I’m a person who has always been interested in interesting people who say or make interesting things. Advertising used to be melting pot of these kind of people. Not so much anymore. I believe the art of short film making is where all the interesting stuff is being conceived and beaten into shape on laptops all around the world – sometimes on a shoestring budget. Historically, the price of producing slick audio-visual projects were prohibitively expensive and only the most dedicated – or maddest, pick your superlative – had the endurance to bring their visions to fruition. Today, thanks to affordable technology, the price of entry to this once exclusive club has dropped to almost zero. The only investment required is a belief in your own ability to make interesting things. That’s the good news. The bad news is you have to make or say something very, very, very interesting to break through the tsunami of sameness that infests our creative culture today. These films, I believe, are a good representation of what can be achieved creatively if one sets out with a good idea to start with – something that resonates with us as empathetic human beings. The film “Reach” by Luke Randall is a good example of storytelling that pulls on heart strings as well as electronic cables. Many people believe that technology is changing us and that we must keep up with technological change if we want to stay relevant. Rubbish. Our human responses to authenticity has always been the same – for countless generations. These films are authentic. That’s why they work so well. Artifice can only get you so far. Creativity about is building things that ring true. Short films used to be a “calling card” while prospecting for bigger projects. I believe they are now a standalone art form in and of themselves. Hope you agree. Enjoy.
Watching more than seventy live, perspective-changing TED Talks back to back for five days straight is nothing to scoff at. Let’s be honest: Your brain gets tired. That’s why TED’s curators program each session with short video breaks to give the mind a rest before the next set of talks. Funny, inspiring, silly, beautiful, here’s all the videos shown this year at the conference. Think of it as TED’s short film festival.
Pinnipèdes, by Victor Caire. Two fat, sleepy animated seals fight and love each other.
Wiggly Things, by Rogier van der Zwaag. An animated interpretation of philosopher Alan Watts’ lectures, about how we humans like to “break down the wiggliness of the world.”
Reach, by Luke Randall. A robot that needs to be plugged in in order to survive dreams of life outside his window.
Moving images, by Lorne Resnick. Lorne Resnick makes five-second video clips…
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Now and again, I come across work that makes me stop and stare. And stare again. And get jealous. Brilliant work from Danila Tkachenko who has won first prize at the 2014 Lens Culture Exposure Awards with his series of images of decaying post-soviet weaponry called “Restricted Areas”. Maybe it’s the adman in me, but I love the conceptual simplicity of the photographs combined with an elegant execution. No trickery. Just metal, concrete and dead ideologies all drenched in an ethereal daylight bouncing off the snow. Almost like infinity studio work. Absolutely love the series. Congratulations to Danila. Damn. Where’s my camera? Great work inspires people.
Kawika Singson is an extreme hiker and landscape photographer. To get the shot he risked life and limb. Thankfully, he only lost his shoes and tripod. Respect.
As we enter Remembrance weekend, our thoughts turn to commemorating the brave men and women who sacrificed their lives during the two world wars. We forget that war continues unabated in our world today and that the wounded are still forgotten. An embarrassment even. Canadian singer-songwriter Bryan Adams and talented photographer has produced a powerful series of images that remind us that war leaves scars that are more than skin deep. War wounds more than a soldier – it wounds whole societies for generations. Something we should all strive to remember this weekend – ‘War is a cowardly escape from the problems of peace.’ Thomas Mann.