The Vimeo Staff Pick is quite a high honor in the world of online short films and documentaries, and today the company has bestowed its milestone 10,000th pick to Jeff Desom’s behind-the-scenes documentary, "HOLORAMA: An Optical Theater."
Along with his model-maker Oli Pesch, Desom creates miniature sets from some of cinema and television’s most iconic scenes (including "Twin Peaks" and "The Big Lebowski") and projects holograms of the characters into said location using digital rotoscopes of the characters from the scene and semi-transparent screen to reflect the digital image into the space. The mind-blowing exhibition can be seen in the Staff Pick above or by heading over to Desom’s Vimeo page.
Since 2008, around 6,500 "Vimeans" have been handpicked for the Staff Pick prize. One such winner was Orlando Von Einsiedel, whose short doc, "Skateistan: To Live and Skate Kabul," won back in 2010. Einsiedel went on to earn an Oscar nomination last year for the documentary "Virunga." Said the director of the honor: "The Staff Pick was the first accolade that the film received and it gave me some much needed confidence that perhaps we hadn’t totally screwed things up…That film opened up a lot of doors for us and helped pave the way for much of the direction my own career has gone in.
To further celebrate Vimeo’s monumental pick, Indiewire reached out to Vimeo’s Lead Curator Jason Sondhi to get the details on how the company picks its winners. Said Sondhi in an official statement:
"How we find videos is something of a secret sauce for each individual creator, but, at its most basic, it is about intelligently filtering work on Vimeo and leveraging relationships outside the site…Our team watches hundreds of videos every week, but tens of thousands are uploaded. This is a challenge. We have internal tools that allow us to detect films that are doing well in terms of views or likes, but that is less useful than you might imagine. Primarily we rely on the same thing that is available to every Vimeo user — our Feed."
"What do we look for? In short, excellence. That can be a fuzzy word though. We try to represent the diversity of videos that exist on the site, so that means featuring a wide variety of work…Some of our appraisals are standard: Judging the quality of the writing, editing, cinematography or acting, but most often I’d say we’re looking for a spark of originality, a video that that feels ‘new.’ Our responsibility is to expose the world to fresh voices and inspire the creative community, so keeping things fresh, pushing things forward is the highest virtue."
Click here to access the entire Vimeo Staff Pick archives.