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Choosing the right video format

When you set out on the path to commission video, you will face a number of questions from the get-go such as: who is your audience; how much will it cost; where is it going to be hosted and what’s the delivery deadline. But the first big one to answer is: what format to choose. This often comes down to a straight choice: ‘live action’ or animation.

The Case for ‘Live Action’

‘Live action’ videos use filmed footage and they tend to feature interviews and/or a voiceover and music. They are ideal for companies that make things or have products to explain or showcase. A manufacturing business is a good example. ‘Live action’ also works well for case studies, where a client explains how you solved one of their major business challenges.

For this type of video format you will need a camera crew with assorted kit such as lighting and sound. Keely Valentine, DMA Media’s Head of Production, has this advice: “The big thing you will need to think about ahead of time is what footage will be needed to tell your story and make it visually engaging. Make sure you set aside plenty of time on your filming day to gather plenty of top quality b-roll.”

The Case for Animation

Animations are graphic-based videos that combine images, icons, text, voiceover and music. They work especially well for companies that offer complex services or have an abstract story to tell. Or a narrative that features lots of facts and figures.  IT or financial services companies are good examples.

What’s great about animations is that you’re not constrained creatively. You can explore abstract notions or you can explain and present research findings in an easily digestible format. They also work really well on mobile and social channels as you can watch most of them without sound,” says Keely.

Conclusion

Of course, both choices have their relative merits. ‘Live action’ videos are fairly quick to produce so work well if you have a tight deadline. Whereas with animations you avoid the up-front costs of filming, stock footage, camera equipment etc.   However, if you have the budget and the inclination, why not combine the two. You can augment your wonderfully filmed footage with graphics that reinforce your marketing messages and complement your narrative. Just a thought…

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