Thursday, February 18, 2016

My 365 Second Video Project and Why You Should Do It

For those of you who’ve never heard of the 365 second video project, let me explain. It involves taking a video every day of the year (starting on your birthday or New Year’s Day or Presidents Day or Australia Day…whatever day you want). Then you edit each daily video down to one second and put all of the one-second clips together and add music. The result is a moving scrapbook of your year.

Here is the video I made this past year:

Let me be the first to point out that this is not a good video. I used a really bad camera for most of it. The beats in the songs don’t match up with the video clip transitions. Many of the shots suffer from terrible lighting or a shaky hand. And half of the video clips are of mundane experiences that no one cares to see.

But I love this video. It makes me smile every time I watch it. It’s a video that was made for me, by me, and it is delightful.

I think everyone should make this video. It’s fun. It motivates you to do adventurous things because adventures look good on camera. It exercises your creativity muscles. And it makes your life look way more exciting than it actually is.

Best of all, at the end the year, you end up with LOTS of videos of your life. I cannot emphasize enough how awesome this is. The 365+ videos that I took will forever help me remember events that took place throughout an entire year of my life. Let me rephrase: I SAVED OVER 365 MOMENTS FROM DISAPPEARING INTO THE ABYSS OF TIME. It’s like I’m a superhero whose power is to guarantee nostalgia and happiness to myself in the future (which I admit is a pretty selfish superpower, but hey, I deserve happiness just as much as the citizens of Gotham or New York City).

Without this video project, there’s no way for me to remember studying outside my apartment with my roommate or playing Frisbee golf with my sister or picking up my brother from the airport. At least, there is no way for me to remember those things in detail. In fact, it’s impossible for me to remember anything in detail because thoughts and memories are fleeting. (Don’t get me started on my hatred of the ephemeral nature of my brain.) I wish I could remember a moment forever and recall exactly how it happened. But I can’t.

OR CAN I????

No, I can’t. Not even with a video. I’ll never be able to replicate exactly what I was feeling when an event took place.

But what I can do with a video is see a moment in time that for sure happened to me, and seeing that moment helps me remember some of how that moment felt. I have concrete evidence that something happened in my life, and this evidence ignites a flare of nostalgic emotion that only gets better with age.

So make a video this year! And guarantee some nostalgic flares of happiness for your future self!

I’m already taking videos for my next 365 second video. I’ll tell you what I plan to do differently this year, and maybe that will help you make your own.

  • Film more videos of people. The videos I took of friends and family are my favorite ones to watch and will mean the most to me later on in life. So, no matter how many people I annoy, I plan to film them more.
  • Find better lighting. Some of my videos from last year looked fine when I filmed them but showed up really dark on my computer, to the point where it’s difficult to tell what’s going on. I don’t like it. I’ll do better.
  • Take longer videos. Even though I only need one second for my project, I’ve found that I get a much better one-second clip when I leave my camera running longer than necessary. For example, I kept trying to film my friends acting “natural,” but the best parts of those videos weren’t when they were pretending to act natural but when they broke and laughed about how bad they were at acting natural. Or when they posed because they thought I was taking a picture. Or when they thought I was done filming and started actually acting normal. (Warning: Your friends will get annoyed with you if you do this project, especially if you keep yelling “JUST ACT NATURAL.” I have multiple videos of my friends giving me the finger, naturally.)
  • Don’t miss any days. I forgot to take a video at least 20 days during the past year. I made it up by taking extra videos later, which felt like cheating. So my goal is to not miss any days this time around! So far so good! (I’ll let you know when I inevitably fail.)
  • Be in more videos. In my last 365 second video project, I tried to keep all of the videos from my perspective, meaning I didn’t do selfies and I didn't let my friends film me. But it’s kind of fun to see myself in the few clips where I’m looking in a mirror or the last clip when I do a selfie with two of my friends. Therefore, I’m going to include myself in my current project.

I hope that was helpful, and I hope you seriously consider doing this project or something like it!

On an unrelated note, I graduated! Which is why I’m resurrecting my blog. (Hooray for free time!) Expect a blog post from me at least once a week.
But do not trust to hope.
It has forsaken these lands.


  1. This is your goat. I love you. Teach me how to make videos. And don't ever stop using lotr quotes! You are wonderful!

    1. I love you too, goat! You are wonderful for saying that I am wonderful. :)