1. The Vimeo Fest + Awards have come and gone! For those who were lucky enough to be in attendance at the multitude of crazy awesome events over the course of June 8th + 9th we envy you so so much. For those of you who felt Make//Do and Danny Corey ruined the surprises/captured the categories better than anyone who was actually involved in the show could and decided to stay home to work on your yard, we thank you for your support. Recapping, below is a run down of the actual winners and Danny’s picks by category. Special thanks goes out to Danny for providing the excellently crafted posts that our millions of followers have been raving about and loved like their own child. (NOTE: Unfortunately, we were unable to cover all categories in time. Lord willing, next year we’ll provide full coverage!) 

    AWARDS BY CATEGORY

    Documentary 

    • Danny’s Pick: “Ray: A Life Underwater” by Danny Cooke
    • Award Winner: “Amar” by Pilgrim Films

    Fashion

    • Danny’s Pick: "Step, Clap, Go!" by Opening Ceremony 
    • Award Winner: "Mulberry Skirt" by Academy Plus

    Captured

    • Danny’s Pick: “Quad Time” by The Joy of Box
    • Award Winner: "SweatShoppe Video Painting Europe" by SweatShoppe
    Action Sports
    • Danny’s Pick: “Dark Side of the Lens” by Astray Films
    • Award Winner: “Dark Side of the Lens” by Astray Films
    Lyrical
    • Danny’s Pick: “A Story for Tomorrow” by Gnarly Bay Productions
    • Award Winner: "Symmetry" by Everynone
    Music Video
    • Danny’s Pick: "Simple Math" by Manchester Orchestra 
    • Award Winner: "Simple Math" by Manchester Orchestra 
    Advertising
    • Danny’s Pick: "Go All Day" by Colin Kennedy and Steve Berra
    • Award Winner: "JH_K- SWISS_KENNYPOWERS_MFCEO_VIMEO" by Cavier
     
  2. Vimeo Festival+Awards»

    Category//Documentary 

    When it comes to documentary films, there is a fine line between the good and the bad. Generally, the emphasis in a documentary is on story. They illuminate an amazing true-life story or profile an engaging, quirky character, or shed light on a little-known subject. In an effort to tell a good story, craft and style sometimes take a backseat in documentaries. Finding a perfect balance between the recognizable “documentary-feel” and a unique, well-crafted style seems to be the most important way to captivate an audience. 

    So many of the videos in the documentary category are missing that balance. Their stories are lost on shoddy camera work and poor editing (I’m looking at you, “Aquadettes”). Or it goes the other way entirely: the video will feature exceptional cinematography and a painfully boring story (“Living On Ice”? I’d rather watch Disney on Ice). With that said, I was pleased to see a few selections that have strong stories coupled with solid technique. Here are my two favorites below:    

    “Amar (all great achievements require time)” by Pilgrim Films

    Why this one? 

    Answer: Simple story. Well shot. Great sound. Engaging subject. 

    This vides is shot like a movie. Amar, a fourteen-year-old boy, is followed all day from his early rise at 3:30 a.m. to his bedtime at 11:00 p.m. There is no music or dialogue. There are no defining moments. It’s just a perspective piece on a young boy’s daily routine in an undisclosed country. The video is an honest observation of one boy’s life and a humbling reminder of how easy it is to take life for granted. And somehow the filmmakers managed to make ten minutes feel like three.  

    My pick:

    “Ray: A Life Underwater” by Danny Cooke

    Ray Ives is a retired professional deep-sea diver from England. “Ray: A Life Underwater” is a portrait of Ray’s diving career and his stunning collection of aquatic artifacts, reminiscent of The Little Mermaid. The video opens with Ray suiting up in an old rusted-looking diving suit circa early 1900s, maybe. He looks like an astronaut getting ready for a trip to the moon. The whole sequence feels very much like a period piece. The interview is intriguing (Ray sounds like Daniel Day Lewis in There Will Be Blood) and the photography is epic—the helicopter shots of an emerald-colored ocean are gorgeous. The coloring of the whole video is warm, even in the final shot, when we see Ray submerged in dark, unknown waters. I highly recommend this interesting, thought-provoking profile on Ray. It’s almost enough to inspire me to start diving.    

     
     
  3. Vimeo Festival+Awards»

    Category//Fashion

    Let me start by saying that I don’t know much about fashion and I don’t pretend to care. Now I can safely say that after watching the fashion category nominees, it’s possible that I care less.

    To qualify for the fashion category, a video must showcase a fashion or beauty collection or a trend using moving images, or it just has to suuuuuck. 

