Digital Video Project Ideas

Shapes

This is all about basic geometry and finding shapes out in the world. Maybe it’s the same thing in different shapes, like rooftops or street signs, or maybe it’s different things with the same shape.
+ Make a video where the primary focus is shape.
+ Keep your video under 2 minutes.

 

Conveying Color

Create a video that showcases each of the 6 (or 7) colors of the spectrum, using/portraying/hinting at each color at least once.

Keep it under 1-minute in length

 

 

Repetition

Create a video (in one minute or under) that addresses the repetition of every day life, a completely inorganic instance, or anything in between!

Example #1: Apple, Orange, Bananna

by Andrew Norbeck

Example #2 Circuits

“I was organizing the contents of an old cabinet in the basement and got inspired by all the electrical doodads I found inside.”

Charlie Huette

Example #3 Coffee Break by Max St-Germaine

 

Example #4 The Meaning of Motion by E.L. Crego

Movement and sound alters the meaning.
Looped frames with looped sound.
Only one time is not enoguh.
Only the picture is not enogh.

Music: “Self Encoding Sequence” by Schemawound (schemawound.com/)
Shot and Edit: A. L. Crego (vimeo.com/kannofilth)
Check here some gifs: (alcrego.tumblr.com)

 

Autobiography

Self Portrait

+ Create a video to introduce yourself to the community, but steer clear of the “webcam” shot.
+ Keep it from 2-3 minutes.

Show Us Your People!

Portray the culture you share with your family, group of friends, or community. Try to capture those stories, quirks and intimate moments that happen only in the space of your relationships.

Ghost Story

 Tell a spooky story in under 3 minutes!

Scary Shooting Techniques

Long Portraits

+ Film a long portrait in a single shot with no camera movement, at any length you’d like.

The Long Monologue

The Rules:
Film a long portrait in a single shot with no camera movement, at any length you’d like. Make sure to include something you could describe as a monologue.

5X5 The Great Outdoors

In only 5 shots, show what The Great Outdoors means to you. Use contrasting locations, shapes, colors, movement, etc. Try vary your shots (i.e. ECU, CU, MS, WS, EWS) and tell a story.

5X5: Pause

If you don’t already know, the 5×5 format is very simple: a 25-second video composed of five 5-second clips, using only natural sound. With those constraints, conscientious decisions and creativity really shine.

Our theme is “Pause” — with only 25 seconds, how will you decide to interpret the theme? Maybe you’ll share 5-second snippets of your day, like a micro-documentary, or you could go for something a little avant-garde, full of color and texture and subtlety. Anything goes, as long as it’s made of 5 clips, 5 seconds each, and has natural sound.

Compilation on a Theme

Pick a theme and download multiple videos from Youtube that fit the theme. Cut them up and create a compilation video by putting the clips to music.

Something Worth Noticing

+ Set aside some time for noticing — create a video around this theme.
+ Keep it under 3 minutes.

Your Challenge is to be an active noticer. To notice things, actively. You get what I’m trying to say. Keeping your eyes peeled and your wits about you is just as important a skill as smooth camerawork when it comes to capturing small aspects of everyday life.

 

Extreme Shots

Film a story using only (or mostly) Extreme Wide Shots and Extreme Close Ups.

One to One Hundred

+ Use only one second clips.

+ Use up to 100 seconds (1:40).

The idea is simple, but the possibilities are boundless! You can use up to 100 seconds to tell a story about your home, investigate a mystery, explore a deeply philosophical concept, make us laugh, make us cry, or just to make something beautiful. Maybe each second is very similar to the one before it for a photomotion look, or maybe they are very different, and you focus on varying your shots. Maybe your subjects are tiny, or you’ve decided to only shoot with your phone.

Home Sweet Home

Your challenge: Complete a love letter to your home (could be literal home, neighborhood, school, city or any place that feels like “home”).

Rules:

1. Must be under 1 minute.

2. Give us the name of the place.

(This assignment was inspired by a Vimeo Challenge)

 

Poetry Visualized

Make a film inspired by a favorite poem. Make sure you include the entire poem in the film or in the notes.

