John Pemble discusses his unique film, ‘101 Days of 12 Second Videos’
A self-described video blogger recently premiered a somewhat unorthodox autobiographical documentary at Impromptu Studio in Des Moines. The film, 101 Days of 12 Second Videos, is an amalgamation of John Pemble’s life from late-2009 through March 20, 2010. John utilized the web-based video platform 12Seconds.tv to publish a literal “12 second video” each day over the 101 days of the project.
12Seconds.tv, which John describes as “micro-video blogging,” only hosts videos that are 12 seconds long. Most users film themselves talking directly to a webcam, offering things like a simple update, statement or response to a question.
John uses it differently. “I went into the approach [of producing] very edited packages. A lot of the videos that I do have multiple camera angles, different people in them, or me from different references. The reason we do that is to compress time, to say more in 12 seconds and to be a little different, and to kind of ‘one up’ it.”
John’s original motivation was a challenge from the website but the inspiration for the film came later.
“The site, 12Seconds.tv, put the challenge ‘can you do 101 of these things day-after-day? We’ll give you a badge,'" John explained. "I got the badge … I always kind of had in the back of mind that I might put them together in one thing but halfway through I realized not only would I do that but I think it merited some sort of special presentation or screening. I realized we’re making a short film about me and about all the people I can get on camera in places that I’m going around my life.”
John plans to hold another screening of 101 Days of 12 Second Videos in Des Moines and possibly elsewhere in the region and California.
In my interview with John, he talks in depth about 12Seconds.tv, the process behind his videos, future plans, how the people in his life reacted to the project, and the eventual online release of the film.