Last week I took advantage of a warm evening and packed up a new camera and a couple of my children and headed out to the water park here in St.Albert. I wanted to test out the camera, my new lens, the follow focus, the image stabilization and the slow motion. The water park seemed like an ideal challenge. I have to say, I was pretty impressed with the results. Especially when I look at the size and the cost of my new gear.
It’s no secret that camera gear is getting cheaper and better at the same time. The tools I have to work with now puts to shame the gear I had a couple of years ago and destroys the cameras I used a decade ago, and all at a fraction of the cost. With such low price points, more and more people can pursue the “cinematographer’ dream and become a filmmaker and produce really good looking material. It’s easy to do. Cinematic shots are literately a dime a dozen these days.. That’s not the challenge anymore when it comes to video production and content creation. So with both cheaper gear and better quality videos, what is the challenge and why does some good looking video still feel bad? Because it has no substance, no flow and is an empty joyride with no destination in mind.
Let me explain.
A video that looks good does not make it a good video if it has no intended purpose, it’s useless. Video needs purpose, it needs direction. It needs to take the viewer from point A to point B, and it needs to do it in a way that works for the intended audience. Knowing your audience and the message is crucial for the success of your video. A good video begins and ends with the creative process of the mind and the gear used is nothing more than tools to get the job done.
Video that looks good can also feel bad. This is because video works at a deeper subconscious level and each frame and cut matters. The trained editor knows this and edits in a way that controls the viewers attention and influences his or her feelings and thoughts. Each word matters, each look matters. Eye candy helps, but eye candy alone will not ever get the job done. It doesn’t matter if it’s a corporate video or a marketing video or a news story, the video needs to be in control like the conductor of an orchestra, it’s a symphony of motion and sound that takes the viewer on a journey.
Most of the time, your audience doesn’t even know why they react the way they do to what they see or hear. They only experience it. What they experience is influenced by the creator of the video. My job, as a video creator, is to influence the experience and work on a subconscious level. My success has not been built on my ability to press some buttons on a camera or move a mouse around to edit. My success has been built on the deeper understanding that I have of what works and what doesn’t work. My clients trust me and they don’t even know why, they think the video simply falls together easily because it flows so flawlessly. Nope, that’s just me doing what I do best.
So next time you watch a video that captures your attention or creates an emotional reaction, ask yourself how did they do that? It was on purpose, and it has nothing to do with the gear they used. Keep that in mind when video companies make it a point to talk the talk and list off a bunch of equipment that means nothing to you, they are the ones who believe good work can be cloned and if it looks good, that’s good enough.
Anyways, it’s late and I will probably have to edit this once I get some sleep as I am sure I ran on, but meanwhile, here is a good looking video that I shot of my kids. It looks cool 🙂 and it actually flows pretty good for what it is.
I hope you enjoyed this post and got some insight into the world of Video Production in Edmonton.