The Etsy Blog

Video Project: Tell us Your Handmade Story

Vanessa

We’re launching a new Storque documentary project, my friends, in conjunction with the Buy Handmade Pledge.  The names that are being collected on the BuyHandmade.org website are a powerful testament to the people behind the handmade movement.  We also want to see your faces and hear your voices! Online video seems to be a great way to do this.

Our project has two veins: one for sellers, called “My Handmade Story,” and one for buyers, called “Why I Buy Handmade.” Any Etsian is free to participate by making a short video that expresses these ideas. One of the most powerful things about Etsy is the community.  Each Etsian has a unique perspective, a special talent in what she/he makes, a genuine expression in what she/he buys, and a personal history that she/he brings to the collective.

So we’re putting out an on-going call for short videos made by you. We’re suggesting only a couple contraints in terms of format: sellers should be filmed in their studio/home/workshop and buyers should be holding/wearing/interacting with what they bought. If you’re a seller, tell us how making things by hand or selling on Etsy has changed your life. If you’re a buyer, tell us why you buy handmade. The videos that we think are the most extraordinary, compelling, unique personal stories will be featured on The Storque and integrated into the other ways Etsy spreads the word about buying handmade.

Guidelines:

  • Keep it short and sweet: Please keep your story to less than 1 minute. Ideally 30 seconds or less.
  • Have the rights:  Please only use footage you own or that is under certain Creative Commons licenses. Please only feature people in your piece who gave you permission.  By submitting to Etsy, you’re giving us the non-exclusive right (you’re free to share your video elsewhere!) to play your video on Etsy and when we’re spreading the word about Etsy.
  • Sellers submit their “My Handmade Story” to The Storque by filling out the Storque pitch form via the “You Can Too” link on the Storque homepage. Make sure to include the link to your video, whether it’s on Youtube, Vimeo, blip or whichever online video service you choose. We recommend that you tag it with BuyHandmade and Etsy.
  • Buyers submit “Why I Buy Handmade” pieces in the same manner.
  • Sellers should be in their studio/home/workshop and tell how making/selling handmade has changed their lives.
  • Buyers should be holding/wearing/interacting with what they bought and say why they buy handmade.
  • Participation is open to any Etsian with a username (nationality does not matter).
  • We kindly ask that you add English subtitles to your foreign language submissions.
  • Please do not use music in your videos (Etsy wants to integrate music we have the rights to).
  • We will publish videos on The Storque or other places at our discretion.
  • There are no prizes because this isn’t a contest.
  • We’ll be reviewing submissions on the 1st and 15th of every month. Be one of the first to get yours in (the first deadline is November 15)!
  •  There is no fee associated with participation.
  • Participation is voluntary.

Further Resources:

We are inspired by Story Corps, a radio oral history project started by David Isay and Sound Portraits.
We are inspired by zine culture.
Jumpcut is a website where you can upload small clips and edit them online.
Youtube, Vimeo, blip are free video hosting services. The Internet Archive is great.
You can find some great, simple DIY video how-tos here.
How to Light, by DIY Network.
Tips from USC Annenberg.
Shannon posted these DIY Video Tips.

FAQ:

Q. I don’t know if my story is compelling enough. Why should I spend the timing making a video?
A.  Hey, listen. Why not give it a shot?  We want to hear from you. As added incentive, consider this an excuse to make a video you can use to tell people about your work. Or if you’re a buyer, consider it a way of showing your support for indie artists.

Q. I don’t know how to use a videocamera. Can I have someone help me?
A. Of course someone can help you. This isn’t a contest where you have to produce something all on your own. Plus, we’re posting some quick and easy tips for DIY video.

Q. What are you going to use these videos for?  Why are you doing this?
A. We want to get the word out about buying handmade.  We use our faves in other promotional ways besides The Storque, such as playing them at conferences, including them in press pitches, and viral advertising for your shops.

Q. I want to add music because it will really spice up my video. Why don’t you want me to?
A. If you add music (especially music we don’t have the rights to), we can’t play it on Etsy.

Q. What would be the best time to get it in, since there’s no real deadline?
A. We review at the first and fifteenth of every month. We’re eager to get started, so we hope you’ll get it in soon (like before the holidays)! But we see this as an ongoing project and we continually want to collect links to your videos.

Q. I don’t want to go through Youtube or one of those websites. Can I just email the movie to The Storque?
A. No! Etsy can’t host video right now and we don’t want our email server to be flooded with huge files.

Q. If I participate, am I giving Etsy the copyright to my video?
A. No, you’re giving us permission to play it.  You keep the copyright to your video and you can play it where ever else you choose.