Filmmaker Casey Neistat was recently contracted by sports apparel giant Nike to create a short film about its Fuelband, a high-tech bracelet designed to keep track of our workouts. Nike was hoping to build social media buzz around a new ad campaign that featured the tagline, and Twitter hashtag, #makeitcount. Turns out Casey and his buddy Max “made it count” by using Nike’s money to fund a 10-day round the world adventure that saw them visit Paris, Cairo, Johannesburg and a host of other interesting destinations before running out of money.
The two men filmed their little excursion and the resulting short film can be found below. The video is a fantastic mix of truly great travel destinations interspersed with inspiring quotes from a variety of prominent historical figures. The combination of the two will leave you wanting to make your own round-the-world journey, although figuring out how to get Nike to fund it is an entirely different challenge.
Ever wanted to make a movie about your travels? Perhaps you already have? The Nomading Film Festival wants to talk to you. From now through April 2011, this new travel-focused film festival, based in Brooklyn, NY, is accepting submissions from aspiring travel-focused filmmakers everywhere.
The idea behind the Nomading Film Festival is simple. The fest’s creators “believe that stories caught on film, while traveling, are some of the most entertaining, educating, beautiful, and authentic. These are stories which should be shared, acknowledged, and awarded.” Their film festival is the embodiment of this ideal, and they’re striving to get everyone and anyone who likes travel to submit their own entry. Think you lack the movie-making skills to enter? Think again. The philosophy of the Nomading Film Fest is that we are travelers first and filmmakers second. Anyone with a simple point-and-shoot digital camera, Flip or iPhone, a love for travel and some basic editing software is encouraged to enter.
If you’ve ever dreamed of turning that vacation video or backpacking documentary into a reality, here’s your chance. Upload your 15 minutes-or-less video here (along with a nominal entry fee). Selections will be finalized by May next year and the festival will be held June 17th and 18th of 2011 in New York City. Get those cameras rolling!
No matter how many ways New York City is depicted in film, there is always another view that offers a surprise. Here is a link to a video by New York artist and filmmaker Jeff Scher. He writes the blog The Animated Life for the New York Times. As he says about this particular 2:06 minutes of visual artistry he created in 1975, there is a timeless quality about New York.
What Scher made more than 30-years-ago looks similar to the essence of New York City today. That’s not true about many places.
A few years ago when I was on a six-hour walking tour of Cleveland, I thought about how that city had changed since the 1960s when the Terminal Tower was the 2nd tallest building in the world. It was the world that Ralphie of A Christmas Story went to on his visit to Santa Claus. Higbees where Ralphie gazed in the window at animated wonder has long closed. Downtown Cleveland on a Saturday morning along Euclid Ave. is not a crackling place. I really love Cleveland. I really do. I’d live there if I didn’t live here. But if you did a video 30-years-ago of Cleveland, it would not look the same as today’s version–at least not if you shot it downtown. Maybe it would, if you squinted and imagined people.
Scher’s vision of New York City is a jazzy rendition of a city that no matter what happens has a constancy that one can count on year after year. Jeremy is capturing much of it in his weekly series “Undiscovered New York.” Plus, Scher’s film is a cool art piece besides.
The photo is from another one of Scher’s blogs, Reasons to Be Glad. The blog has other shots of New York City that are examples of the variety of intersting angles out there.
A few years ago when I was on a six-hour walking tour of Cleveland, I thought about how that city had changed since the 1960s when the Terminal Towers was the 2nd tallest building in the world. It was the world that Ralphie of the movie A Christmas Story went to on his visit to Santa Claus. Higbees where Ralphie gazed in the window at animated wonder has long closed. Downtown Cleveland on a Saturday morning along Euclid Ave. is not a crackling place. I really love Cleveland. I really do. I’d live there if I didn’t live here. But if you did a video 30 years ago of Cleveland, it would not look the same as today’s version–at least not if you shot it downtown.
Scher’s vision of New York City is a jazzy rendition of a city that no matter what happens has a constancy that one can count on year after year. Plus, it’s a cool art piece besides. The photo of a bus and a taxi is another Scher creation and a feature of his blog “Reasons to Be Glad”.
When I watched the trailer of One Day in Africa, the latest documentary of Brook Silva-Braga, the resonance of village and city life in most African countries was immediately evident. It’s a resonance that often doesn’t make headline news. It resides in the pattern of each day that starts before the sun comes up when Africans, in particular women, get busy.
The shot of women pounding grain comes to mind. When I lived in a Gambian village for two years as a Peace Corps volunteer, the thwack of a wooden pestle against a mortar as it removed husks from grain was like a heartbeat.
What Silva-Braga shows about African life is that it has rhythm and cadence and is not totally embroiled with AIDS and poverty. There is another theme to explore, one that involves the complex melding of African traditions with the modern world.
Sure AIDS, poverty and violence do exist, but they are not what Brook Silva-Braga set out to show in his second film project. His first film, A Map for Saturday, was a documentary about around the world travel–his and others. That film included every continent except Africa.
One Day in Africa is a companion project in a way, but the focus is different. In this latest project, Silva-Braga got up close and personal with his subjects– six Africans, both men and women, whose stories are typical of the stories of others who live in this vast continent. [For the trailer, keep reading.]
These six could be like any other six, but in their typicality, their uniqueness also comes through. Athough their lives may not look anything like ours, the essence of what they are after is recognizable. How they resonate in their own lives is an alluring tale.
Titus, a store owner in Kisumu, Kenya has just reopened his store after it was ransacked during the presidential election. For him, life is about moving forward.
Howa, a young woman in Farge-Fundu, Niger starts her household chores at dawn in a place where it’s hard to imagine that anything could grow in the dry landscape.
Bridgete, a pregnant woman in Lilongwe, Malawi is hoping for a son and is unsure how she will get to the hospital since her husband is a bit lackluster about the idea of driving her to the hospital in his taxi.
Sali, a university educated woman in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, has high expectations despite living in a mostly male dominated culture
Osman, a merchant in Fez, Morocco, has many “brothers” who help him sell his goods to tourists.
Brahim, a farmer in N-8, Mali, feeds a family of fourteen from his efforts
From the snippet I saw, part of the film’s charm and interest lies with Silva-Braga’s questioning of the subjects. As they go about their day, his voice is heard asking them questions about how they see their lives. Through the interactions, the viewer is led into the intimacy of conversations that are similar to the swirl of dialogue that happens around us every day. Conversations about life, hairstyles, work and the mundane.
Look for the film’s screening schedule on March 1 at the One Day in Africa website. It will be making the rounds at various film festivals.
Brook Silva-Braga graced Gadling with a stint as a guest blogger in 2007. His posts, grouped together as the series “Across Northern Europe,” are a thinking person’s missives about aspects of travel. Reading them is also a look into Silva-Braga’s head, not a bad place from which to view the world.