The future of video is an evolution and it’s going to look radical or familiar depending on how critically you think about it, so don’t be intimidated, like my community college journalism instructor said, “everything’s been done, but it hasn’t been done by you.”

Flip an old idea, see what happens.

It’s fun.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the future of video as I develop my project for the The Knight Mozilla News Technology Partnership and in looking to the video landscape for innovation I’m happy to report there’s a lot of promise out there.

I thought I’d share seven such video projects that cut against the grain and stick out for me.

If you’ve followed me on twitter none of these are new, but it’s worth a second look beyond 140 characters.



1. It’s like mashing VH1 pop-ups together with PolitiFact. By using Mozilla’s HTML5 friendly popcorn.js tools, PBS merged live blogging with the video timeline to map comments to specfic points, right down to individual frames. Personally I think part of the problem with TV news today is pundits who are very quick to tell us what we should think, as if they were drawing plays for each side, but I like the potential of such a tool to be used for fact checking and linking to related stories in near real time.




2. Arcade Fire and Google teamed up to create this piece which marries geo-location and immersion to take viewers inside a music video that seems to be made just for you. Using a nostalgic song about growing up along with Google’s extensive maps and street view images and the viewers own emotional response, it’s a powerful presentation that gives viewers and the extra incentive to seek it out and stick around and more importantly the right amount of “coolness” to share it with friends and aid it in going viral.




2.5 Another interactive music video experience, Sour takes the Arcade Fire concept a little further by incorporating your social media profiles, pictures and webcam to put viewers in the video, in essence the same concept as AF, but extrapolated to nth degree. A little less emotional and a lot more elaborate, it’s worth a look. I wish I knew what they were saying though.




3. This choose your own adventure version of George A. Romero genre defining “Night of the Living Dead” may seem a little quaint compared to the last three videos, but don’t let the lack of HTML5 fool you, the concept is solid, fun, engaging and perfect for sharing. Sometimes you don’t need something shinny and new to be fresh and exciting.



My Freedom Or Death – Condition ONE Beta from Danfung Dennis on Vimeo.


4. Condition One borrows from video games to create an on-rails experience that lets you rotate around in 360 and experience the story as the visual journalist had. Everything from Pokemon Snap to Call of Duty comes to mind and with the added layer of using the iPad as a “camera,” it’s pretty nifty, at least in theory. I could be wrong, but as of now it’s still a prototype concept. However I’ve seen plenty of (bad) 360 videos over the past year and have no doubt it’s only matter of time before Condition One becomes hands on.




4.5 Just a cool version of the 360 concept, with waterfalls. Music is a bit heavy handed though if you ask me. I’ve seen a lot of these 360 videos out there in the last year, but this one doesn’t have any of that stretching that comes with super wide angle lenses and it’s also smart about incorporating graphics into the experience.




5. Again, it may not seem radical, but to me this painting in motion is an alternative story form I don’t see enough of. We don’t always need to stick to a strict narrative, with his baseball video, Daniel Sato (full disclosure, we’re old friends) is playing with time and space to create mood and a feeling for the story that’s more poem than strikes and scoreboards. And I can see this concept taken further though making it a social enterprise for viewers. Image a game where viewers can collaborate with a multimedia journalist to add to such a video, or cull together their own edit with a collection of raw footage that expresses their emotions toward the game.




6. Dana uses video to guide us through a story and make connections between various data sets across the internet to weave them into a packaged report. Pretty cool way to update the powerpoint presentation and annotate information. As a journalism tool, I can see it paired with services like DocumentCloud or Storify to walk viewers through the story and let them see for themselves how connections were made and conclusions were reached.




7. Twitter wants to get into video and integrate with tv, but how about web news video? Like the old saying goes opionions are like… everyone’s got one… well, think of Twitter here at the toilet. Crude yes, but it carries the metaphor and explains the explosive growth behind the mirco-blog website. People always want to share their ideas, conclusions and be the first in their circle to know of something interesting and new. If you turn your web video into the their cool video that they found, well, then you have them.