15th April 2014

putting you in the frame


In the beginning

Charles Ginsburg led an Ampex research team developing one of the first practical video tape recorder (VTR) which led, in 1951, to the first video tape recorder capturing live images from television cameras, converting the camera’s electrical impulses and saving the information onto magnetic video tape. In those days a video recorder cost $50,000 and the tapes would set you back a further $300 per hour. Prices dropped over the years and in 1971 Sony launched a domestic video cassette recorder (VCR). But it is not until recently that video has really come into its own as a result of technological advances. The management and distribution of video, viewed on tablets and smartphones has changed the world forever. Superfast broadband, enhanced mobile battery life and high definition screens have made this revolution possible.
Software has also played a huge roll in advances in VFX (Visual Effects). It doesn’t seem that long ago that Pastiche and Quantel Painbox were the preserve of large advertising agencies alone. And at £5,000.00 for 70Mbs of storage we can understand why. Despite playing a significant part in rock video history for some of the greats such as Queen and Dire Straights, Quantel sued Adobe and lost – the rest is history.
Combining cost-effective HD cameras, storage, software, distribution and sharing capabilities and Apple work stations with huge multi-screen displays, we have now been given free reign to construct hyper realistic videos that create a connection by pulling people into a new digital world. We have use of infographics that transform large compositions of information in a way that highlights key facts and therefore delivers a decisive message to customers or clients. All have their uses, but what is new in the video world and how do we determine what suits our needs and harness these techniques?
The more we consider the techniques that are used to create the world as presented by cinema with scenes that are developed in post production, the glides and camera pans, there really isn’t much happening in terms of the development of new techniques. Instead, this is more of a recycling stage where the old becomes the new. This is across all areas of film and motion as we have access to the many techniques no matter what level we are at.

Let’s take it slowly

Slow motion – The cinematic effect used to create a dramatic sense of power and emotion can now be achieved with an iPhone, so everyone has the ability to create powerful video footage in a smaller format. And with sliders and camera glide technology costs reduced, the scenes they are used to create are appearing in all kinds of production videos. This brings a professional and dynamic look to videos.

Don’t look down

Ariel shots – We no longer need to hire a plane or helicopter – instead we can now mount a camera aboard a remote controlled helicopter, such as a Dragonfly X6!
The more advanced techniques that agencies, such as we use here at Silver, include;
Infographic explainer videos – kinetic typography. The words appear as the voice over starts, engaging a visual representation of what you are listening to. This is useful for getting information across as you are hitting two channels – people simultaneously see and hear.
VFX – Superimposing and compositing 3D elements in backgrounds and foregrounds is our favourite and most popular effect. This is a cinematic effect that allows us to create whatever is in the vast imaginations of our creatives.
Although these techniques are popular, this does not show the emergence of techniques that are new. Once again these effects have been recycled and updated with technology. Video has progressed to the point where we think more about the technique of viewing or delivering the project to customers or clients.

The first is instagram.

Instagram, the social networking. Agencies and companies use this as a powerful tool to upload images and videos to broaden the scope of their audience, reaching more and more people with each like, share or follow. The creation of videos that can be screened to thousands of followers has the ability to go viral across other social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter if shared by the followers. So you can see the appeal.
Youtube and vimeo channels represent the perfect hosts on which to showcase videos. By sharing a URL thread directed from an email, for example, the constraints of embedding massive video files into emails no longer exists. However with technological advances in web video playback, we will be seeing more engaging content within our inboxes. Another marketing technique that is emerging in marketing and advertising is the use of GIF’s as a teaser. Snippets of video engage the viewer to follow a link and watch the full feature.

Got something to say!

The emergence of the video blog is beginning to gain traction in the business world. Remember Justin Bieber started his career singing on Youtube when singer Usher signed him up and the viral effect of the ranting Charlie Sheen. No one can deny the commercial value of these enterprises. Business bloggers, however, may be better advised to look at such video blogs as the Ted lectures or Steve Jobs product launches for ‘thought leadership’ inspiration.

What do customers think of video advertising?

Animoto recently reported new survey results that show video has a positive impact on purchase decisions and drives brand engagement. The new Animoto Online and Mobile Video Study surveyed 1,000 U.S. consumers and revealed that nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of respondents are more likely to purchase a product or service if they can watch a video explaining it beforehand. Such videos enable consumers to gain a better perspective of what they are investing in. Another chunk of the population have more faith in companies that go all out with corporate videos and big budget advertisements, not only to show off their quality, but also to show their care for the products they are selling and the valued customers that consume the products.
Video is now very much at the forefront of nurture and lead generation marketing. Done right, t’s a powerful way to trigger emotion and garner brand engagement. As we say here at Silver ‘Content is King’ and the rules of relevant information which is well targeted are as important as ever they were.
Curt Postill
Silver Creative