The story beyond the still – at last

Around about a year ago, photographer Vincent Laforet, one of the world’s best photographers in my view and a pioneer of DSLR shooting, came upon an idea. He called it The Story Beyond The Still. The idea was touted as “the first ever user-generated HD video contest where photographers become filmmakers”. This week, to use photographic parlance, it all came into focus.

So what is it? Well, Laforet, in collaboration with Vimeo and Canon, thought it would be cool to make a short film, started with a still photograph. That three-minute prologue ended with another photograph, and other photographers were then asked to interpret that still and create the next chapter of the story.

Thousands entered, but only one story was chosen for each of the film’s final eight chapters. This week, the whole feature was put together. It’s 40-odd minutes in duration, but let me tell you, I’ve been hanging to see it complete for so long. The individual chapters have been available, but I wanted to wait. Tonight, I watched it and I was blown away. It was well worth the almost year-long wait.

It’s remarkable how the story comes together. It’s bizarre at times, but the ending is just brilliant. You have no idea how it will fit together until almost the final frame, making it one of the most gripping short movies I’ve seen in a very long time. Every step of the way, you’re just dying to know what happens next. I loved it.

I won’t say any more than that because each of you, should you decide to watch, will have your own interpretation. I’d love to hear them, too, so feel free to comment. And don’t forget to give Vincent some big-ups on his own pages, too, because he, and everyone involved in this inspirational project, deserves rich credit for creating something so damn cool. I’d love to see this idea of collaborative film-making take off, too. When multiple imaginations combine, this certainly shows that special things happen. So, here it is … I hope you enjoy it.

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