After 15 years of curating the best of short films, Vimeo is giving some insight into what makes a coveted Staff Pick.

The streaming platform for rising filmmakers launched a Generation Vimeo campaign to mark the 15th anniversary of the website. Staff Pick Best of the Year winning director Danae Gosset provided the animation for this short film inspired by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman’s “A Brief History of Baldessari” video, and directed and produced by Vimeo’s internal creative team, to share the behind-the-scenes process for selecting Staff Picks. “High Maintenance” co-creator Ben Sinclair provides the voiceover for the video, returning to Vimeo where the HBO series originated. Watch the video below.

Founded in 2008, Vimeo’s Staff Pick program has honored filmmakers like Josh and Benny Safdie and “Aftersun” director Charlotte Wells. Kristoffer Borgli, John Wilson, Daniels, Savannah Leaf, A.V. Rockwell, Hiro Murai, Kogonada, Eliza Hittman, David Lowery, and Ari Aster are also alums of the program. Emerging filmmakers Laurel Parmet and Scott Lazer are additionally featured in the below video celebrating the Staff Picks process.

The Staff Pick badge differentiates between the slew of Vimeo videos, highlighting a notable project on the site. Curators Ina Pira and Meghan Oretsky further explained the selection process for Staff Pick honors, which are selected daily. The program was founded in 2008 by Blake Whitman and dalas verdugo and is now run by staff curators. Currently there are over 15,000 videos in the channel, which is followed by more than 1.4M Vimeo users worldwide. 

“The people that worked at Vimeo at the time realized that they were seeing amazing work being uploaded, and they wanted to celebrate and encourage that,” Pira said in a press statement. “We don’t select films because we think they’re going to go viral or because we think the filmmaker’s responding to a trend. We simply curate the films based on the quality of the project that they’re sharing with us.”

The four pillars of selecting a Staff Pick include originality, exceptional craft, engaging storytelling, and diverse perspectives for the videos. You can read more about the process here.

“I think the tenets can be helpful guiding points for filmmakers,” Pira said. “But I think art is about generating that ineffable feeling or reaction, and that is what makes great work stand out for us.”

Watch the full video below for more information on Inside the Vimeo Staff Picks selections.

Leave a comment