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The dangers of online video

We champion online video production a lot in this blog. But Mitch Joel, CEO of TwistImage, made a very insightful point in a recent blog post. Sometimes, online video can be devastating. Both for viewers and content creators.

Video editing is hard. So hard that more times than not, online videos are bad. Usually, the worst online videos come from independent producers who don’t have to worry about video’s affect on their professional reputation. However, brands are capable of making bad online videos too. Have you seen Oxfam’s latest video production? Seriously, ouch…

Joel outlines a list of tips for creating good videos, basic things like the importance of video editing, lighting, sound design, eye contact, and clear speech. There are a few details he missed that are worth mentioning.

Production values in video are important, but having a vision and goal for a video is key. A good video, especially for businesses, needs to have a purpose. This can be a problem that needs solving, a campaign that needs advertising, or basically anything else. Our unofficial motto at Video One is that video can solve any problem. Companies making a video should take that into consideration.

However, a noticeable problem isn’t the only reason to make a video. If a company is releasing a new product, or just wants people to know they exist, a video is great for that too. If a company came up with a funny concept that doesn’t have anything to do with their business, but might make people laugh, they can make a video to entertain the millions of people who discretely browse YouTube during work.

Companies should also consider their audience. This is related to the need for vision. The Internet isn’t a total vacuum. Although a funny and amazing video would be watched by practically anyone, some good videos are industry specific. Brands should always be aware of who might see their work and keep that audience in mind when producing the content.

Someone could argue that there are no stead-fast rules in the Internet, and something unique and special will stand out. Even with bad lighting, poor editing, or no real story, some videos are just gems. Like the Double Rainbow Guy.

But strange virals like that are unique and unpredictable beasts. They’re hard to predict and making one is ultimately unreliable. Few professional videographers will recommend making a viral since making one is just about impossible. No one knows what videos will go viral and anyone promising to make one is stealing your money (I’ve written that before but it’s worth repeating).

Instead, it makes more financial sense to make a video that looks and feels professional. You have to know the rules before you can break them. Don’t be avant-garde, hire a professional.

To find out how we can help you with your next video editing or video production project, call or email us today!

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