The last time I heard any news on silent films it was when “The Artist” won an award for Best Film at last year’s Oscars.
But the Internet is once again buzzing about this old form of movie making due to a creative campaign using Instagram to literally make “moving pictures” to promote the upcoming Toronto Silent Film Festival.
If you visit one of three Festival Instagram pages on your smartphone you will be asked to switch to slideshow mode and scroll down quickly through the set of images from a classic silent film. In doing so, the Instagram feed becomes active like a flipbook and a scene from the movie comes to life. The most popular of the three so far seems to be the 1925 American Western, Tumbleweeds.
Leading media agency, Cossette, used the popular photo-sharing network to create, what they call, the world’s first Instagram Film Experience. Their goal was to bring a new generation to the Toronto Silent Film Festival by making these films as fresh in 2013 as they were in 1925.
The choice to use Instagram over something newer like Vine was to make sure that the users felt the innovation behind the experience was coming from a new use of an existing platform rather than simply being an early adopter.
“We wanted people to look at this and say ‘why didn’t I think of it’—just like how they probably felt about the first silent films,” says Matthew Litzinger, Co-Chief Creative Officer at Cossette.
When you interact with one of the silent films on Instagram, you can’t help but smile like a kid again from its creative simplicity. Cossette has truly captured the wonder and magic movies must have felt like 100 years ago when they first began. And to be able to evoke that feeling today amongst the “talkies” and 3D films is a pretty remarkable thing.
You can experience all three of these silent films by searching @TSFF_1, @TSSF_2 and @TSFF_3 on Instagram.