    I’m keeping this one short and sour: My pick for the fashion category is the group of adorable young ladies from “Step, Clap, Go!” by Opening Ceremony. This video is underwhelming to say the least. It’s too long. And to be frank, I might be able to step and clap better. But at least they’re cute? Every other video in the category features a skin-and-bones, pretentious model. Do yourself a favor and skip them all!    

     
     
  4. Vimeo Festival+Awards»

    Category // Lyrical

    I wasn’t too sure what the Lyrical Category would have to offer. To be honest, I wasn’t too sure what would even qualify. Turns out, it’s my favorite of all the categories in the Vimeo Festival + Awards. Here is how Vimeo defines the Lyrical category: A video that showcases the natural world or personal experience using a distinct creative style. Really?! That’s all I watch on Vimeo. 

    While this category was an absolute pleasure to watch, choosing my top pick to win was simple. Hands down, the best video in this category…wait, let me start that again. Hands down, the best video of this year is “A Story for Tomorrow” by Gnarly Bay Productions. Wowzer. I’ll be honest, this wasn’t the first time I’ve seen this video. It wasn’t even the twentieth time I’ve seen this video. I got hooked on Gnarly Bay’s videos last year when I caught a look at one of their seasonal videos, “Summer,” while searching Noah And The Whale music videos. I was blown away. Gnarly Bay videos are such a force. Little did I know that the seasonal videos, as beautiful as they are, were all just practice for the big one: “A Story for Tomorrow.” 

    The video is a travelogue of a young couple’s journey through Chile and Patagonia (possibly the world’s most interesting/handsome couple) that’s marvelously shot. The video takes the viewer on an emotional expedition guided by the voice of a wise South American man. The voiceover alone is beautifully written. The moment the viewer discovers that the narrator is the voice of the future is dramatic (3:13). The first time I watched this video, it shook me to my bones. The narrator asks, “Is it possible to be happy with this life?”  Uh, yea, I’m smiling right now. This video will connect with anyone who has an adventurous spirit. Watching a video has never made me feel so alive, so ready to go out and seek my own version of happiness. 

    “A Story for Tomorrow” isn’t impressive on a purely emotional level, either. On a technical level, this video is a DSLR user’s dream. It was shot on the Canon 1D and is full of beautiful movement, breathtaking time lapses, and grand, sweeping landscape shots. Just a few weeks ago, I spent a full day shooting time lapses of clouds. Gnarly Bay makes them look easy, and they’re not. All the gorgeous photography is enhanced by a slick edit. It’s expertly cut to the beat of two songs, emphasizing emotional moments along the way. This video inspires me to be a better shooter and editor, and it’s the perfect energy boost I sometimes need to tackle the day ahead. I think you’ll agree.

     
     
  5. Vimeo Festival+Awards »

    Category // Music Video

    Yuck. What a lousy group of videos. I found this year’s music video selections disappointing. There were times when watching them felt painful Don’t get me wrong, there’s something to like about each of these videos, but all in all, the nominees are unexceptional. 

    I enjoyed parts of Cults’ music video for “Go Outside,” directed by Isaiah Seret. I recently read Raven, the foremost seminal novel regarding cult leader Reverend Jim Jones. “Go Outside” features video from real news reports about the mass suicide and clips from the documentary about Peoples Temple and their raven-haired leader. In the Cults video, members of the band make green screen appearances, singing and dancing along with the Jonestown congregation. Trust me, the book was better. 

    Too many of these videos feature members of the band as actors. But they’re not actors, they’re musicians, and the crossover is awkward. “New Romance” by Miles Fisher spoofs the ’90s TV show Saved By the Bell with a violent twist. Moments of the video are humorous, but I can’t help but wonder: What’s the point? In the same vein, Foreign Language’s video for “Flight Facilities” spoofs ’70s television dramas and produces what Boogie Nights might look like if it fell into the wrong hands. TV On The Radio’s video for the song “You” opens with the band mates meeting at a diner to discuss their lives on the one-year anniversary of their break-up. Granted, the lead singer of TV On The Radio has acted in a few indie films, including Rachel Getting Married (which was horrible), but he’s known for his music more than his acting. “You” is a great song that deserves a better video.     

    The Karl X Johan video for “Flames” was well shot but boring. The Oh Land video for “White Nights” had cool art direction but absurdly long (as long as the video itself) and pretentious end credits. Eskmo’s “We Got More” video used neat motion graphics but not nearly enough to sustain interest for two and half minutes. The Apache video by Oneedo featured one of the worst songs I’ve ever heard. 

