20 Years of Changes in Video Production, My How We’ve Changed, and Stayed the Same

We’ve been making videos at CRM Studios for a long time (read almost 25 years) and recently we were reminiscing about the changes in video production we have seen, or how much it’s stayed the same.

Here’s how the discussion went.

Corporate Videos are More Disposable

Corporate videos have a much shorter shelf life today. Two years is usually all you can get before content changes make the video unusable.

Videos Are Getting Shorter

Blame YouTube for our obsession with “Snackable Content.” Short, fast moving and entertaining. People just don’t want to watch anything longer than three minutes anymore. This is one of the most dramatic changes in video production we’ve seen.

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Corporate Videos are Seen in Many More Places

The digital age opened a myriad of new venues for our corporate videos — web, email, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, intranets, PowerPoint presentations and many more. Whereas 20 years ago that video or film was physically shown in only a few places, usually during meetings. Then we produced one master, today it’s not unusual to produce six or more masters to accommodate all the digital venues our customers use.

2D and 3D Animation is Growing

2D and 3D animation has really exploded in the past few years. It’s a cost effective way to increase viewer interest and up the entertainment value, especially when combined with normal live action. And video animation fits perfectly into digital showing. Infographics have also driven the growth of the 2D world of animation.

Development Time is Half What It Was

One of the most trying changes in video production is development time. What was 8-10 weeks from start to finish in the past, the corporate video development time today is cut down to 3-5 weeks. Same sized project and same level of complexity, just twice as fast from script to market.

Available Client Time is Less

Corporate video production goes quicker and smoother the more time the client has to be involved. But today our clients are so busy, and approval processes are so arduous, we have much less of the client’s time on the production. Some of it is more work for less people, but a lot of it is about financial control.

Clients Don’t Write Scripts Like They Used To

Even a poorly written script from the client is far better than none at all. Today, CRM is often tasked with writing the entire script, instead of rewriting a client script. We do more scripts than ever before and in some cases, that’s a great thing. Projects with tight deadlines benefit from our writing the script because it’s so much faster.

It’s Harder for Companies to Define What They Want

There are more audiences and more places for a corporate video to be shown, and clients have less time to devote to the production project. These three issues combine to cloud the real corporate needs. Often times we create ‘pods’ of short 1 1/2 to 2-minute shows that can be linked, or not, depending on the budget and audience. This technique helps us to target audiences with two or three custom themes aimed at specific audience groupings.

Testimonials Are Back

Testimonials, once a mainstay of corporate videos, lost their usefulness a while back. Now the demand for testimonials is growing again, and rapidly. It seems in this world of ‘global distrust’ someone else telling your story resonates better with the younger crowd better than companies tooting their own horn. This also relates to social media where we seek out other’s experiences helping us make better decisions.

Cost Has Replaced Quality as Driving Factor

The quality of the final video product had been the most important factor in years past, but today it’s about cost. Budgets are smaller but the demands of fragmented audiences and more video venues have increased. Clients worry less about what the final product looks like (i.e., 4K vs. HD) and more about what it costs or what the video says.

Video Has Become a Mainstream Vehicle for Corporate Messaging

Video is exploding online and has bypassed many of the old ways companies communicate (i.e., PowerPoint presentations, Memo/Mail, intranets, etc.) as a way to reach out to anyone and everyone, including employees, quickly and easily. Changes in video use means corporate videos are doing much more than they did in the past.

Most Videos are Not Seen on The Big Screen

Time was when corporate videos were major productions shown at large gatherings of prospects, customers and employees. Today these same, but shorter, videos are watched on computers, tablets and phones. Big screens have all but gone away as the main display for video.

Every industry changes over time. But video production, especially corporate video has seen some huge changes. Fragmented audiences, more viewing venues, higher expectations and greater demands, less client involvement and an extreme cost consciousness have combined to make the production process challenging. But that’s why you need a deeply experienced, full-service team on your side. To stay sane, within budget and still proud of the final result.

Call us. We can help.

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