Among the comedic auteurs, budding fashion icons, and international pop stars who all got their first six seconds of fame on Vine, there was also at least one enterprising artist who used the constraints of the medium to pioneer a new aesthetic at the intersection of social media and marketing.
Long Island-native and New York City-residing Meagan Cignoli made her first upload to the then-nascent platform in 2013. The Fashion Institute of Technology and School of Visual Arts alum used her keen visual eye and photography degree to create compelling stop-motion animations with a flair for fun and whimsy. Advertisers almost immediately took notice, and brands with household names began working with Cignoli, hiring her to make videos both compelling and shareable for her hundreds of thousands of followers and the internet at large.
We recently caught up with Cignoli after we announced BEST VINES EVER and had her answer a few quick questions about her career and its trajectory.
Tubefilter: How did you learn to do stop motion and animation? Are you self-taught?
Megan Cignoli: Yes, I’m self taught. I didn’t teach myself stop motion on purpose it just happened one day. I realized the photos I was taking were making motion. From there I just got into a deep obsession with trying to figure out what to move and how to move it.
TF: How long does it take you to make your stuff – how long per second? How many images do you capture in that time?
MC: Each second is about 12 -15 frames, a 15 second video is about 250 frames. Some shoots can be a few hours if it’s simple but most run about 14 hours to shoot. With one day of writing, one day of preparation (buying props, building a set, lighting) and one day to edit and put sound. So about four long days.
TF: When did you first think, “Wow. I could make a living doing this.”?
MC: When brands starting knocking on my door by the dozens. It was fast, within a few weeks on vine there was a huge amount of interest.
TF: What’s your favorite creative project you’ve ever done?
MC: My favorite project was a film we recently did for the Fashion music in Atlanta SCAD FASH. It’s five minutes long, 37 scenes with 29 sets that I designed. There are 150 hats and we shot it in nine days. And there’s also two bunnies. It was a lot of fun and a lot to juggle, lots going on but I loved it. I really got to play with my love of set design for this.
TF: What’s the best piece of advice you could offer to young entrepreneurs looking to start their own business?
MC: This is a hard one, every business starts so differently and to different ends. We’ve grown slowly adding employees when we need them one by one. We also never took funding for have any debt. But then you take a company that starts with funding, and they hire all these people for something that will eventually come because of the people. I think they are both good, and both can fail of course. But I sleep well knowing we don’t owe anyone anything and that we’re profitable, we don’t hv to worry about not having work or money to pay our employees.
If you dig Cignoli’s vines, you can vote her to win BEST VINES EVER. Fans can vote within the Snakt app with just one touch of a Vote button, or by quickly creating a “stack” of videos as a compilation.
Pretty simple, right? We think so, too. For more information you can check out and if you have any questions hit us up at BESTVINESEVER@tubefilter.com. Good luck and thank you for helping us pour one out to Vine one last time.