Sunday, March 06, 2011

American Values

A couple of weeks ago, I put out a call here on the blog for help with a video project I wanted to put together on "American Values." I asked people to send me a photograph of themselves naming something that they valued. It was a simple idea, initially conceived as an interesting little side project that might help me learn a bit more about image and video editing. And then it took on a life of its own...

If you're interested in reading more of this project's back story, I posted an account of what I am now calling "The Little Idea That Could" a couple of days ago here. I really cannot exaggerate how much I've enjoyed doing this. I consider myself significantly indebted to all of the people who sent in contributions-- many of them friends, acquaintances or colleagues of mine, but some complete strangers as well. The sheer quantity of material that I had to work with was both impressive and intimidating, and I hope I've done it justice.

What you see below is the long version of the "American Values" video. I plan to make several shorter, 3-minute variations on this in the coming weeks. For the best effect, I recommend you view the video here in "full screen" mode. The video is in HD, so if you have a slow connection speed, you may also want to give it a moment to buffer.

Against my own (very strong) inclinations, I'm going to resist for now commenting at length on what I think this video demonstrates about "American Values." I'd like you all to see it first, without the filter of my interpretation, and I hope you will make use of the comments section here to offer your own insights and reflections. Of course, I won't be able to quiet the philosophical impulse to comment for long. My restraint has its limits, after all.

Thank you again to all of the contributors. You are all acknowledged at the end of the video.

American Values from Leigh Johnson on Vimeo.

You can also see/share the video on YouTube. Here's the link.


UPDATE 3/28/11: I still need more images for this project! Read about the continuing saga here.


UPDATE 4/6/11: The images keep coming in (and we'll take them as long as you send them)! Here is the slides how of all of the images so far, including those that didn't make it into the original video. Send yours!


UPDATE 4/17/11: American Values has it's own website now. Check it out!


Beverly said...

Beautiful!!!! I love it!

Devin Greaney said...

Shot it in the morning, sent it at lunch time and it is up!! Thanks for the opportunity for the fun project.. Wish I had thought of something like this for my blog!!!

Eve Lee said...

Leigh! I cried! Makes me so proud to be a part of a progressive creative thinking community. Love it!

jlotz said...

Awesome stuff! Shameless plug below (with a not-so-shameless plug for you embedded):

Ideas Man, Ph.D. said...

Awesome! Most authentic feel good thing I've seen in a loooong time.