There’s an old internet proverb. As YouTube is to funny cat videos, so Vimeo is to stuff that’ll make your brain go all inspired.
I lied. I just made that up. The proverb starts here.
Follow the white rabbit to YouTube and you’ll fall down a rabbit hole into a logic defying world where up is down, left is right and cats dress as sharks and ride robot vacuums. You can lose four hours to fits of childlike giggles and snorting milk out through your nose.
There’s nothing wrong with this, but sometimes you might want a little bit more from your productive procrastination day.
Arise, Sir Vimeo of Interwebs.
The people at Vimeo decided to do something different. To create something built around filmmakers. The focus was on creating a passionate and creative community with quality content at their core. Vimeo was the first video sharing site to enable HD video and as a result, became the choice destination for creators who wanted to showcase their precious projects with pristine pixel perfection.
The community aspect has been vital to the success of Vimeo. Everyone posting comments has to create an account and an avatar which helps weed out a lot of the potential problem posters. And it seems to work. Filmmakers and content creators are able to interact, ask each other questions and constructively critique each others films. With everyone having their own profile and associated videos, it’s easy to find a route in to inspiration wonderland by just clicking on the names of commenters.
The real greatness of Vimeo is unlocked through the discovery of passionately curated groups and channels which showcase the best content, spearheaded by Vimeo’s own ‘*Staff Picks*’.
‘Staff Picks’ is the perfect start for a mystery drive down the inspiration superhighway. Pages and pages of some of the best content Vimeo has to offer – from documentaries to music videos, animations and short films. It’s full of inspirational juju for your brainy bits. Go on, follow the link (in a new window) and make your first journey. Please don’t blame me for the hours of productivity you’re about to lose.
I’ll wait here until you get back.
See, that was fun. Hopefully you’re feeling a wave of inspiration already. To keep you riding giants, here are a few of the gems that have absorbed my time over the last couple of years:
“Split of a Second” by John Boisen & Björn Fävremark.
This is what Vimeo does best. It gives you the opportunity to connect to people around the world with lives and experiences completely different to your own. This is inspiring through the passion and daring of the documentary subjects. The opening sequence alone is breathtaking and hooks you immediately. It’s dramatically arresting with engaging cinematography and a fascinating subject matter. A glimpse into a completely different world (for me at least) and the psychology of a daredevil.
“TimeScapes: Rapture” by Tom Lowe.
It’s the amazing and arresting visuals of Tom Lowe that really helped inspire the crazy cascade of time-lapse videos which have spread across Vimeo. He was one of the first to use motion control (home-made no less) to create breathtaking astro-timelapse sequences that provide a completely unique look at the night sky. A look through his back catalogue (just click his name) reveals the evolution of not just a time-lapse photographer, but a fantastic filmmaker.
“Holi” by Variable.
Breathtaking visuals scored to perfection by New York based production company Variable. This staff pick has racked up an impressive 3.2 million views and it’s easy to see why. The slow motion photography from Variable is transcendent. It’s a showcase of exceptional cinematography from start to finish which encourages the audience to live within the moment, enveloped in an explosion of colour and culture.
“Woodkid: Run Boy Run” by Yoann Lemoine.
From brilliant, vibrant colour to beautifully crafted, crisp monochrome. This fist-pounding music video from production company Iconoclast captures a story set in a fantasy world of childlike excitement and imagination. Check out their other collaborations as well.
“Good Books” by Buck.
A wonderfully hallucinogenic animation created for a good cause from a place of love for film and literature. I love the organic, ever shifting style of animation and beautiful composition of the images and sequences.