How to Get a Vimeo Staff Pick with DANIELS, Kirsten Lepore, and Head Curator Sam Morrill

The time to put your short online is now.

The landscape for short films is changing quickly. One might say we're entering a "Golden Age," where content is being taken seriously and you can even make money off of a five-minute video...if you get the right eyes on it.

Traditionally, getting those views used to be all about submitting your project onto the festival circuit. This also came with the stipulation that you couldn't exhibit your project online or anywhere else if you wanted to make it in.

That's not the case anymore. 

It's occurred to me that many of our audience may not know just how valuable a Vimeo Staff Pick can be to your career.  The distinction, which celebrated its tenth anniversary at SXSW this year, can lead not only to massive exposure but gigs from brands, producers and even music companies. You can really make a name for yourself if you're one of the 3-4 projects selected every day. 

Case and point, my guests on todays show who have a combined 19 video staff picks between them: DANIELS, of Swiss Army Man fame, and Kirsten Lepore who's animated shorts in the style of Hi, Stranger led to jobs like creating an episode of Adventure Time, which later went on to win an Emmy.

Together they join Vimeo's Head of Curation Sam Morrill to discuss how to get a Vimeo Staff Pick, what that Staff Pick can do for your career and how to best position yourself for a successful career after creating a short.

Listen to the episode by streaming or downloading from the embedded player above, or find it on iTunes here.

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This episode was edited by Jon Fusco.

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Your Comment


Good interview and insights into their process, but nothing is mentioned on how to actually get your film in front of the Vimeo staff so they can either pass or fail it for a staff pick. With likely thousands of uploads daily on Vimeo, I seriously doubt that the Vimeo staff views all uploads. So how do they pick what gets watched?

April 16, 2018 at 7:53AM, Edited April 16, 7:53AM

Benton Collins
Camera aimer

What BD said.

April 20, 2018 at 4:28AM

Nate Brown
Director, content creator

How to get Vimeo staff pick:

Step 1: Know someone that works at Vimeo

April 16, 2018 at 10:35AM


100% actually this. Have seen a lot of brilliant work sidelined for some very average storytelling and visuals cause of the buddy-system.

April 16, 2018 at 3:16PM

You voted '+1'.
Matthew Macar

I'm curious about this too although I do think the staff picks are usually really good! It's one of the ways I discover shorts. I know a lot of Short of the Week films crossover so maybe submitting to them may be a round about way of getting noticed for a staff pick?

April 16, 2018 at 5:38PM

Stephen Herron

Yeah Short of the Week and Vimeo are in bed together; thats why you’ll often see a video premiere as a Staff Pick and a SOW on the same day, it’s because the filmmaker knows someone that works at one of those places.

It’s just like film festivals, you’ve simply got to know someone on the inside if you want to get any attention! Otherwise, there is a 0% chance of anyone actually watching your stuff.

April 16, 2018 at 7:36PM, Edited April 16, 7:36PM


Not true! I have a staff pick, and I had ZERO audience before that to get momentum from. But I didn't just upload it and hoped someone watched it,

here's exactly what I did:

step 1. Make a list of every possible niche that your short film/work is in. I had 3 or 4

Step 2. FInd at least 1,000 websites that are relevant to your niches. This is the hardest part but it pays off huge.

Step 3. Email every single one of them on the same day a personal email saying that their audience might be into your work and asking them to promote it. Some people will ignore you and some will decline, but you'd be surprised how many are nice and willing to share your work.

For my video. it went from nothing to 10k views in a very short time which was enough to get vimeo noticing it.

That's not a guarantee they'll staff pick it. but it's a guarantee they'll watch it.

April 27, 2018 at 11:37AM