Well, good morning. I hope you're off to a great start on this fine Friday morning. And if you're not... well, then let this column help turn things around and get you pointed in a positive direction. We've collected some of the best videos of the week, from inventive musical performances to some outstanding amateur filmmaking. Just sit back for a few minutes, and enjoy the quality video entertainment. Who knows... with my penchant for finding lessons in everything, you just might even learn something that will help your own video efforts.
Let's dig in.
One of the best ways for an aspiring young filmmaker (or an aspiring old filmmaker, for that matter) to stand out from the competition is to make use of a unique camera technique, such as a tilt-shift lens. And this week saw several videos employing camera techniques going viral.
One such technique is the always-popular time-lapse video--taking many still frames or one long video and condensing the action down to just a handful of seconds. Here's one filmmaker's look at over an hour of airport takeoffs and landings boiled down to about two and a half minutes:
Another video creator employed the same time-lapse technique for viral success, albeit for a decidedly less-industrial subject... his dog. Here's a dog growing up in just 40 seconds:
Neither of those videos above would have been very entertaining if you remove the camera technique--and both would have been significantly longer as well. By boiling a longer story down to a consumable length for most viewers, we're also able to show them a unique perspective on something they thought they already knew plenty about.
There are tons of great camera techniques being employed by brands and amateurs alike. Sometimes the most impressive is one of the oldest in the book: animation.
"Stay Home," is a more traditional animated film making the rounds on Vimeo this week:
But not all animation is drawn or painted... some is created with computers, and it can often be the most realistic kind of animation, as our next clip shows. WARNING: the film, "Loom," is disturbing... at least if you feel the same way about spiders that I do... but it's also a jaw-droppingly good piece of work:
Too many brands and individuals who want to get into video creation limit themselves to standard live-action storytelling. The truth is that there are a host of camera and filmmaking techniques that can grab an audience's attention and convey your message far better than live-action ever could.
To those of you who hate animal videos, you're probably going to just want to skip this section. And you'll need to skip it next week too, because there are more animal videos going viral every day. It's cool that it's not your thing, but I can't deny what might just be the single most popular variety of online video.
Like the dog who sticks out his tongue on cue:
Not a dog person? Maybe you like cats. Because I have honestly never met anyone who didn't like Maru. Maru is possibly the cutest cat on the Internet, and he's definitely the most beloved. And thankfully... he's back again this week with another new dose of hilarity:
Had enough of household animals? Why not see what the residents at the aquarium are up to:
I don't think there's any doubt that the otter is racing/following the little boy. And while I have no idea why the creature would do that, it's undeniably entertaining.
This week I also learned about a place called Jellyfish Lake. I'd never heard of it, but thanks to the quality video capture skills of Vimeo's Sarosh Jacob, I am now aware of just how mesmerizing it really is:
Artist Andrew Huang was hired by M Jeans to create a musical performance from nothing but blue jeans... lots and lots of blue jeans:
Saturday Night Live struck again last weekend, with another Justin Timberlake team up with Andy Samburg. It's their third SNL musical collaboration, and none of them are really safe for work, so you should know going in that this video is raunchy and full of sexual language. But it's pretty funny, as well, and has been viewed millions of times this week. I'm having trouble with Hulu's embeds right now, so you'll have to make due with a link.
Before YouTube, your cute kid could be the hit of the school play... or the church talent show. Now, thanks to the social and distribution power of the Internet, he or she can become an overnight sensation around the entire world.
Like this young man who has tons more talent than I ever will:
You might assume the trend of trick-shot videos is dying down, since there have been so many of them lately, but you'd be wrong. This week's trick-shot sensation is a group of young people using ping-pong balls:
Sometimes it's not only the talent that impresses us, but the fact that it comes from an unlikely source. Not all great talents look like great talents from the outside. Like this young man on Australia's Got Talent:
You don't have to create videos showcasing amazing talent. Even small businesses can look at these clips and begin to understand what makes viral audiences share videos. They want to be surprised... they want to be impressed... and they want to be entertained. "Talented kid" videos just happen to do all three at once.
Two of my favorite videos of the week just happen to be trailers. But they're so incredibly well-done, I simply had to share them, even though many of you have no doubt already seen them.
First we have the trailer for the upcoming new Muppet movie, which I wrote about yesterday. If you haven't seen it, check it out:
The second viral video trailer of the week worth watching is the eye-popping Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3:
I almost never have time or room for all the videos I find to be worth sharing, so here's a few more for your enjoyment:
- New NBA star Blake Griffin (who was just a rookie this year) is already making great choices in endorsements and commercial deals.
- Remember the Russian guy with the fascination for firearms? Yeah, he's back, firing a 40mm machine gun!
- This first person video of the Joplin tornado hitting a convenience store is terrifying (and is really more audio than video)
- This mother cat and her kitten are sleeping and hugging all at once.