PetaPixel

Instagram’s Photo Feed Can Be Used as a Silent Film Viewer

instagramsilentfilm

Did you know Instagram’s mobile app can be used to view movies? Okay, okay, you won’t be able to watch the latest Hollywood blockbuster on it, but it’s possible to enjoy glimpses of old school silent films.

The clever idea was discovered Canadian advertising agency Cossette to promote the upcoming Toronto Silent Film Festival, and involves using the app’s slideshow view to zip through still photos as if they were images in a flipbook.

tsff1

The agency created a total of three flipbook-style Instagram silent films: an account named @tsff_1 is a clip from Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans, @tsff_2 features the 1925 film Tumbleweeds, and @tsff_3 is a glimpse of Super-Hooper-Dyne Lizzies.

Each of the dedicated Instagram accounts has 30 still frames from their respective silent films. Once you view them in slideshow mode, you can flip upwards with your finger to scroll through the images in rapid succession, causing them to be animated on your screen. Here’s a video that demonstrates how the silent film viewing works:

Matt Litzinger of Cossette tells CreativeReview that they “thought this new and unique use of Instagram could bring the films to life and draw attention to the festival,” and that this novel use of Instagram feels appropriate because silent film, in its day, was “every bit as ground-breaking and innovative as digital platforms are today.”

Sadly, this animation technique only works with a fresh, newly created Instagram account. The Verge reports that the publicity this promo has received has actually broken the animations, as likes and comments on the photographs break up the flow of the animation in the feed.

If you’d like to try out what’s left of the animation effect for yourself, head on over to one of the three silent film accounts listed above using your mobile device.


 
  • http://twitter.com/leonattico lee-o

    Cool concept… Though for an ad agency they sure aren’t promoting this… 190 followers in 3 weeks isn’t much of an ad campaign, at least doesn’t seem like it on the surface. Even I know how to get 200 followers in a day.

  • Jesse

    But they don’t really need followers because the account won’t be adding any more photos.

  • http://www.facebook.com/igor.kennn Igor Ken

    how would you do it?

  • http://twitter.com/leonattico lee-o

    For every photo you upload you follow 20 people, like 30 photos, comment on 5.

  • http://twitter.com/leonattico lee-o

    sure but who’s gonna see the ones already there? are they pulling viewers from other sources like blogs? seems counterproductive.

  • http://www.facebook.com/igor.kennn Igor Ken

    did it work for you? because I noticed that some techniques work for certain users and not for others… for instance my girlfriend increases the amount of likes on every picture two or three times, just by adding generic hashtags. Doesn’t at all work for me. I will try your technique, thank you! (I dislike the 20 people following because I would rather not follow 1276497216 people, it would completely ruin my feed on the home page)

  • Trevor Simonton

    Matt Litzinger of Cossette tells CreativeReview that they “thought this new and unique use of Instagram could bring the films to life and draw attention to the festival,”

    Didn’t you just read about their festival on this blog? Mission accomplished. I’d say this effort was extremely productive. They don’t need the followers, they just need 1-time attention from outlets like this blog. In fact, they don’t want followers on their feed “as likes and comments on the photographs break up the flow of the animation in the feed.”

    You can’t rely on following 20 people per photo and expect results. Sometimes you have to produce something interesting and worth sharing, so others will share it. Blogs don’t pick up stories about your following 20 people, they blog about interesting content.