There’s a lot of cool happenings going on in the backyards of America. VIMBY is capturing it on video. It’s a place made by, of, and for creative minds where individuality and passion come together. A lifestyle video content site spotlighting youth culture across the nation through collections of “Videos in My Back Yard.”
“We are an authority and trend setter, and we celebrate people,” says founder Dean Waters over e-mail, who came up with the idea for VIMBY after working many years in advertising and noticing “a huge void in good relevant associations for advertisers” with the younger, 18-24 demo.
At the heart of the site is VIMBY Nation, a network of 90 or so aspiring filmmakers who are chosen through a screening process and paid to document eclectic lives and tastes. Waters elaborates:
“We find our filmmakers through postings and word of mouth…Once they are identified we go through a screening process to make sure they have the right skill set and access to our target subcultures. After we approve them as a filmmaker, they start exploring happenings where they live. Our in-house producers green-light stories, the filmmaker submits their first rough cut, producers work with the filmmaker through notes and phone conversations. Eventually we arrive at a final piece that we buy.”
While Waters did not disclose a pay scale, he did add, “Each filmmaker needs to pump out at least two segments a month to stay in the VIMBY Nation….This is how we maintain quality and commitment.” What does that quality look like? Check out this vid, recommended by some of the males over here at TIlzy.TV, of this nerdcore calendar release party for an idea (it’s branded “XXX” for a lot of good-looking geeks in bikinis and one or two who are topless):
And there’s a lot more. ###
FIlmmakers, or “preditors” (they produce, edit, and shoot their own material), give us a unique glimpse into subcultures categorized on VIMBY’s friendly site: Music, Nightlife, Cars, Travel, Life, Action Sports, Alternative (aka slightly Not Safe for Work), Viral (comedy), and soon, Urban Fashion.
As diverse as these subcultures can seem, what they all have in common on VIMBY is a commitment to creativity – making one’s passion one’s own. You’ll see people like the Budos Band, a local instrumental group defining their own sound through Afro-beats; Joe Sizemore, a skateboarder cultivating a one-man show of technical tricks; and Kreatures Car Club, automobile enthusiasts who literally put their own spin on wheels by customizing vintage rides.
Not creative? Not a problem – VIMBY shows you how to experience other people’s cutting-edge endeavors. In Life, for instance, you’ll hear about a myriad of fun shops, boutiques, art galleries, and community events. And in Nightlife, you’ll get a flavor of unconventional after-hours partying, like this “altered state of mind” event in downtown L.A.
My favorite is Travel, which provides ideas on customizing our own trips, from featuring their “Local Weekend Trips for Under $500” series to introducing points of interest like the Hotel California in Santa Monica (I’m an Eagles’ fan).
It’s not hard to see that VIMBY’s preditors take their work seriously. Each clip is carefully produced; many devote 1/3 of the time to interviewing subjects and 2/3 of the time showcasing them in their element with simple but stunning montages. Though more narrative could make some of the storytelling even tighter, VIMBY does well as a sheer sit-back-and-relax, visual experience. Once you start the ride, you can rest happy that the scenery will change.
If you live in one of the 17 (and counting) “backyards” that VIMBY features, you can also access local information about your city such as calendar events, photographs, and message boards.
“Vimby’s future is all about the brand,” says Waters. And if that brand extends, we might expect more diversification on the website in the coming years, from branching out to more backyards to dipping into lesser-known subcultures. If the site stays true to its promise of showcasing quality content, participants of young creative cultures, will be able to keep following their passions for a long while over at Vimby.com.