Our intention with the Reopen Challenge was to bring some light back into the world. But, even we didn’t know how far-reaching this effect would be, or how many impactful films would be made. There’s no greater example of this than Kyndra Kennedy’s Black.Matters, our judges’ winning selection for this year.
In filmmaking, it’s really easy for a project not to make it off the ground. At the beginning of pre-production, there’s a laundry list of things that can make you stumble out of the gate, which makes the production of Park Stories’ 8 part docu-series Prodigy even more astonishing.
For this edition of Musicbed Top 5, we’re going to show you sample films as inspiration for you to get started on your own journey. Each film is a great example of creativity under fire, showcasing creatives’ abilities to use their limitations and make them an advantage.
We’re all about creative constraints. In fact, we’ve explored the topic several times in blog posts and conversations with filmmakers, the idea that limitations can spark something in our creative brains to step up and take a challenge. But, even further than that, our constraints aren’t just a good exercise in creativity — sometimes they’re the entire reason to create. That’s why we’re excited to announce our first-ever Musicbed Challenge.
Getting to hear our artists’ music alongside incredible creative work is about as good as it gets. Now that we’ve launched Musicbed subscriptions and custom music, we’re seeing more creative content than ever and hearing music used in interesting new ways — so what better time to re-launch Musicbed Top 5!
We’ve been fans of Diego Contreras since before his breakthrough film Islands nabbed a Vimeo Staff Pick in 2013. Since then, his career has been on the rise, taking him briefly through one of the most well-respected ad agencies in history (BBDO), and more recently into the realm of professional filmmaking. Not long ago, he directed two stunning short films for The Lincoln Motor Company, Bloom and Open Your Eyes. And he’s done it all within two years.
The Oscar-nominated Body Team 12 would be a sci-fi horror film if not for the fact that it really happened. The short documentary follows the eponymous Liberian body team tasked with the most grueling job in the fight against Ebola: collecting its victims. Their work was dangerous and controversial; but more than anything, it was heroic.
What makes a short film a short film? If you asked us a month ago, we might have told you that a short film’s defining characteristic is, well, its shortness. But not anymore. For the past few weeks, we’ve been trading emails with Dr. Richard Raskin, a professor at Aarhus University in Denmark, and one of the most brilliant and active short-film theorists in the world. Not only does Dr. Raskin make short films, teach short films, and speak around the world at conferences about short films, but he also edits an academic journal about short films called, appropriately, Short Film Studies.
There are plenty of filmmakers exploring the blurred line between fiction and reality, but far fewer explore a much more interesting phenomenon: fiction that creates reality. The most iconic example being Orson Welles’ 1938 radio broadcast, “War of the Worlds,” which became instantly legendary for inspiring mass panic in listeners who didn’t realize the broadcast ⎯ a live reporting of a Martian invasion ⎯ was fake.
As we wrap up the second ever Musicbed Film Initiative, we’ve been blown away by not only the quantity of applications, but the quality as well. Thousands of filmmakers submitted ideas, and we didn’t envy our judges’ task of narrowing them down to one film.