The little girl in the opening scene of this video turned 20 this year. In the years since that clothesline scene, video took over the internet, social media became the place we watch it, and the phones in our pockets got better video cameras than the professional gear used at that shoot in 2001.
So, a lot has changed. But if you’re going to invest in video for any purpose, you still need to start with a solid strategic understanding. Know what result you’re looking for and work back from there. That much is no different.
The clothesline video was right for its time and context. But what should you do differently today in video production?
Our top tips
10 from 1
Segment it and make them short! Today this single 13-minute video would be up to 20 short segments. If you’re about social engagement, think in terms of creating a calendar of content to keep your audience thinking about you.
The sound of silence
Make your videos work with the sound off. At least 85 per cent of the Facebook video is watched without sound. If we made this video today, we’d use of on-screen text and graphics so silent viewers get the full story.
Drone on and on
If it can be filmed using a drone, do it. Aerial drone vision is now almost a standard part of the videography tool kit. Everything looks better from up there! We wish we'd had a drone available to us back in 2001.
Like a version
Customise your content to different audience profiles – your customer “avatars”. If we were making the Australian Cotton Story again, we would create variations of the video for different demographics, and get it to them using social media targeting.
If you’re doing it in-house, get ready to be drowned in data. A 30-second clip of raw 4K video will usually take about 1GB of drive storage – and that’s without backing it up. Multiply that by about 120 for a full-day shoot. That content is your asset, so store it securely. And have a system of digital asset management so you can use and re-use it.
One thing that will never change is the fundamentals of clarity and elegance in writing, quality and resourcefulness in production, and strategic thinking before all else. They’ll never lose their currency.
If all of this sounds complicated, it is! Which is one reason professional video production companies like Anvil Media exist. It suits most leading organisations to work with a video production partner to organise and maximise the impact of their higher-value content.