Click on a link to watch a video and a commercial pops up. You can skip the ad in 4, 3, 2, 1, “skip ad.” If it caught your interest, you may have stayed. If it was a sell, then you skipped it. In embedded ads, the hook has to happen within those first few seconds or the viewer is gone.
In a post about the future of video, it would have been easy to talk tech…don’t get me wrong, tools are great to have, but they are just tools. Most of us are tech nerds, who spend a metric crap ton of time researching and testing equipment to enable us to do new and exciting work. What we all need to remember/admit is that even the most advanced piece of equipment/technology, won’t make the viewer watch our work. Think Blair Witch Project. It was shot with simple video cameras – and video cameras are getting more simple all the time. The director didn’t have the subjects lug cinema quality cameras. It wasn’t about the tool. It was the suspense and excitement that held your attention.
Recently, I spent a large amount of time researching and watching various types of motion work. I watched everything from great movies to successful commercials. The good ones made you relate to someone or something, right away, which made you part of the story. That hook is what keeps us from going on to something else. Developing that hook is tremendously important and difficult to quantify. And doing it sooner is becoming more important than ever. Attention spans are getting shorter and they will likely get even shorter in the coming years.
To prepare for the future, spend a metric crap ton of time researching what makes a motion piece interesting enough to hold the viewers attention and less time researching the newest, iconic, doorstop bound pieces of hardware. The future of video, is getting and holding the viewer’s attention. It’s not about the tools.
Todd Joyce – BTW, the metric crap ton is slang for a huge value that is hard to quantify, e.g. Todd has a metric crap ton of work at http://joycephotography.com