The Problem(s) with Vine
When Vine, the new application acquired by Twitter that allows you to shoot up to 6 seconds video and share them, came out few weeks ago, I was excited about its possibilities and wondered if it was going to be the Instagram for Filmmakers: a quick and spontaneous way to capture videos and share them with your community.
I was wrong.
Here are five main problems I’ve encountered so far, and that led me to write this article:
1 – You can’t flip your screen.
Oops, wrong side.
Let’s start with the most obvious point: once you’ve filmed with your phone in one direction, there is no way back. I am so used to hold my phone horizontally when I film that I do it with vine too and inevitably, I end up with my video displayed wrongly. You’re then left with two choices: lose it or live with it.
None of these choices is satisfying.
2 – You Can Delete, You Can Report, but You Can’t Share
There is only one way for you to watch the video from my point #1, and it’s by going on my vine account on your phone, find it and watch it. I can’t give you a link, because there is no link. When I shot it, I forgot to share it (and put a comment) and now, it’s over, there is no way back (again).
But here is the contradiction: if I shoot something with vine, it is because I want to share it. And if I can’t share it, what’s the point for me to use Vine instead of my phone camera?
3 – There is no Vine Account
— Nathalie (@Mentorless) January 27, 2013
Unlike Instagram, Vine doesn’t offer an account. What does that mean? It means that the only way to follow someone is through the app on your phone or ipad. You can watch the videos on your computer if the vine video has been shared through twitter or facebook. Once you click you will be redirected on a page, but from there, you can’t see the other’s person videos (like the one that weren’t shared via twitter during inception for instance), and you can’t follow, or like, or whatever.
YOU CAN’T is the motto here.
4 – There is no way to Archive What You Shoot
(voice in my head)
Few days ago, I was shooting a commercial, something funny happened on set, I recorded it with Vine but didn’t have time to share it -no Internet on set- and then… I lost the video.
There is not many things more frustrating that losing a memory, a moment captured that will never happen again, because of an app constrain. Vine is not linked to your phone’s camera because the goal is to edit as you shoot, and not shoot a regular take and then upload a 6 seconds shot or go through another app to edit it. I get that.
But what happens when you want to shoot several videos back to back and can’t wait for them to upload on vine, or if you just don’t want to lose your video?
Well, that simple, you stop using vine.
5 – To Master the App You Need to Sacrifice Footage
— Nathalie (@Mentorless) February 8, 2013
Vine is not an intuitive app. We still have to learn how to shoot while editing with a 6 sec limit. If you don’t want to do either stop motion or long takes, you need to train. And that is fine, changing habits involve a period of hit and miss. The only problem is when, to do that, you have to sacrifice your memories.
I use Vine because I want to grab a moment and share it right now. But because of the way the app is designed, I need to erase or share whatever I record to be able to record more. Or sometimes, I film something I don’t want to share but that I do want to keep. Again, Instagram offers its users to shoot plenty of pictures through the phone’s camera and then transfer the selected one to be instagrammed.
With Vine, learning how to do it well implies either sharing a lot of bad things, losing what you shot, OR prepping in advance your shots and then… it sounds a bit like doing a normal shooting but with random limitations.
Might be ok too, it’s just not as fun as it could be.
And that concludes my thoughts on Vine. No doubt things will evolve (or, better said, I hope things will evolve), but as of today, Vine’s limitations discouraged me from trying to capture valuable spontaneous moments. And if I’m just going to film, I might as well shoot with my phone’s camera, and edit afterward if needed.
What do you think of vine so far? Have you been affected by this points too or do you use the constraints differently?