Haiku

+ Make a 17-second video with one 5 second clip, one 7 second clip, and one 5 second clip.
+ Use a haiku, either in the audio or with visuals like titles or text in the video.
+ If you add music, make sure you use a song you or a buddy created, or something from theVimeo Music Store!

As you may know, haikus are a type of Japanese poetry composed of just three phrases (or lines) with a syllable structure like the (not-so-great) poem above:

 

5 syllables
7 syllables
5 syllables
 

So, for this Challenge, your video structure should be similar to the poem structure, like this:

Just stick to that structure, and make sure there’s a haiku in the video. You should write your own poem, or use someone else’s with their permission. You can read the haiku, or with text on (or in) the video.

Thankful

+ Create a video list of things you’re thankful for, in under a minute!

Short Day in the Life Documentary.

Complete the entire production cycle and turn in a 1-3 minute Day in the Life story with complete notes, credits and appreciation. See below for inspiration.

Interview Somebody With a Good Story

The Rules:
+ Interview somebody with a good story.
+ Include at least one standard interview shot of your subject.
+ Keep your video under 3 minutes.
+ If you add music, use a song you’ve created or something from the Vimeo Music Store

 

Illustrate Your Interview with B-Roll Footage.

This is an individual assignment. Using the story interview that you made in a previous assignment, create B-Roll footage that compliments or illustrates the story. You may shoot this footage or use Creative Commons footage from the internet or a combination of both. You must visualize your shoot using one of the techniques we’ve learned in this lesson. Please make sure that you get your shotlist, script or storyboard approved by Mr. B before shooting or we will have to start over.

Step One: Brainstorm the keywords of your story. Close your eyes, listen, and let it come to you! Create a list of 5 keywords. Put these keywords in the notes section of your final video.

Step Two:  Organize your ideas that into a script, shotlist or storyboard. You could translate the story literally and recreate the plot, or use symbolism to represent key moments. Include these notes and shotlist, script or storyboard (no matter what you eventually settle on) in your notes section. This must be done before you shoot. Do not shoot first and then try to recreate the shotlist from your footage.

Step Three: Show me your shotlist, script or storyboard. Then I will approve your shoot.

Also, this B-Roll sequence must include:

  • The 5-shots method (ECU, CU, OTS, WS, Something Else) or you may use any 5-shots that best tell the story.
  • Good Composition (Rule of Thirds, no distracting elements, proper framing, visually interesting).

Look at these great examples!

 

 

 

 

Put your video diary of an adventure to music like these (shot and edited completely on iPhone)

Untranslatable

+ Create a video based on one of these words. Make sure you either title your video using the word, include it in the description, or use it in the video!
+ Keep it under 3 minutes.
+ If you add music, make sure you use a song you or a buddy created, or something from theVimeo Music Store!

Though we can read and understand the definitions of words, real or fictional, it’s often better to experience the word in some way. In the spirit of the meaning behind words, we’re challenging you to explore these untranslatable words with video as your medium, illustrating their approximate definitions, the moods they reveal, or the memories they surface.

 

So go ahead; pick a word from this list:

Duende — (Spanish) The heightened state of emotion after a particularly expressive artistic performance gives you chills, makes you smile, or causes you to cry.

Hyggelig — (Danish) This means something that has to do with cakes and sweets, cozy comfort with family at home, and candlelit darkness under blankets. Who cares if it’s hard to describe, it sounds amazing!

Jayus — (Indonesian) A joke so poorly told and so unfunny that one cannot help but laugh. We all have that friend.

L’esprit de l’escalier — (French) The predicament of thinking of all the things you should have said just after you’ve left the conversation.

Mamihlapinatapei — (Yagan) The wordless, understanding look shared by two people, each hoping the other will start something they both desire but are unwilling to suggest. Oof.

Mokita — (New Guinean) The truth everyone knows but nobody talks about.

Schadenfreude — (German) Pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others, which I’m sure you’ve all experienced while watching fail videos.

Make a funny video. Some classics examples here:

Illustrate a Story

 Record a story, and create a video around the audio from that recording.
+ Keep your video under 3 minutes.
+ If you add music, make sure you use a song you or a buddy created, or something from theVimeo Music Store!

First, get someone to tell you a story. This is the perfect chance to spend some quality time with your Mamaw, or reminisce with a stranger about the good ‘ol days. Record this story (with a mic or a camera) to use as the audio for this Challenge.

