If there's one thing we've learned over the last year at The Atlantic -- where we've historically relied on the written word -- it's the power of visual storytelling. The medium of online video, playable in high definition thanks to increasing bandwidth, has been opening up a universe of stories and new ways of telling them. We want to bring The Atlantic's sensibility to a curated online-video platform. So we created one.
It's a global medium, too. In the past decade, digital video and the social Web have evolved together, allowing creators to share their work easily across continents. Our launch lineup, for instance, includes pieces by filmmakers from five countries, none of whom would likely have discovered each other even a few years ago.
By way of introduction, I'm Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg. If you can guess the nationality of my name, you get a prize. (This may be a trick question.) Charged with curating the best video on the Internet, I'll be drawing from a full spectrum of formats and styles, from handheld documentary to 3D computer animation to everything in between.
Here are a few of the videos we're kicking off with:
- California is a Place is a gorgeous documentary series created by Drea Cooper and Zackary Canepari. It's unlike anything else out there. Cooper and Canepari bring the photographer's eye to the characters, dreams, and landscapes of California. We're proud to feature their first episode, Cannonball, a story about the foreclosure crisis in Fresno, California, seen through the eyes of local skateboarders.
- The Thomas Beale Cipher is a meticulously crafted animated short based on the true story of a hidden treasure and an unbreakable code. Director Andrew S Allen creates noir suspense through a distinctive mix of textures, shadows, and rotoscoped live action footage. The film contains 16 hidden messages; Allen challenges you to be the first to crack all of them.
- We will also be featuring archival material, beginning with a selection from the Travel Film Archive, a fantastic collection of films from the first half of the 20th century. Sun tan on the French Riviera in 1949, fly a propeller plane over San Francisco in the 1930s, and ride the New York subway in 1905.
- We'll feature many selections from the Prelinger Archives, too, handpicked by founders Megan and Rick Prelinger.
If you're a filmmaker and you'd like to see your work featured here, please be in touch, and I can give you the details of the process. If you're a reader and you'd like to recommend a video or a creator, please let me know.