With the cost of bandwidth ever in decline, the likes of Twitter and Instagram have been able to introduce moving images as well as still ones. It's too soon to determine Vine's destiny in the crowded social network space (pun intended), but the Twitter spinoff certainly has potential—and the folks at Airbnb are looking to make the most of it with an ambitious project called Hollywood and Vines. "Help shoot a first-of-its-kind short film made entirely of Vine videos. If your Vine is selected it will be featured on the Sundance Channel and you'll receive a $100 Airbnb coupon."
The team at Airbnb will be calling the shots starting right now, at 8am PT, releasing instructions every hour until 5pm—ten per day—for four days straight (through Sunday, August 27). There is a 48 hour window for submissions for each set of instructions, and they will be judged based on several weighted criteria: Originality & Creativity (40%), Compliance with Instructions (40%) and Video Quality & Clarity (20%). In addition to inclusion in the final film, each of the 40 winners will receive a $100 Airbnb coupon.
We had the chance to speak to Airbnb's Vivek Wagle about their metaphorical journey:
Core77: Let's start from the beginning—how did this project come about?
Originally, we were looking for interesting ways to galvanize our Los Angeles community around the "spirit of Airbnb"—that is, creating amazing experiences and stories through sharing. When we landed on the idea of Hollywood & Vines, we realized that we could create a much bigger, more beautiful story if we invited our global community rather than just Angelenos. We realized that this was something that had never been attempted: not an ad, but a true work of art. It was a chance to use a new form of technology to explore the boundaries of collaborative creation. And we loved the poetry of linking the history of filmmaking (Hollywood) with the future of filmmaking (Vine).
Do you have any idea as to how this will unfold? Will shot selection take place in real time or after all of the Vines have been submitted? Do you expect to make adjustments on the fly, based on the public response and submissions?
This will absolutely be a frenetic, fun, real-time process. As far as we know, no one has tried anything like it! We will be assessing submissions as they come in, but we have given everyone a 48-hour window following each direction to participate. We have a multilayer editorial process in place to make sure that the scenes we end up picking will tell the final story as beautifully as humanly possible. We have high expectations of our community's ability to produce something great—we don't want this to be dumbed down.
Vine has proven to be a surprisingly versatile medium for storytelling, despite (or perhaps because of) its six-second time limit. What challenges do you expect to face in this larger-scale effort at crafting a cohesive short film?
The cohesion is the challenge! There are so many things that could go wrong. People may not understand directions. A particular technique could be too difficult. Some scenes may just not work. When the final story is put together, the visuals may be stylistically incoherent. We just have to roll with it.
How does the crowdsourced short film relate to Airbnb, beyond the fact that it will be related travel? Is it simply a social media experiment, or does it speak to a more fundamental cultural shift in web-enabled interaction/communication?
We don't want to give away the story, obviously. But I can tell you that, at its heart, it's a story about personal transformation and finding one's place in the world. It's what happens when you decide to eschew the boring and familiar. In the end, the raw, imperfect nature of the medium is part of the story. Journeys are important, and the end result is often unpredictable. I think we're safe in saying that no one can predict confidently what will come of this endeavor!
Do you plan to integrate Vine into Airbnb itself? And are you looking to generate more crowdsourced short films via Vine in the future?
We don't have any immediate plans to integrate Vine into our product. That said, we love the creativity and power unleashed by the six-second Vine format, and we are actively looking at ways in which we can tell great stories via Vine.