I’m curious what comes to mind for most people these days when they hear the word “video.” Maybe they think of TV commercials, or Youtube or cell phone footage. Maybe an instagram model’s selfie story. Whatever it is, most everyone interacts, consumes, and experiences video on a daily basis. The “mobile-social-short form-video” equation is a popular and effective combination that can help make someone’s story or brand very relevant these days. If executed well, it can be equally great for the dog grooming-entrepreneur, as well as an established law firm.
Some quick thoughts on video:
Video production is known to be expensive.
It can also be inexpensive.
It can be done on the cheap and still look great.
It can be done on huge budgets and turn out poorly.
It can look beautiful and be perfectly wrong.
Ideas and execution matter more than production value.
A thoughtful piece of video content will work in ways that defy time and money.
Many “requirements” for video production and distribution have changed since the internet 2.0. Here’s a few.
There is no “go-to” camera format these days. Not everything needs to be shot on “the red” camera or the “dragon” or whatever sounds like an enemy robot. The best video for you might be shot on an iPhoneX but not many production companies will tell you that. They have expensive equipment and most like to shoot on camera systems that look like they’re about to transform into something. It doesn’t have to be a certain price tag to be good. A video project doesn’t always call for a big shot director, fancy lights, or cranes.
Many talented professionals in the film & video industry are romantic about making movies and love using sophisticated equipment. Their romanticism and overhead shouldn’t be your problem. How something is shot or what the script calls for, if there is one, can mean the difference between a three figure budget or a six figure one. It might be that a 30 sec version of your explainer video shot on a phone is be better for both audience attention and your budget versus the “2 min 4K version” that producer quoted you.
“Our thumb is the new remote control.”
How something’s done is important with most things and certainly holds true here. Video has more “moving parts” than other mediums so sometimes it’s harder to produce well. There’s sound, music, voice, text, graphics, footage, lighting, subject matter, story and maybe most critical – time. Whether it’s an animated video or hand-held selfie message, time and pacing is important. If there’s a great moment :48 seconds in but everything before it isn’t compelling, people likely won’t stay past the first 5 seconds. Their thumbs will likely “change the channel.” We’re talking about holding attention.
As for distribution of content, things changed big time around 2008 when billions evaporated from the economy and when digital-social platforms like YouTube and Instagram were being born. The Internet that took flight in the 90’s went to sonic boom around 2007-2010 and now there are many ways to get your message and video content out there. It’s not just TV or your website’s home page. Your video might go everywhere or maybe only on Instagram. And depending on the platform, the video should be created or edited for the context where your audience will consume it. The video on your homepage and the version on IG should be different because they are watched differently. And now with features like “Story” & “Live,” the immediacy of using video can add even more relevance to your brand or campaigns if utilized well.
To sum up, video is great and anyone looking to share the message of their product or story should find the right way to utilize the medium for their business. If you’re putting out video regularly on mobile-social platforms, you’ll likely gain more attention on than the others who aren’t. I can’t imagine what business shouldn’t utilize video. (Garden Hose companies and Funeral Homes – I’ve already thought of you. Try harder ;).
While many things in tech and behavior change, here’s some things that won’t. Humans love stories and moving images. In its most powerful form, the combination of narrative, imagery and sound to capture our emotions and attention is paramount. In its simplest form, it offers to show and tell us something in a convenient way. ie: We don’t have to turn a page. We can sit back and watch. And those that hold our attention and provide something of value, we will return to.
Our thumb is the new remote control. Whatever you’re doing on video should be compelling enough to keep the thumb at rest.
– Matthew Desotell, Creative Director