I came up with this concept as a reaction against the obsession and demand for perfection in everything as an obstruction to pure creativity – the kind we used to enjoy freely as children, before adults came and told us it wasn’t good enough. Inspired in equal parts by the DOGME film movement and punk rock ethos (and, strangely, “The 20-Song Game”), the idea is to allow for rapid and voluminous output of throw-away, non-precious creativity which is nevertheless soaked in integrity and passion. Just producing *something* is the aim, and to have fun doing it, as an outpouring of the artistic soul, “getting it out what’s in yo’ head”… with the integrity of intention and celebration of creativity for creativity’s sake and documentation of ideas more important than the ‘technical’ quality. In fact the “technical” quality of the end result is the least important thing; they are all classified as “demos” in that they are not supposed to be “finished products” as would be produced by professionals or for commercial goals, but literally “demonstrations” of ideas that the artist has, quickly put down and documented – they are to videos what trial sketches are to paintings. They prove that ideas, thoughts, beauty existed at least in the mind. So the objective is mainly: Just get it done. Share it. And then, without fuss or delay… MOVE ON TO THE NEXT!*
Some basic rules I set down for myself (intended as basic guidelines to keep within the spirit of the project, not dogmatic rules):
– audio can be from any time or source, but the usual intent is to produce ‘video demos’ for ‘audio demos’
– vast majority of *original* video footage must be filmed within a 24-hour period, where practical. Any amount of resource or previously recorded footage (that was not initially recorded primarily with this video in mind obviously), can be used
– basic concept always relatively simple (opposite of elaborate or pretentious “concept videos” which you have to somehow intellectually “get”)
– ‘realistic’ ; avoids portrayal of unnatural phenomena which cannot be simulated with real materials or needs a specific expensive or rare technology to produce, except where the intention is satirical or tongue-in-cheek (so yes, all your costumes for superheroes, aliens, etc are a-ok).
– basic post-production effects and editing techniques are permitted
– vast majority of editing, including major creative decisions, must be done within a 24-hour period (cleaning up, corrections, etc. not included and may take any necessary time). This is separate from the filming.
– no or negligible budget (<50€)
– no professionals i.e. people who make more than 30% of their income from producing videos, except for guidance, advice, helping out in some purely technical capacity, or working purely in an assisting role – and for no more cost than a nice cup of tea and (perhaps) a hot maeal. Professionals are great, but you don’t need them for demos. The main instigator, producer and person-putting-it-together should be the artist.
– they’re demos i.e. sketches, and are not intended to (and can’t) be perfect; if the technical brilliance outshines the artistic one or the excitement of the idea, SOMETHING’S GONE WRONG
– Sleep on it for at least a day and then review/correct before releasing
– if you, as the artist, are getting bored of it : STOP. It’s finished. Next!
– there’s NOTHING to stop you from making the “real”, “proper” or “good” version at some later point, spending as much time, money and using all the professional talents you can get your hands on (maybe tomorrow, maybe in five years, maybe never). And now you have a demo.