This year I was asked to be a judge for the Adventure Cycling Association of America’s first Bicycle Travel Video Contest.
I watched a few that were quite terrible.
I watched a handful that were really good.
But Stefan’s winning 158-second clip was far ahead of the pack. Watch it and see why.
What was it about this video that I found so compelling?
It began by making me curious. (The matter-of-factness. The unconventional format. The careful camerawork and accomplished editing.)
It got me on board by making me laugh. (The dry Teutonic humour. The surprises thrown in amongst the fast cuts. The nigh-on perfect coming timing.)
It sustained its momentum by reminding me of all that is wonderful about riding through Europe, including much that I had forgotten. (The diversity. The scenery. The misery. The sharing. To expect the unexpected and to welcome it with open arms.)
It ended by making me think. (The fact that — despite the pared-down routine allowing in such floods of life experience — you are nevertheless left with more questions than answers.)
It was as long as it needed to be, and not a second longer.
Most of the entries could have been improved by several orders of magnitude by obeying this simple rule.
Stefan is still on tour, and is currently riding through South America. You can check out his blog at showmetheworld.de.