The economy of the GIF
GIF via lulinternet/Tumblr
Just two months before MTV’s Video Music Awards, the network was in a bind. A photographer scheduled to shoot One Direction to promote the big event had canceled due to passport issues. A call was placed to staffer Jimmy Repeat.
“Get your shit,” recounted Repeat shortly after. “They agreed to do five minutes with us. Get on a plane.”
Twelve hours later, Repeat was on a flight to London to meet One Direction. Only instead of a photo shoot, Repeat would create 60 GIF animations—moving portraits, seconds of footage looped ad infinitum. The resulting images of the the massively popular British-Irish boy band were candid and personal, a brief glimpse of life behind the scenes.
Some of the GIFs made it onto MTV’s popular Tumblr blog, where they accumulated more than 135,000 notes.