Collaborating on Video - Find Inspiration from TED Talks

On-line sources for video content of all sorts, from artistic to instructional to experimental, are multiplying at a dizzying pace. Video collaboration, particularly collaboration "in the cloud," is aquickly maturing concept. And behind these sites for online video collaborationis thebasic motivation forfilm makers andgraphic artists to findnew muses andwider audiences.

Clearly there is no shortage of inspiration for those of us who are as passionate about video as we are about music, art, science, technology, and more. One of my favorite sources for such inspiration is the exceptional TED talks have been around for a long time now and many of us are in the habit of regularly visiting to check out the latest on-line releases.

On a recent web surfing excursion to TED, I came across an extraordinary piece featuring an exhilarating example of collaborative on-line video editing. (Videomaker has blogged on this topic recently: see Daniel Bruns' excellent blog posted August 8th on the phenomenon of leveraging HTML5 for music video production by bands like OK Go, Arcade Fire, and Danger Mouse.)

Some of you are likely very familiar with Aaron Koblin's work. Koblin's TED talk, Artfully Envisioning Our Humanity posted this past May is a marvel. If you haven't already, you really need to check out Koblin's TED talk. Koblin has built an onli[image:blog_post:13153]ne environment wherein artists and videographers can contribute to a collaborative video featuring the late Johnny Cash's final recording Aint No Grave (CanHold My Body Down). It's an astute choice, not only because this is a wonderful version of this songabout living on through one's legacy. Cash has been missed by many of us since his death in 2003. Koblin's choice of Aint No Grave is also astute because there is no holding down the creativity of the still image contributors building a video and embracing Koblin's site and his vision.

As more and more images are added to the montage, it is clear that this site is tapping into both profound reverence for the artist (Johnny Cash) and into an enthusiasm for collaboration invideo. The very nature of this project means that there is really never an end-product or a finished video, but rather iterative experiences that change with nearly every viewing, as long as the contributions keep coming and the video keeps evolving. Collaborative endeavors such as these inspire us to return again and again, to both add to and to admire the outcome. If you haven't already, you really should check it out. (Visit The Johnny Cash Project.)

Many video producers toil to perfect their craft in simple DIY studios at home, or in temporary rented space, or simply out in the world with their camcorder in their hand. Unless you're working closely with a cadre of fellow practitioners of the video craft (which luckily, many of you are), the work of video is usually less an act of collaboration and more often a solitary enterprise. You often shoot alone, edit alone, and release your video alone, hoping to capture a wider audience as your videos catch on via YouTube or Vimeo or elsewhere. But projects such as Aaron Koblin's remind us that we can do amazingly creative things when we work together.

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  1. One tool that will help with video collaboration as well as production is the KZO Video Suite. Although Im a bit bias, KZO Suite lets users of any level create or upload a video from any computer. Once its in, the video can be pushed out to be viewed, now this is part I like, viewers can talk about, review, comment on the video within the player. The base package of the Suite is free at