After you’ve settled on a subject and captured a story, you’re going to pick the visuals you want to represent that narrative. Close your eyes, listen, and let it come to you! Try this: jot down notes and sketch out ideas while you listen to the story, then go back and organize that into a storyboard. You could translate the story literally and recreate the plot, or use symbolism to represent key moments.

 

Literary Leanings

Take a piece of literature, and use it as the springboard for your video.

You could act out the plot of a favorite story, create your own version of a classic tale, or even use it as a simple kernel of an idea for something completely different.

Go read something, then make something!

+ Create a video inspired by a favorite piece of Literature.
+ Keep it under 3 minutes.

10-Second Holiday Video

+ Try to fit as many moments as you can into your 10 second shot.
+ Think of everything you do in a day, and how to make it all happen simultaneously. Maybe feature some decorating, people sitting down to eat, or kids opening presents.
+ Include as many people as you can (it makes the shot more interesting, but also so nobody feels left out)!
+ Following moving objects can help add fluidity to each transition (like our flying present!).
+ Rehearse your video a few times. It’s like choreographing a dance, and is bound to be tricky.
+ Don’t worry about getting it right the first time — outtakes are half the fun!

 

 

 

5-Second Video

Let’s see how much story you can tell in just 5 seconds! The format plays nice with humor, but these micro-films could be dramatic, spooky, romantic, or kooky. It’s up to you.

 

Video Tour of a Place

Some examples to inspire you:

The Two Minute Campus Tour of Ripon College from Ripon College on Vimeo.

Paris in Motion (Part 1) from Mayeul Akpovi on Vimeo.

 

Pierre Lelievre & Anthony Finocchiaro’ in INDIA from SEBASKATES on Vimeo.

East Somerville Community School Grand Tour from Somerville Public Schools on Vimeo.

Cook Up A Recipe  (Focus on the food!)

Instead of hosting your own cooking show, tell the story of the food itself. Consider the attached inspirations.

Here’s a list of suggestions to get you going:

1. Pick a recipe
What recipe do you want to share with the world? Pick one! As long as it’s delicious, you’re golden.

2. Choose a location
You don’t necessarily have to shoot in a kitchen. Find a place that compliments your ingredients with lots of natural light, or set up a simple studio with ample indoor lighting!

3. Prepare your ingredients and tools
Before you shoot, make sure you’ve got all the necessary ingredients measured out and tools prepared.

4. Prepare your equipment
Think about the lenses you’re going to use, and something to keep you steady!

5. Shoot everything
Cooking moves fast, and once a moment has passed it’s hard to go back, so make sure you capture it all. If the recipe allows for it, make the food twice and focus on different views each time!

6. Vary your shots
Editing is easier when you have lots to work with. Vimeo’s lesson on Varying your Shots will help you avoid staying in the same place for too long!

7. Edit it down
Lay out your clips in sequential order, make sure you’ve told the entire story, then, start cutting away at it.

8. Add text or voice over
Titles or voice over can add a useful instructional element to your video, and you may want to add those important measurements and instructions.

9. Mix in some music
Music can go a long way in carrying your piece. Find a song in Vimeo Music Store and add it into the mix!

Make sure to check out the lesson for a deeper look at how a recipe video comes together!
+ Create a recipe video!
+ Keep it under 3 minutes.

Scavenger Hunt!

The name of the game is this: incorporate all the things on this list into a single piece, in a style of your choosing. Would you create a collage of seemingly disparate objects, weaving them together with your editing style? Will you storyboard a narrative about barefoot twins that soar through the skies, dropping acorns on unsuspecting heads?*

The choice is yours — just stick to:

+ Use each thing on the scavenger hunt list at least once in your video.
+ Keep it under 3 minute long.
+ Feel free to note what/where each object is in your video, or leave us to do the work 😉
+ If you add music, make sure you use a song you or a buddy created, or something from theVimeo Music Store! If you do choose to use a Music Store song, please throw a link in the description.

 

POV Sports

Point of View (POV) is a shooting technique that shows the perspective of a scene from a character or object’s position in the setting, whether it’s seeing the world through someone’s eyes or experiencing the action of orbiting a person as a jumprope.

