If done right, crowdsourcing is powerful stuff – allowing people to instantly collaborate on global projects. We saw some great examples last year, with both YouTube and Vimeo (backed by LG and Canon respectively) asking people to contribute content toward building one cohesive story. YouTube had the clear advantage of both reach and pedigree – backed by big Hollywood players Ridley Scott (Alien and Blade Runner, among other gems) and Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland). The basic idea for ‘Life in a Day’ was for people to submit video captured on July 24, 2010. They received over 4,500 hours of footage sent from 192 different countries, whittling it down to a 90-minute (edit much?) film that premiered on YouTube and Sundance. Critical response has been overwhelmingly positive, though in my humble opinion, the brand positioning of LG: Life is Good (But is it? According to the film, life is good, mediocre and sometimes horrifying) seems to have been lost in the shuffle.
Over on the Vimeo front, ‘The Story Beyond the Still’ embarked on a slightly more rigid exercise. Vincent Laforet, an early adopter of HD DSLR filmmaking shot the first piece of a narrative, asking filmmakers to submit the next chapter of an ongoing story. Also premiering at Sundance, the end result worked as an interesting piece of content, but more importantly a demo of what can be done with a Canon in the right hands. Even with its limited reach and its clunky, forgettable title, ‘The Story Beyond the Still’ still seems the more targeted of the two campaigns, reaching the exact niche audience (aspiring filmmakers) that Canon wants to engage with.
So which is better? Does it matter? I’m just excited to see social media and film play nice together. It’s about time.