And the winner is…

As promised, we bring you the winner of the Vimeo Weekend Project to produce a silent film. Vimeo, the video-hosting site, has these regular weekend competitions inviting new videos to be uploaded on a particular theme, and this time chose silents. The process seems to be a bit confusing, as many just submitted any kind of video in the hope of getting noticed, while others submitted silent but old videos – not surprising, giving the rapid turnaround demanded by the competition.

The winner, above, is Two Knives One Motive by Tyler Capeheart, who says it was written, shot and edited within four hours. It lasts 3mins 19secs. See what you think.

The standard of some of the silents, both those newly produced and some of the older titles submitted, was higher than I’d expected. The video below would probably have got my vote – Guard Duty, by Andrew C, which makes a droll silent comedy pastiche out of the Call of Duty video game (being ignorant of these things I’ve no idea how one makes a new film out of video game software, but clearly this is second nature to some):

And then among the older titles, I was quite struck with Fleeting by Robin Brown, from 2008. It’s longer than usual, just over 15 minutes, and features black-and-white cinematography of a high order. There is engaging use of intertitles early on and some good performances, though I feel the film doesn’t quite know where to go with its theme, and the music is distracting. But it looks so good (the filmmaker says that his influences included F.W. Murnau):

You can find other titles in the Weekend Project section of Vimeo, though there doesn’t seem to be a link I can give you that will only have those films submitted for the competition. Anyway, good to see the several ways in which the art of the silent film continues to inspire.

5 responses

  1. Hey! Thanks for the Fleeting shout out! I understood I wouldn’t be considered for the competition. Obviously this was no “weekend project” but my film had been on Vimeo for a while and hadn’t found an audience. I knew if I submitted it, people who love silent films would catch onto it and hopefullly enjoy it.

    F.W. Murnau was definitely an inspiration when I set out to make this film. I had watched his film Sunrise on the big screen at a theater while attending film school at Chapman University and was blown away. There was so much thought put into telling the story through every aspect of the visuals… from the scenery to the long fluid camera shots to even some really trippy title cards. It’s camera work impressed me more than any other film I’d seen that was that old. I was more blown away by Sunrise than I was when I saw Citizen Kane for the first time.

    I understand how some people are distracted by the music but my take was to try to give the look and feel of an old silent film, set in modern times, which included using what I feel is some pretty amazing modern music.

    Thanks again for giving my film a mention!


  2. I hope a few more people find your film through this site, where I do try to track down what’s going on with the silent films of today as well as yesterday. There are many who would argue that Sunrise represents the peak of the cinematographer’s art (Karl Struss and Charles Rosher were the cinematographers on the film), so you were setting your sights high. Anyway, I liked the look of your film, and many of the compositions are real silent shots.

  3. Running about a month after this blog post was made, I’d like to say thanks for the film acknowledgment. I’d been doing cheesey machinima (films made in a game engine) since 2006, but the COD4 engine has been a recent shift in skill set.

    I confess I’ve only just found the refers list, where I discovered this site has linked in a whooping 4,347 hits (over 40 times that of any site I’d been able to list it with) – thanks guys ;-)

  4. Only too happy to oblige, though frankly I’m amazed at the 4,347 figure. Where is the refers list?

    Anyway, a great little film (machinima – I knew the term, just not how it was done), which gets the pacing and the pastiche just right. You should have won.


  5. thanks luke – i’ve linked in from my main guild site (they got only 120 hits – refers link for me is under the statistic bit on vimeo)

    anyway I will get around to make a “how to” on COD4 machinima by the months end (and i’ll post the link back for interested parties

%d bloggers like this: