Brands have produced some monstrously creative videos over the last several years. But what makes a video creative? What imbues a video with a story, heart, connection, interest, and engagement? What makes a viewer swoon, even a little? Today we’re going to look at the earliest stages of content creation – inspiration.
What inspired this inspiration?
I had been sifting through my Facebook feed this morning, and I found this article on the arrest of filmmaker Deia Schlosberg. I had worked with Deia over the summer at the 2016 Arise Festival, and I found her to be sincere, pleasant, agreeable…and just not very “criminal-y” in general. So, needless to say, I was surprised when I read the article. I was also somewhat heartbroken and agitated. I won’t get political here, as that’s not the nature of this blog. However, I will get serious for a moment.
The article woke me up a little. I have watched several documentary films in recent years, all of which have a particular angle. A film (really, all forms of media) must have an angle. The medium of video is a way to showcase a viewpoint (or a series of viewpoints). It’s simply impossible to match the viewpoint of every possible viewer, let alone inform them all accurately and thoroughly from every angle. This is simply impossible. However, what IS possible is to look at where the filmmaker is coming from.
It’s possible for the filmmaker to share their inspiration with their viewers. It’s clear that Schlosberg is passionate about documenting the protest activities around the Dakota Access Pipeline project. She produced the film “How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can’t Change,” directed by veteran filmmaker Josh Fox. The film focuses on the current activities happening in the world that are likely (if not altogether proven) contributors to climate change. Whether or not you agree with the claims the film makes, Schlosberg’s passion is evident. Her work is driven by inspiration, and that inspiration is KEY in the world of content creation.
Where did all this video content creation come from?
It’s a tough jump from feature films to online video. However, you can’t overlook the origin of video as a medium. Motion pictures originated in the late 1800s. In fact, the first motion picture, filmed in 1888, looked like a black and white YouTube-type video of regular old folks.
This led to the production and heyday of silent films. Subsequently, in 1927, the sound began to be included in film production. The news of the world then came to the general populace through radio and through newsreels viewed at the local cinema. This era led into both mass cinema and television where even more video content would be shared. The novel medium of video creation had, itself, become a form of inspiration.
How do we get inspired to create new content?
Certainly, you can’t expect every videographer or video editor in the digital sphere to become a filmmaker. However, you can get inspired like one. For example, famed writer/director George Lucas found his inspiration for the Star Wars series from his own upbringing.
“It’s all about generations, and issues of fathers and sons and grandfathers. It’s a family soap opera.”
The takeaway: Every piece of video has a beginning, middle, and end. Make the most of this sequence with a story built into it.
Similarly, there is incredible wisdom in the words of iconic filmmaker Stanley Kubrick:
“The important thing in films is not so much to make successes as not to make failures, because each failure limits your future opportunities to make the films you want to make.”
The takeaway: It is important to not drop the ball from video to video. Leave your viewers satisfied with the progression of your content. Leave your audience satisfied yet intrigued.
Finally, I think Steven Spielberg nailed it when he discussed his inspiration with professor Homi K. Bhabha.
“You just have to find some way to communicate who you are [through] your films.”
The takeaway: Ensure that your videos really say who YOU are. Are your videos portraying yourself, or something like you? Don’t emulate the rest unless you want to be known as a copycat.
What makes for great content creation in your industry? Is it short videos, “filmic” videos, videos without words? Let us know in the comments below!
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