"Hope Art" & Web Video vs. Doc Short

About an hour after I sat down to edit this video, I decided that I had a good enough story here for it to be more just a web video, and that if I spent some serious time editing I could probably submit this to some film festivals as a documentary short. What is the different between a web video and documentary short? I’m not sure exactly. (I’ve also been thinking lately about whether there is a difference between a “citizen journalism video” and documentary but that’s a whole ‘nother topic.)

The main difference for me was that when I decided it was a doc short instead of a web video, I stopped assuming the viewer had ADD. It’s pretty well established that online video viewers have short attention spans... I know I do. When I watch web videos I often fast forwarding to find more interesting sections, or just get distracted by something else on the page and click away from the video. (I hate that I do this, and I’ve been making a conscious effort lately to extend my web attention span.)  When I edit web videos, I don’t add typically use very much nat sound unless it’s needed to tell the story, or long establishing shots, which slow down the pacing and give people a chance to get distracted, but I did use those things here. As a result I think “Hope Art,” is a better doc short, but probably doesn’t play as well as it could as a web video.

Editing this video has reminded me a little about the limitations of web video. It’s hard to tell a good story when you’re constantly worried about holding the viewers attention. I’ve been focusing pretty exclusively on web video for a while now, but having a story that takes a little more time to tell is making me appreciate the idea of sitting someone down and making them focus on my film.

So what you do you think? Is this video too slow paced for the internet? Did you sit through the whole thing?

Also make sure to visit this video at it's CHS page, and add a couple of pennies to my earnings (I get $$$ per page view)