In the first post in this mini-series, we talked about the influence of code sprints on our video production process. In order to apply our learnings from these experiences we had to synthesize a broad knowledge base which includes design thinking, traditional video and film production, and even musical composition and improvisation techniques. One critical turning point came when we participated in Transmediale in 2011 and produced The Future of Art.
The Future of Art: An Immediated Autodocumentary (AKA Video Sprint)
At Transmediale we met Adam Hyde, the originator of the Book Sprint. Up until we saw how Adam was talking about his work we hadn’t settled on a convincing name for our process. My background in art theory and film history had birthed the almost-German-in-its-complexity mouthful “Immediated Autodocumentary”. We could tell Adam was onto something. Despite having been born more than a year ago, our process finally had a name.
Delivered in Beta: The Video Sprint Prototype
But we’re telling the story backwards here. Rewind to almost a year earlier. The first prototype for what would become the Video Sprint process occurred during a 2-day Open Design workshop at the Betahaus during Social Media Week Berlin 2010. We came into the workshop looking for an angle on how to interest workshop participants in our project Postcards from Berlin.
It quickly became clear there was a more interesting story at hand. This was our first encounter with Makerbots, laser cutters, bio-plastics and Arduinos. Maker culture and the Open Design movement inspired us!
We decided to focus on telling the bigger story behind the workshop. We hit the ground running on the second day, and shot, edited and wrapped the video within the next three days. Before long our video Delivered in Beta was posted on the popular design blog Swiss Miss. Within about a week the video had over 10,000 organic plays. Here’s what the long tail has looked like since:
Delivered In Beta – Vimeo Plays Statistics
Needless to say that traffic spike got our attention. We wanted to learn how to get that kind of response again.
The Future of Money – Vimeo Plays Statistics
The Future of Art – Vimeo Plays Statistics
In many ways the last 2+ years have been about repeating and refining the process. It’s not all about plays either – it’s about maintaining high quality while travelling at high speed. We’ve come to understand the mechanics of how to produce meaningful and sincere videos under the pressure of extreme deadlines. Inside the framework of the Video Sprint process we’ve prototyped various different transmedia formats under very different circumstances, from workshops and conferences, to trade shows, festivals and crowdfundings.
Most importantly, we’ve had the privilege to gain the trust of major brands, government culture organizations, non-profits, foundations, and individual crowdfunders in the process of making our own work – telling the stories we want to tell. This is the most rewarding aspect of our work and why we love what we do.
In our final post in this 3-part mini series, we’ll take a look at the key features of the Video Sprint process and reflect on the close relationship our work has with events.