YouTube(TM), the leading online video community that allows people to discover, watch and share originally created videos, is turning on the spotlights to celebrate the announcement of the 2007 YouTube Video Awards winners (http://www.youtube.com/ytawards07winners). The awards recognize the achievements of the YouTube community and encourage the creation of outstanding online videos.
“In 2007 the YouTube community showed the world that there’s something for everyone on the site,” said Mia Quagliarello, manager of community for YouTube. “This year’s YouTube Video Award winners not only include entertainers, they include those who served as a mouthpiece for everyday people, those who inspired and those who informed.”
“It’s definitely exciting to receive a YouTube Video Award,” said TayZonday, this year’s Music Video Award recipient. “YouTube’s provided me with a place to experiment, showcase my creativity and share my identity. It’s really an honor to get a YouTube Video Award. I’m looking forward to seeing future winners.”
The community has made their decisions and the 2007 YouTube Video Awards go to… drum roll please… :
— Adorable: Laughing Baby —
Nine-month-old Ethan falls over laughing — apparently ripping magazines is hilarious — and just can’t stop, igniting a laughing fit in his dad, too. It’s infectiously cute and earned Ethan a spot in an insurance commercial, allowing millions of people beyond YouTube to chuckle along with this adorable munchkin.
— Comedy: Potter Puppet Pals in “The Mysterious Ticking Noise” —
Neil Cicierega is the talented puppeteer who offers a twisted take on the world of Harry Potter. On a fraction of the budget of the Hogwarts movies, he’s created his own series of Potter puppet parodies, of which “The Mysterious Ticking Noise” is a blockbuster in its own right. Cicierega’s talents go beyond the Potter videos as he can be seen in a number of funny short films and sketches. However, it’s the videos where he’s the hidden hands and voices of the Potter pals that have cemented his reputation as a comedic talent to watch.
— Commentary: LonelyGirl15 is Dead! —
The WhatheBuckShow, an entertainment vlog with several original episodes posted each week, manically covers hot Hollywood and celebrity news. Hosted by gossip extraordinaire Michael Buckley, the series is the #7 Most Subscribed Channel of All Time on YouTube. Inexhaustible and abundantly enthusiastic, Buckley occasionally talks sports and politics but would much rather dish on Top Model and anything to do with “lady bits.”
— Creative: Human Tetris —
Swiss artist Guillaume Reymond of the NOTsoNOISY creative agency is the mastermind behind this innovative video, which uses humans to re-enact a game of Tetris. The stop-motion clip is the fourth video installation of the GAME OVER Project, and took 4.5 hours to shoot using 88 extras and 880 pictures. It was performed and shot at the “Les Urbaines” festival in Lausanne, Switzerland, on November 24, 2007.
— Eyewitness: Battle at Kruger —
Exquisite footage of nature in action, “Battle at Kruger” documents a raw scene from a safari in Kruger National Park, South Africa. Lions attack a calf in a temporary tug-of-war with a crocodile over the meat. Then, the herd of buffalo returns to fight for their young one. National Geographic Channel was so impressed with this footage, they sent the filmmakers back to Africa for a behind-the-scenes special about the making of the clip. This special airs in May.
— Inspirational: Blind Painter —
This video by the Texas Country Reporter chronicles the life and times of blind painter John Bramblitt, who started to gain international exposure in 2007, with notices by media in the U.S., the UK and Korea. After losing his sight from epilepsy, Bramblitt took up the hobby for its calming effects and turned out to be quite gifted at it. This video shows how he uses touch where most painters use sight.
— Instructional: How to solve a Rubik’s Cube (Part One) —
Even though he wasn’t born when it was invented, Dan Brown is a master of the Rubik’s Cube. He figured out the algorithm to solve the puzzle and has shared it with the YouTube community in nearly a dozen videos on the subject. (His winning video has 3.6 million views.) Not only can the Nebraska native and high school senior quickly solve a Rubik’s Cube, he can also do it while jumping on a pogo stick.
— Music: Chocolate Rain —
TayZonday took the summer of 2007 by storm with his stunning baritone, perplexing lyrics and quirky gestures, single-handedly establishing the move-away-from-the-mic meme that was replicated in hundreds of video responses by everyone from Gruff the Crime Dog to Tre Cool of Green Day. The 25-year-old Minneapolis native continues to experiment with diverse musical works and voice compositions that he primarily shares on the Internet. “Yes, I have a deep voice,” he says on his YouTube channel.
— Politics: Stop the Clash of Civilizations —
In the wake of strife in Iraq and the Middle East, “Stop the Clash” makes us confront the stereotypes we have about each other, particularly the conceptions the West has about Islam and vice versa. The force behind the video is www.Avaaz.org — “Avaaz” means “voice” or “song” in several languages, including Hindi, Urdu, Farsi, Nepalese, Dari, Turkish, and Bosnian. A community of “global citizens” grappling with the major issues facing the world today, Avaaz has members in every country on earth and strives to give all the world’s people — not just the elites — a voice.
— Series: The Guild —
The Guild is an independent Web series about a group of online gamers staring “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”‘s Felicia Day. Written for gamers about gamers by a gamer, the show follows Guild members’ lives online and offline in episodes that usually range between three and five minutes in length. The series has nearly 30,000 subscribers through YouTube, and it’s already won a SXSW/On Networks Greenlight Award this year.
— Short Film: My Name is Lisa —
U.S. filmmaker Ben Shelton is the creator of “My Name is Lisa,” a short film that won third place in the YouTube Project Direct contest and now has been selected by the YouTube community as the top short film on the site. “Lisa” is the moving story of a girl on the cusp of womanhood and her relationship with her mother, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. Shelton is no stranger to Internet video: his previous works have led him to projects with Fox Entertainment, the NBA and MySpace. Ben’s brother, Josh, co-wrote the script and created the music for the film.
— Sports: Balloon Bowl —
When the makers of this video had the idea to fill a skate bowl with balloons and try to ride through them, they never though it would work. But, as this video demonstrates, it not only worked, it became an Internet sensation. The project consumed over three hours and nearly 8,000 balloons… plus all the sound effects are real. The clip was filmed on location at the “department of skateboarding” in Portland, Oregon.
YouTube is the world’s largest online video community allowing millions of people to discover, watch and share originally created videos. YouTube provides a forum for people to connect, inform and inspire others across the globe and acts as a distribution platform for original content creators and advertisers large and small. YouTube is based in San Bruno, CA and is a subsidiary of Google, Inc.