Marketing in a Second

That’s a video–or rather, a collection of videos–that I made at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum.

As you might have noticed, each clip is quick. One second, to be precise.

I got the idea from Montblanc’s Beauty of a Second contest, which is a contest for one-second videos. Despite the short length, the videos manage to be quite affecting, particularly in combination. (See Vimeo for a compilation of semifinalists from the first round, which is sadly much more user-friendly than the contest site.)

I think it’s a good way for museums to highlight the breadth of what they do and what they have. It’s not exactly easy, however. It can take a long time to capture the right second. The shot of the Indian Leaf butterfly closing its wings at the end, for example, took probably 20 minutes to first locate and then wait for it to decide it wanted to open up.

My project was rushed, mostly shot in about an hour and a half one afternoon and a few minutes before and after my volunteer shift the next day. Since it was a completely independent project, I also limited what I shot to the readily public parts of the museum. I could, theoretically, have taken shots of many more of the museum’s live animals, but I doubt their keepers would have appreciated the extra handling. And I also theoretically could have filmed visitors, but I was not really in the position to get the permissions that basic ethics would have demanded. And, of course, there are plenty of things that only happen outside of the times that I was filming.

Even with these limitations, I think the compilation came out well. With a bit more time and branding, it could be a neat, uplifting promotional piece.

And the personal bit: I mentioned that this was inspired by the Montblanc contest. Naturally, I entered. Finalists are chosen by audience vote. So if you’d like to vote for me, that would be cool.

Also as I mentioned, the site’s not terribly user-friendly. The search function only searches videos by title, not submitter, and the master list of videos is 113 pages long. But here are direct links to my videos.

Quail Chase

Indian Leaf

Water Fountain

Water Wheel


Bull Snake

Fish Tank

Butterfly Feeding

Owl Butterflies Feeding

Head Poke

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