When you’re involved in the scene, the act of watching becomes more immersive than if you were watching everything as a bystander. The most common use of this technique is the “Leading Actor POV,” where the audience experiences everything through the subject’s eyes. Action cams work especially well for this, but you don’t need one. You do need a way to safely mount your camera.

But POV isn’t limited to views from the actor’s head. Think up some unique shots that really enhance the story you’re trying to tell. Perhaps you’re experiencing the world as a soaring bass guitar, or a delighted pup!

 

Memories Revisited

How do you (or someone you interview) remember a past relationship, event, trip or experience? Tell us a story.

 

Flashlight

Make a movie that uses a flashlight for lighting (

1 -Minute Max

The Cookie Caper Ian Macnab

Example #2 Winter Beach by  

Example #3: Early Morning Cyclists by 

 

Pedaling Past Sundown

 Start With Sound

The rules: record meaningful sound, pair with visuals afterwards.

 

Complete News Package

Requirements:

Produce a complete package–a story with narration, interviews, some natural sound, an on-camera segment, and well-composed visuals.

More than one minute, less than three minutes.

Examples:

Make a Personality Vlog

A vlog (or video blog) is a blog that contains video content. The small, but growing, segment of the blogosphere devoted to vlogs is sometimes referred to as the vlogosphere.

Some bloggers have included video content for years. However, vlogging is becoming more common as equipment becomes cheaper and supporting software and hosting and aggregation sites become more prevalent. Both Yahoo and Google feature video sections and many MP3 players, such as the hugely popular iPod , support video.

Some examples to inspire you:

 

Observational Documentaries

Observational documentaries eschew interviews, voice-over narration, and a soundtrack, and instead present footage of real life as it unfolds. The effect is a documentary that tends to show, not tell, and invites each viewer to draw his or her own conclusions from the film. Also referred to as direct cinema, this form of documentary emerged in the 1960s, with the advent of lighter weight, shoulder mounted film cameras and sync-sound recorders.

Make A Non-Profit Promo Video

https://vimeo.com/videoschool/lesson/345/how-to-make-a-non-profit-promo-video

 

How to make a video for non-profits (created for GlobalGiving) from What Took You So Long?on Vimeo.

 

Judy and Sophie’s Story – Helping Hands from Trillium Studios on Vimeo.

 

September Campaign 2012 Trailer: Rwanda from charity: water on Vimeo.

Call To Action

CREATE A CALL TO ACTION! It can be as straightforward as “Floss More” or as intricate as “Save the Manatees!” No act is too big or too small! Whatever you are passionate about doing, get the Rio community onboard! Make a short video (no more than 60 seconds) urging viewers to act.

Expository Documentary

Expository documentaries employ voice-over narration and interviews to disseminate information, and often, argue a point. This is the form of documentary you’re probably most familiar with.

 

Get on the Bus from Field Studio on Vimeo.

SKATEISTAN: TO LIVE AND SKATE KABUL from Diesel New Voices on Vimeo.

 

A Girl’s Life – In Kibera from Josh Hayward on Vimeo.

 

Scrapertown from California is a place. on Vimeo.

 

The Thousand Year Journey: Oregon To Patagonia from Kenny Laubbacher on Vimeo.

 

There are a lot of great expository documentaries on Vimeo! The Documentary Filmand the Socially Minded Documentaries channels are both great resources to get your non-fiction fix.

One Shot Video

The Rules:
+ Shoot a video in a single shot, no cuts!
+ Keep your video under 2 minutes.

 

 

Flash Mob

Produce a surprise flash Mob. Film it.

Timelapse

Make a timelapse video.

Resources:

Video Lesson on how to make a timelapse

Or just use Hyperlapse on your IOS

Still-Motion Storytelling

1. First watch the four part tutorial on still-motion storytelling (attached).

+ Use what you’ve learned in the Storytelling the Stillmotion Way series to tell the story of somebody who is doing what they love.
+ Your video should be one to two minutes in length.
+ If you add music, use a song you’ve created or something from the Vimeo Music Store, or With Etiquette.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Student Experiments in Multimedia Storytelling CONTACT: abearson@sanjuan.edu