Move, Learn, Eat: Short Films Review

For several days, I have been curious about these viral videos that my friends kept posting on their Facebook pages — Move, Eat, Learn —  over and over, friends and family would post them, share them, repost them. There were so many positive feedbacks on their links but since I couldn’t access the videos at work, I chose to do so today at home to find out once and for all what the fuss was about. I must say that I was completely blown away by what I discovered. The artistry and the inspiration brought about by these three short films has not only impressed me, but astounded me to a degree that leaves me at a loss for words.

3 guys, 44 days, 11 countries, 18 flights, 38 thousand miles, an exploding volcano, 2 cameras and almost a terabyte of footage… all to turn 3 ambitious linear concepts based on movement, learning and food ….into 3 beautiful and hopefully compelling short films…..

These were the opening words on the creators’ vimeo site (click here to see the videos). The films, which were commissioned by STA Travel Australia takes a team of young filmmakers composed of director/producer Rick Mereki, Tim White and Andrew Lees, on an journey to different locations to create videos that will capture the true essence of traveling the world.

Honestly, I get goosebumps every time I watch any of these videos. It amazes me how a short that spans only a minute each is able to capture the true meaning of traveling, which, I now realize is more than going to another country to take pictures of oneself for posterity, but rather an experience of different cultures,  an immersion of onself in the unknown, a learning something new, and an opportunity to meet people that is different from oneself.

The films were able to appeal to one’s imagination and sense of adventure and compelled viewers to action. There was no script needed for these shorts because the videos were able to illustrate their messages clearly.  My favorite was Learn, where the filmmakers focused on how many things a person can learn to do abroad — dancing, mixed martial arts, cooking, making glass, wine tasting, rock climbing, and even weight lifting — all in different backdrops in scenic locations with an everyday sort of atmosphere, making it seem like these things are yours for the taking anytime you want it. It was fun to watch and infectious too, as one gets bitten by the travel bug upon seeing the clip.

But what truly draws me to these films (aside from the fresh camera angles and excellent sequencing and editing) is the genuine enjoyment visible in the face of the subject as he embarks on each adventure, a feeling which he is able to communicate to the viewers that enhances their connection to the film. They can’t help but want to do what the subject is doing at the moment and feel that same rush.

Kudos to the filmmakers for these three very cool, very young and very excellent shorts. The musical composers, scorers and arrangers Kelsey James, and Jake Phillips who provided the perfect supporting sound also deserve much praise for coming up with the perfect music to blend with the general feel of the shorts.

These films make me long for an adventure in the genuine sense of the word. And if the goal of these shorts is compel people to get off their butts and do something, then for my part alone, its Mission Accomplished without question.