50 Seconds of Breath-taking


Can our behaviour, lifestyle, and values be altered by using social media?

This study examines the effects of short videos on social media. The objective of this project is to redefine the way we deal with the increasing pressure to create and maintain online images, show empathy, and follow social trends on social media.

To explore how social media and short videos are connected theoretically, we will examine how the Lumière brothers used cinematography as the first moving image-oriented social media tool, with filming, film development, and screening all bundled into one portable package. The average length of their films was 50 seconds, mirroring the durations of popular short video platforms today. Their films’ “silent” nature also resonates with current social media’s silent/talkie aspects, allowing for the transcendence of language and cultural barriers.

For the practical component, we aim to investigate how social media and audio-visual content are connected by experimenting with variables such as thumbnails, video lengths and formats. We also plan to organise short video production workshops to further apply our production expertise, particularly in self-reflective and poetic modes. In both the theoretical and practical segments, we will employ Bill Nichols’ theory of “6 modes of documentaries,” which includes performative, participatory, expository, reflexive, poetic, and observatory modes.

【Image Credits: “A selfie by Gabriel Veyre”l’Institut Lumière】