PIM Project 3 Sketch: Portability: #letterboxes

b) sketch using short form video service (Vine)

Back in 2009, Simons observed, ‘Besides drawing attention to itself, the moving image is being put to tasks of informing and instructing, luring and persuading, performing and parading, surveying and summoning, and, of course, entertaining and amusing’. (Simons 2009, p. 8). The moving image, in short, is being put to the task of communicating and it’s not just telling its own narrative, it’s being used by millions, billions to communicate with their friends, family, the world.

This sketch was shot using the short form video social networking app, Vine.

A key feature of Vine is its 6 second time limit on videos which makes for really short, sharp clips. It also has a hold button for shooting, meaning you hold the button down to shoot and lift to pause. This lets you shoot a number of different angles or subjects within the 6 seconds. I really liked this feature and used it to capture the letter boxes in my neighbourhood, shooting mostly 3 letterboxes per clip. You can add hashtags and can choose to geotag the content. I am interested in exploring the geotagging further to see if you can search by geotags to find content in a particular place or to create content drawing material from a range of locations and I need to do some more research on this.

For this clip, I saved the Vine loops to my phone, downloaded and edited them in Premiere Pro to make one clip capturing the range of letterboxes in one area. So in one way I am not making a lot of use of Vine as a social networking tool and in a way this is a kind of paradox. However there’s areas here I’d be interested in exploring further.

Like Instagram, Vine is focused on the sharing of content, you shoot and share. There’s not much focus on editing and it doesn’t have the same edit capabilities as Instagram. It’s all about sharing your content and browsing content made by others.

Vine is used by a wide range of users to create short, often funny, crazy moments of life. It’s also used as a means of breaking news by major media outlets as well as individuals. For example Neil Mann from the Wall Street Journal has around 3000 followers and uses Vine to post news but also personal stories. On Vine you can find a recent statement from Barak Obama:

to animals

and entertainment

This article from 2013 by Avery Klein identified the differences between Vine and Instagram:

  • Length: Vines are six seconds in length; Instagram Videos can go up to 15 seconds.
  • Filters: Instagram allows users to place a filter on videos to create a more artistic feel; Vine has no such feature.
  • Looping: Vines play on a continuous loop; Instagram videos play once but can be played again by tapping the video.
  • Geotag: Instagram will automatically geotag where a video was taken and place it on a photo map in the user’s profile; Vine does not geotag.
  • Cover Frame: Instagram Video allows users the choice of which cover frame they would like featured. Vine automatically chooses the first shot of a video as the cover frame.
  • Channels and Filters: To help users filters content, Vine has channels such as comedy, health and fitness, and news and politics. Each channel also includes the option to toggle between popular and new videos. Instagram filters using hashtags.
  • Sharing: Instagram lets users share their videos through email, Twitter, Facebook and others, while Vine lets users connect through Twitter and Facebook only.

Vine does now also have geotags.


Simons J. 2009 ‘Pockets in the Screen-space: movies on the move’. Paper presented at MiT6 Stone and Papyrus, Storage and Transmission MIT, April 24-26.


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