Everyone who knows me well enough, knows that I'm a big 'ol fan of trains. From the 103 Series operated by Japan Rail to the California Zephyr, they are simply the best. With this year being such a great one for Internet videos, I figured hey, it's about time I start up a list of the best train videos to make their way to the web this past year. So here are my top ten favorite train videos of 2017.
#10 24-Hour Norwegian Train Stream
The Norwegian Broadcasting Company, pioneers of "slow TV," aired this engineer's view of a train rolling through the winter landscape of Norway. Even better, someone has looped the whole thing and put it to stream 24/7 on YouTube! What a dream come true!
#9 Why Trains Are SO Expensive
Ya know, people are always asking "Why don't we have high-speed rail all across America??" And I constantly have to tell them, "because it would be cost prohibitive because the U.S. is just so d*mn big!!" But from now on, I'll just show them this video instead of shouting.
#8 89-Year Old With a Unique Pneumatic Train in His Backyard
Train fan Max Schlinger built a unique magnetic pneumatic train of his own design and it's the only one of its kind in the world. A man truly living the dream!
#7 Train Accidentally Becomes Snow Plow
#6 a train windows 20170411c
Damien Henry created this video entirely with an algorithm. The algorithm watched videos of views out train windows on its own, then was fed a single frame, then predicted each frame afterwards.
#5 Check it Out! with Scott Clam
In this very first episode with Scott Clam taking over the Check it Out! hosting chair, we get a fantastic interview with Mid-West train aficionado David Liebe Hart. David even performs a delightful song about trains! Full disclosure: I ran the editing booth for this episode ^ _ ^
#4 UK Trains That Run To Nowhere
File this fella under "things I didn't know were a thing"!
#3 Slav train
Have you ever felt the bounce of a rural train and felt that it just made you ready to party?! Well, this one's just for you!
#2 Kintetsu 21000
This video is a fantastic example of doing something simply is sometimes all you need.
#1 Thomas Train Stunts
At number one, we find ourselves with one of the biggest names in trains, Thomas himself! This is no official Thomas the Train episode, actually, it's so much better than that! We're taken on a wild ride of tricks and races, it's a pure delight!
Well, I hope you enjoyed taking this journey with my through The Great Train Videos of 2017! Until next time!
I'd say that most of the media I consumed in 2017 were short-form web videos posted to YouTube or Vimeo. There's a lot less at stake compared to TV and movies, which allows for an insane amount of experimentation and an infinite amount of novel ideas. Here, listed in chronological order of when they were uploaded, are my fifteen favorite videos of 2017.
This short doc on how Comic Sans was made is a ton of fun. I really dig the music and visual design, but the interviews are especially interesting.
While this is the second short documentary about a font on this list, this one is becoming one of my all-time favorite documentaries.
This ad for The Atlantic starring Michael K. Williams is really a self-reflective short about identity. Surprise!
In Aomori, Japan, there is a tug-of-war competition where bald men use solely their "slippery" heads. Videos of insane competitions like this one are some of my favorite on the Internet.
I've been following French-Canadian animator Nicolas Menard's commercial work for a couple of years and he's always done such beautifully unique stuff, but he truly outdid himself with this animated short about faith and love.
This one is actual genius, my absolute favorite comedy video of the year. There is no blurred lined between reality and fiction here, the line has been removed entirely. My friends and I were passing this video around for a while before I learned that my buddy John Parr was a key part of making this video happen, he would later join Chad to address the Los Angeles city council to make a case in favor of house parties, and that makes me love it even more.
Aki, from Obubu Tea in rural Japan, succinctly describes how the winter has affected his tea harvest.
Click Hole has been perfectly satirizing viral and "snackable" video culture perfectly all year and this one is so simply absurd, the title alone is hilarious.
This technical mishap that aired on the BBC weaves in and out of being hilarious, boring, bizarre, dumb, and incredibly interesting.
A found footage collection display of a time when Cleveland so desperately wanted attention that they released 1.5 million helium balloons into the sky. The participants are overly excited, the release is spectacular, the aftermath is surprisingly tragic.
Johnny Harris' Borders web series for Vox on how lines on maps have impacted countless lives has been increasingly great all year. This particular episode on the border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic is phenomenally informative but also heart-breaking. It gave me a new perspective on a situation that I thought knew enough about.
I get incredibly excited when people take full advantage of a medium and do something that could not have been done in any other way. This continuous 4 minute teaser trailer for the video game The Last of Us: Part II could really only have been accomplished because of advancements in CG animation technology in the past decade or so. It's also intense as hell.
This video essay is almost too up my alley. I had known that major aspects of Star Wars was changed in the edit, but not to the extent that's explained in this video.
The greatest Budweiser ad of all time.
As much as the Internet sucked in 2017, it was refreshing to go through all the videos that came out this year that I loved. I hope that you watched and liked them all because I'll feel conscious if you didn't.