Making 5 by 5 Videos

Creativity through structure: experimenting with short video.

Earlier this summer a friend told me about the 5 by 5 video competitions on Vimeo. The rules are pretty simple. Create a 25 second video with five, five-second clips, using only natural sound.

To my surprise, I have found these constraints liberating. And inspiring. Doable.

It’s a little like making a haiku. You can only gesture at meaning, so somehow my need to control meaning is relaxed and I’m freed to explore the medium.

I made my first 5 by 5 with a group of students in the Uni 101 program. The 25 second video explored anxiety. The whole project took us about an hour and a half, start to finish, and generated some really interesting discussions on the visible manifestations of anxiety.

Recently I have published more 5 by 5s to my Vimeo channel , exploring other themes, or maybe just exploring some different kinds of visual imagery and auditory sounds. They are explorations of perceptions of nature and human doings. They’ve also been fun to make. And I feel things when I watch them. I hope you do too.

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