You might have seen a few news headlines last week about a Vine artist who captured his wife’s pregnancy over the course of nine months. The result was a six-second snapshot of a maternity that has become one of the most-watched Vines of all time.
The creator: Video producer and artist Ian Padgham (@Origiful), who has established himself as a leading content creator on Vine. His clever stop motion animations push the creative boundaries on the platform, and have landed him numerous features on top publications. Beyond creating and sharing his own art, Ian has collaborated with a number of brands – including 360i client truTV – to help bring their stories to life across social media.
Ian’s Vine for truTV:
We recently caught up with Ian as part of our “Influencer Spotlight Series” to chat about his approach to content creation and hear his advice to others on Vine.
360i: Where do you get the inspiration for your Vines?
IP: For a long time, I was looking at my work and thinking I needed a radical shift in my approach to production – but the great thing about Vine is that it is so quick and easy. Vine became a turning point for how I approach my content. I started out by creating a Vine every day before I went to work. Instead of laboring for days on content, I was able to just get something out there. Previously, I was worried that if I didn’t spend enough time on something, I wouldn’t make good content. But what I really like about Vine is that you don’t have to overthink things; you just let the inspiration come to you and create.
360i: Are there any emerging platforms that excite you as a content creator that you could see yourself trying your hand at?
IP: I’ve tried a couple – and they are fun – Vine remains my preferred format. The content and how people engage on Vine offers a very rich community and provides me a healthy environment to create and interact. What’s also great about Vine is that it is a quick and effective toolbox for producing media for other platforms. For example, Vines perform incredibly well on Facebook, because compared to a three minute video in your News Feed, a six-second video is a highly consumable piece of media that people will actually stop to watch.
360i: How do you choose which brands to work with and which opportunities to pass on?
IP: I am very fortunate that I am able to pick and choose what work I take on. In the beginning, I was taking all the jobs I was offered since I was still figuring out how this would work. Now, I enjoy taking on projects that I like with brands and ideas that I am excited about. I currently have a project with Sony in which I create one Vine a week and they are open to any creative that I want to produce. Some brands want specific messaging, calls to action and the like – but that just doesn’t really work on Vine. What people want is good content – and they don’t necessarily want to be pushed all of the brand messaging.
Another thing I look for in partnerships is the opportunity to travel and meet new people. A main factor that leads me to decline opportunities is when a brand only wants to do one video and only on Vine. There isn’t much point in doing a one-off to me, because what works best are projects with a long-term investment. I think a key factor in reaching consumers on Vine is long-tail engagement and sustaining conversations.
360i: What have you found to be most challenging working on Vine? What have you found most rewarding?
IP: One of the most challenging things for me was realizing that the strength of Vine is authenticity. There have been times where I’ve invested weeks in a single Vine. Once, I cut out like 250 pieces of paper animals and created a whole set for a Vine. It took me weeks to make it, and it looked awesome when it was finished, but it was a total dud and didn’t receive nearly the engagement I was expecting.
Another time, I was shooting a complicated Vine on my balcony and was having a hard time making it look right, so I took a break and just started filming cars go by and making it look like my hand was moving them. It ended up performing extremely well. So, I think the most rewarding thing for me is shooting something simple. It can be hard to explain to brands that less is sometimes more, but sometimes scaling back the ideas will actually help them perform better. It’s hard to storyboard out a Vine and have it actually work the way you want. The best and most rewarding Vines happen when you shoot them and they don’t go right, so you’re forced to figure things out on the fly.
360i: Where do you see yourself and your content in three to five years?
IP: It’s hard to say. Back when I quit my [day] job, it was a very difficult decision to make because you’re essentially investing in a small platform that can all be totally different in six months. To me, looking three years out in our industry is like looking fifty years out in the normal world. My hope is that I am still producing content that is quirky and creative, and that I enjoy what I am doing. But, I have to accept that there is probably some developer out there now creating a platform that will radically shift how we are all going to create content in the future.
View Ian’s work:
Cover photo via SFGate