    Sorry for all the negativity. There was a small glimmer of hope in this category, and it came in the form of Manchester Orchestra’s video for “Simple Math.” The video is directed by Daniels, a duo of two young guys named Daniel who are producing some of the most innovative music videos in recent memory. This video put them on the map. Since working with Manchester Orchestra, Daniels has created music videos for The Shins, Foster the People, and Battles, all of which should be considered some of the best made this year. 

    The “Simple Math” video is a slow burn; if you commit to the story, you will be rewarded. The simplicity of the premise is what makes it so great: a guy loses control of his vehicle and crashes, and in mid-air he recalls memories of a painful childhood. It has an unbelievable charm—at times, it looks almost homemade, with all the in-camera effects. The measure of a great music video is how much it improves upon the song and, in this case, the song, which is powerful and emotional, is made so much more powerful and emotional by the visuals.

     
     
  6. Vimeo Festival+Awards »

    Category // Advertising

    The Vimeo Festival+Awards features an advertising category for the first time this year, and that’s a good move. A lot of what I see on Vimeo represents some form of branding or promotion: director/editor reels, music videos, movie trailers. It makes sense to add a category that’s specifically designed to honor these promos. 

    The advertising category is broad. Only three out of twelve videos actually advertises a specific product, and none of the videos were created for TV—at least not for the typical thirty-second spot we’re so used to. In fact, a lot of what’s represented in this category doesn’t feel like advertising at all. Instead, these videos feel like short films with clear plot lines and a developed story. Maybe this is a sign of things to come in the advertising world? If so, I wouldn’t mind it. These videos have less in-your-face advertising moments and more of an emphasis on creativity, story, and visual beauty.

    This brings me to my top picks for the advertising category.

    Sonic Sky by Drea Cooper is a fascinating, thrilling video in which the new Chevy Sonic is actually seen skydiving out of a plane. Segments of this video have aired on television, but the version on Vimeo shows the short film in its entirety. The pacing is so nice in this one: it opens up to a gorgeous sunrise, an ambient track pulsing beneath (sounds of crickets and frogs), and the voiceover comes in, a man’s voice, slow and thoughtful: “It’s something people are just born with…You just have some people that are just naturally adventurous.” Hot damn! I’m sold. Whatever it is. The piece proceeds to show a group of guys gearing up for a routine skydive. The big payoff comes when they push the Chevy Sonic from the plane into the white unknown—at first, there is total silence. Then a rush of sound bursts in and you see that the car is in total free-fall. The camera work is astonishing—GoPros cover every angle of the jump—and the video elicits a surprising amount of emotion for a car commercial. Ultimately, I think it appeals to the American dream: if you can think it, you can make it happen.

    Even though Sonic Sky is an impressive video, my pick to win this category is Go All Day by Colin Kennedy and Steve Berra. Gatorade and production company The Berrics collaborated on this short film to promote Gatorade’s Go All Day campaign. (Go all day to school, that is.) Two words can sum up why I love this video: single take. Watch the magic unfold as the steadicam glides through multiple indoor and outdoor locations on the grounds of one school, following a moving subject (professional skateboarder and Gatorade athlete Chaz Ortiz) amidst hundreds of rowdy background extras. There is even a sick trick at the end. On a purely technical level, this video trumps every other video in the advertising category. On top of that, this advertisement sends a positive message to young teenagers about the importance of education. The moment that seals this video for me as the winner is the tracking shot at 3:18—I don’t have a clue as to how it was done, but the camera manages to keep pace with Ortiz as he goes from walking down the stairs to skateboarding the hallways of the school. Amazing.         

     
     
  7. For the love of creativity & film, Make//Do and Danny Corey have teamed up to bring our version of the Vimeo Festival + Awards to you before the actual awards are given out on June 8-9. Danny has been dissecting and over analyzing each video in all 13 categories. From Advertising to Documentary, Danny will be picking winners for each category and telling you why they are the best of the best!  

    Make//Do is extremely honored to be working with such a talented character as Danny Corey. Now, you are not wrong to be wondering “who the hell is Danny Corey?”. Born and raised in the Philadelphia/West Chester area, we became friends over the years before Hollywood came calling and he moved to the Left Coast to pursue his dreams. Here is a little something to help you get to know him and his work:

    Danny is a freelance videographer and editor living in Los Angeles. While he’s embraced the west coast lifestyle of eating avocados and replacing the word “highway” with “freeway,” he still considers himself a true east coaster. For more information, check out his website at dannycorey.com

    Get ready to dip your eye balls into a deep pool of creative genius. Please sit back, fasten your brain in and enjoy the awards!