As the year comes to a close, we’re often asked to look back, as annual recaps (and beloved Spotify Wrappeds) abound. This year, we wanted to do things a little differently – by looking forward to the year ahead with a little help from our creative global community. The result is Fast Fwd 2023: an interactive video experience that combines insights from creators and professionals across the globe with interactive elements that bring you into the action.

Interact with the video above, and read on to see how we built it.

Capturing quality content 

To start, we reached out to members of our talented community from all across the world – creative directors in the Netherlands, filmmakers in the UK, animators in Australia, and NGO activists in Nigeria, to name a few.

Even the most camera-comfortable among us know that looking calm, cool, and collected during a self film can be a challenge. So we created and shared a simple guide to filming best practices to help our subjects turn around great videos to go with all that great wisdom. 

Then, we asked them to hop on their phones, cameras, and computers to answer three questions about the year ahead: 

  • What’s your mission for the upcoming year? 
  • What’s inspiring you in the new year? 
  • What are the biggest hurdles you anticipate in 2023? 

Their answers spoke to the power of community, like this gem from creative director and Soursop co-founder Ravi Amaratunga Hitchcock… 

“In individual streams we can only do so much, but as a collective we can do massive, massive, massive things.”

…and the limitless possibilities of storytelling, like this sentiment from Staff Pick filmmaker Faith Briggs.

“I don’t want to just tell cool stories. I want to tell stories that matter.”

Streamlining the post process 

In editing all the video submissions together, we knew we wanted to each segment of the video to stand on its own. So, we created a series of supercuts, featuring our favorite answers to each of the three questions above.

Then, in anticipation of adding interactivity, Vimeo’s creative team set a few ground rules to transform the footage from sizzles and raw footage to an immersive experience.

  • No more than two hotspots on the screen at once
  • Add an interactive element within the first ten seconds 
  • Allow for :15 – :20 between each hotspot 

From there, the team added engaging visual elements like small illustrations and dynamic text to keep the video feeling zippy and dynamic. (Our very talented creative team designed the overlays you see in the video above, but you can check out similar ones in Vimeo Create.) Once the edit was completed, it was off to interactive!

Imagining an interactive experience

To bring the video to life, our interactive team first had to add a branching element, which makes up the bulk of the interactive experience. (You can check that out above.) From there, they added simple touches, including dynamic bios for each speaker, and included a persistent hotspot to allow viewers to navigate through the video when they’re ready to move on. 

“Making a video interactive is all about adding value,” says Jen Mendler, a Senior Designer at Vimeo. “Our community did the heavy lifting by providing such interesting wisdom about the year to come, and we followed suit with a video experience that puts the viewer in the driver’s seat. It’s all about choosing your own destiny in 2023.” 

Make the most of 2023 with interactive video