Daniel Liss doesn’t explain why he decided to start his own video blog, but he does explore the culture of blogging and movie making in depth on his vlog. Since he launched pouringdown in November 2005, he’s developed a devoted following of members who are able to relate to his day-to-day existence, hopes, and beliefs.

His experimental videos toy with text, voiceover, music, and camera angles, using his life, family, and neighbors as storylines and the city of New York as his backdrop.

Liss posts sporadic videos using his skills as a poignant and thoughtful storyteller to create compelling personal video content that’s half art and half diary. One video, “decision machine”, helps viewers answer their most profound questions by flipping a coin – the video uses what seems like an easy solution decision-making, but ultimately leaves the choice up to the viewer. His posts are artistically inclined, more like films than documentary-style reality pieces, particularly in fan-favorite “paradiso.”  He almost never allows himself to be seen. Instead, he points the camera at life, using only his soothing, monotone voice and minimal text to provide additional narration when necessary.

If you aren’t sure where to start, Liss gives a few suggestions to help you get acquainted with his style. He also conceived the Seven Maps Project, an experiment where Liss made seven videos based on assignments given by viewers. The result was a brilliant string of videos shot over one week in Niagara Falls and Toronto.          

Liss’ most popular postings were his Seven Maps project, in which viewers conceived of various tasks for the filmmaker to complete. The videos were created in an assigned location with an assigned theme over the course of seven days in August 2006.

For example, the first map required Liss to travel to a new town, interact as though he were a local, and provide a personal narrative about his experience. All seven maps are worth viewing (though read the viewers’ assignments first), but the seventh is by far the most moving. He uses it to sum up the process and give behind-the-scenes information about his travels, including a revelation that only 5% of footage from his first day of filming was salvageable. He also spoke about his fears of misunderstanding and acceptance, although comments prove that he is highly respected by his viewers.

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