audience applauds

Five Keys to Creative Videos

My first business partner often described the multimedia and video work we were delivering to our clients as “holistic.” I think he may have thought the definition of the word was “whole-istic”, which means “we do everything”, but both definitions apply. When creating a successful video project, there are many things that go into it beyond shooting and editing. You have to look at the big picture.

1. Envision the Final Result. To properly know what to deliver, you have to assess the company’s needed result. Is it motivated employees? Educated employees? A well developed position on the #metoo movement presented to the press and community groups? You are there because there’s a problem, or at least a need. Find it. Know It.

2. Know the Audience. Age, economic makeup, position in the company or community, their belief (or lack thereof) in the cause or company, their own needs and desires, their motivations (company, family, pop culture, etc.) Also, consider the size of the audience: Big audiences tend to be responsive; small audiences, not so much.

3. Deliver Logic. We call it “Premise / Proof.” You set up a premise, then you prove it. This way you make the rules and set the expectations. The American Toenail Institute is changing the world of ingrown toenail sufferers? Okay, prove it. Give me facts.

4. Deliver Emotion. More than proof, you need emotional buy-in. Little Jimmy has suffered with ingrown toenail since his birth. ATI’s research has developed cures that have changed little Jimmy’s life. Before and after pictures, tearful interviews with Jimmy’s mom, and a thank you from the parents to ATI will tug at the heartstrings. Give me tears.

5. Don’t Underestimate Music and Sound. This is more technique than a key, but it does separate powerful producers from their everyday competitors. What made “Star Wars” more than just a sophisticated version of “Flash Gordon”? The Music. What makes CNN the most trusted name in news? James Earl Jones, who does their network ID voiceovers. Try watching any chapter of “The Fast and The Furious” with the sound off. Boring. Music, sound effects, natural sound, quality voiceover interpretations, and total project pacing are all the province of the soundtrack. Before video, there were slideshows. The audio– the soundtrack– always came first. (We wrote the scripts too, which helped.) It set up all the rules… pace, emotion, transitions, and the moment of final buy-in– the finale. This carried over to video as well. Lousy and repetitive audio will drive your audience to distraction and you will have gained nothing. You couldn’t deliver on your promise of the final result.

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