to a whole new level with its emerging technologies and tight-knit community of talented video buffs. Hosted by Ze Frank at the SVA Theater on Saturday night, winners were announced for nine different categories including Documentary, Music Video, Animation and Original Series, among others. The Vimeo team (operated by IAC) put on a mesmerising show by using the process of projection mapping, where visual graphics and sound collided onto a wall of platforms suspended at various levels, making for a 3D interactive stage.
Upwards from 6,500 videos were whittled down to 180 by Vimeo, which were then further narrowed down to 45 finalists (with five in each category) by a panel of distinguished judges including David Lynch, Roman Coppola, M.I.A., Morgan Spurlock of “Super Size Me” fame and filmmaker Vincent Laforet. Says Laforet, “Basically there are thousands of film festivals around the world, including big ones like Cannes, Sundance and Telluride—but this is the first time it’s really been done online. The cool thing is that this festival brings together people from all over the world that can’t make it to the other big festivals. It’s a new breed of filmmaking that’s beginning to evolve, and people are starting to distribute their films online. It’s a new generation of filmmaking where you make your own rules.”
Overall winners Eliot Rausch, Lukas Korver and Matt Taylor captivated the judges with their moving documentary, “Last Minutes with ODEN,” a short film about a man’s final moments with his sick canine companion. Andy Bruntel picked up the award in the music video category as the director of Liar’s “Scissor” video, where frontman Angus Andrew is lost at sea in a raft and bombarded by a shower of flying rocks. In the Experimental category, Chris Beckman scoured YouTube for days and creatively pieced together clips of people dropping their cameras on the ground for his “oops” video. Best Original Series went to Ted Tramper, whose “Break-Ups The Series” brought on laughs as well as tears (plus a very aggravated ex-boyfriend downing liquor in a tub for hours).
The notorious Neistat brothers were honoured with the Digital Maverick Award for their outstanding creative involvement in the online video community throughout the past ten years. As he accepted the award, Casey commented, “Here’s a quote from Francis Coppola, he said this 20 years ago: ‘The great hope is that one day soon, some little fat girl in Ohio is going to be the new Mozart and make a beautiful film with her father’s camcorder, and this whole ‘professionalism’ about movies will be destroyed forever and filmmaking will become an art form.’—I think it’s particularly poignant because I do think that all of that professionalism has been destroyed and that filmmaking has become an art form—and it’s with tools like Vimeo that make it happen.”
Narrative: “Thrush” by Gabriel Bisset-Smith
Documentary: “Last Minutes with ODEN” by Eliot Rausch, Lukas Korver, Matt Taylor of Phos Pictures
Motion Graphics: “TRIANGLE” by Onur Senturk
Remix: “BREAKDOWN The Video” by Kasumi
Music Video: Liar’s “Scissor” by Andy Bruntel
Experimental” “oops” by Chris Beckman
Original Series: “Break-ups The Series” by Ted Tremper
Animation: “Between Bears” by Eran Hilleli
Captured: “Fluid Sculpture” by Charlie Bucket