We often forget (or at least, I do) the fact that the video functionality of DSLRs originated from the desire to put motion picture capabilities in the hands of non-fiction content creators. Specifically, photojournalists were given the option for recording that which could beneficially supplement stills, and though we DIY filmmakers have re-appropriated that functionality to our own benefit, there's still something to be said for its use in generating journalistic content. In that vein I'd like to share a particularly beautiful non-fiction endeavor with everyone -- Humanity.TV sets out to bring you an uncontrived, honest, and humanistic representation of people and places of interest -- and do so via a custom interactive tablet system.
Humanity.TV is up for crowdfunding right now, taking donations on Kickstarter. Here is the project's pitch video -- complete with some of that stunning DSLRs-are-still-great-reminding footage I was trying to hint at above -- from its Kickstarter page:
Now, for the sake of full-disclosure, I should probably include the fact that I'm a die-hard Anthony Bourdain fan, and always will be, whatever channel he ends up on. That said, here's what Gaston and Kerrin, the guys behind the Humanity.TV project, tell us about their mission:
We've launched a Kickstarter campaign to add travel filmmakers to our team, which we hope to send to Africa and Europe this year. In the six months since our launch, we've traveled over Asia and created over 35 micro-docs, attracting a niche travel audience of 50k video views and 30k FB fans. Our goal is to disrupt the travel video industry (dominated by the likes of Travel Channel) with some much-needed authenticity and give some incredible unknown filmmakers their time in the limelight.
We're looking to beat Travel Channel in the areas it continually neglects - mainly in short-form, authentic videos (as opposed to peppy host-based TV/reality shows) and by using the interactive tablet platforms to their full extent and with home-grown talent from the likes of talented Vimeo filmmakers (many self taught with the help of NFS!).
This is something I can personally really get behind (and, you know what, something Mr. Bourdain himself can probably get behind as well). I'm mostly indifferent to the fluff generally broadcast by Travel Channel and Food Network, it's easily digested entertainment in its own right, but the resources of such networks should, in a perfect world, be used to leverage far more worldly and, well, let's just come out and say it, well-traveled content. This is why what Gaston, Kerrin, and their soon-to-be-expanded team are setting out to do is really interesting. These guys just plain care about real authentic travel and the fascinating stories people all over the world have to share with us. Plus, they're willing to do all the work for me -- all I'd have to do to learn and feel like I've been there myself is boot up my iPad!*
It's worth noting that the Humanity.TV team is also putting the power of the camera into the hands of local folks themselves, allowing them to shoot their own bits of day-in-the-life-style footage -- sociology and anthropology enthusiasts rejoice (and, ideally, donate :)! If you're not yet convinced that what these guys are doing is both important to a more well-rounded worldview and just plain beautiful, check out some more of the material they've already brought us:
And if you feel like your daily agenda entails any major feats, or if you just plain need motivation, check out this clip of some unbelievably driven people:
The rest of the project's details are available on its Kickstarter page, so be sure to check that out (and consider endorsing) if this is something you'd like to be brought to the web or tablet-centric portions of your life!
*Disclaimer: I don't actually own an iPad.