Movement, Music & Messaging

You have a video project.  Your goal?  To make it engaging.  No sense in wasting your time or anyone else’s if its not.   Whether in the time and resources to create the project or in the time an intended audience member spends on consuming it (or alternatively clicking off it in exasperated boredom).  Let’s not waste time.  And certainly not money.

Every project is different and so this advice applies only to a percentage of your projects, but…I’ll supply disclaimers in a sec!

Music is disproportionately important in creating video.  The right music track and you’ve established a full 50% of the desired emotionality to positively promote your company, product, etc, et al.

But I thought we were talking about Movement?  We are but Music is a good reference because movement in a video piece operates in a way that is similar to music. Someone said: “Music is liquid architecture; Architecture is frozen music” (alright, it was Goethe – call me nerd but we all have Google).  This is a similar concept.

When you can move a camera in a shot, you have the ability to create a beauty and three dimensionality that is not there otherwise.  A subject becomes a sculpture and not merely a painting.  Becomes fuller, more present.  But more than that, you can imbue the camera with intention.  It becomes a kind of spirit, personality or character all of its own.  Its a way of the creator of the video saying: “This is a special moment, pay attention to this.” Without, of course, saying it. After all people prefer to come to their own conclusions.  In short, it is a great way to introduce emotion to a shot.  To connect people to what you are saying on a deeper level.

It can’t be used arbitrarily.  In some cases it shouldn’t be used at all.

In cinema for instance, it might be used sparingly as in “okay, the camera is now moving.  This is a special moment in contrast to the more subtle building moments.”  Or in comedy, whether in commercials or films, it may have less value as it could sometimes distract.  And if someone is legitimately being funny you absolutely want to pay attention only to that rather than be peripherally concerned with something that is changing visually.

However, if you are making a visually dynamic commercial or a corporate video or most things(!)… very ideally you want movement. Movement and good music.  Here you worry less about distraction.  It’s not an issue.  Here the goal is to overwhelm.  Here you want enhancement because, lets face it, for better or worse, most people respond to how a message is delivered rather than, often, what that message is.  We’ve all been on first dates, after all!  Emphasis should occur when the camera “stops” moving.  Like, “hey, stop a sec.  I need to tell you something important.”

It takes more time on set.  More planning. Hence sometimes more resource.  Has to be done intelligently.  But it is of disproportionate value in “emotionalizing” your message.  Approaching, I would say, even the value of music.  Emotionalizing your message.  Often more important than the message itself.