The Boring Room Challenge
What would you shoot if you had 2h to make a video in a Boring Room? That’s the question Brandon Li, one of the most interesting filmmakers to follow on YouTube at the moment, decided to answer.
Li first got noticed through his travel videos that became recurring Staff Pick on Vimeo (for good reasons) and is now active in developing his audience on YouTube through videos where he shares the knowledge accumulated over the years to be an effective and creative one-man-band filmmaker.
But Li also uses his account to challenge himself and share his personal growth. After he noticed an absence of creative juice to make videos when he was not in the exotic and visually stimulating settings he was used to filming during his travels, Li decided it was time to push his own creative envelope:
You take a boring room and you try to make a somehow interesting, watchable short film in a room, that doesn’t break any laws. I came up with this idea because I shoot travel videos and usually my videos are set in really exotic places and there are all these interesting stuff going on, but when I’m not in those places, then I don’t feel as inspired to make videos because I look around me and I don’t see anything that sparks my imagination. So I thought I’d do this exercise to try to jog my own creative juice when I’m in a place that is not creatively inspiring so all the inspiration has to come from within I guess.
Li took 2h to shoot a 50 seconds scene with:
- his partner who played in the scene
- his hotel room
- a hotel’s hallway
- the existing lighting
- his camera equipment (he has more than many of us but don’t let that prevent you from challenging yourself within your own limitations)
What makes The Boring Room Challenge interesting is that Li doesn’t stop at showing what he came up with, he actually filmed himself shooting the whole scene thanks to a GoPro on his head. And that’s where the power of this video lies: you get to see what camera, what lens, what frame rate, what light, hear Li’s directions, see the difference between the shot image and the post-production treatment.
The Boring Room Challenge is also a good way to show the impact of post-production: how much texture you can add with grading and sound design.
Enjoy the video, and see if it sparkles you to challenge your own creativity (maybe for you it’s shooting a travel video!)