I am a big believer that excellent makers should have their go-to’s for high-quality inspiration. At our video production company we have thirty-odd agencies that we look to as truly unique in their creative abilities. Instead of taking inspiration at the level of story or plot, we break down some of their work in more of a traditional filmic analysis. Today we are opening some of these internal discussions to the public. Please take note that the format of these posts will require you to watch the videos in order to understand the majority of the content. We’ve made notes on highly specific points in the video, so it would do you well to watch them 1-2 times to get the most of the content we’ve produced.
For further context, our introduction to each ‘spotlight’ is something like:
Open discussions on cool videos in the field and what makes them pop. These sessions are part-film class, part-technical discussion, and part-how-we-apply-certain-techniques-to-creative-at-Vidico. The idea is to get everyone watching the latest and greatest in video, from both the commercial and the narrative space.Your own ideas, or what you like about the video in-discussion is most certainly welcome.
Tarot / The Lazy Loop for Monki
A storyboard like this is not achievable unless you think in sequences. A sequence is typically between 2-6+ shots, and ends when you shift into a different environment or rhythm. You should give sequences a common attribute or theme (colour, speed or technique).
Mixed media is cool. 2019 sees further convergence of different media categories: text, photos and videos (make this mode of thinking default in the beginning of your live-action conceptualisation, so you have more possibilities to begin with creatively). The result of mixed media can have a profound effect on: continuity, progression and pace.
Colour blocking is a great device, but it only works if you seperate with enough difference in tone and texture.
There is a reason that 1,000,000 out of the first 2,000,000 views on our Koala Company video were views that lasted until the very end — a ludicrious watch-rate for an ad, especially on Youtube. Not to mention, a 2:30min ad.
Yes, you can’t put this down to mixed-media alone, but in my analysis, it is a huge influence on the main components that make the video attractive:
- Mixed-media creates different rhythms for phrasing and script.
- Segmented nature of the story yields unpredictability, novelty and surprise.
- Storyboards experience wide variance when it comes to shot types.
- Same can be said of script phrasing.
Tarot / EF – Your Tomorrow Starts Here
Transitions are very very well considered. Look to use transitions that involve a direction. Direction of camera, direction of human movement or direction of text — or a combination of these movements.
In every video over 15-secs, look to use a suprising angles in your videos at least twice. For me, the strange angles were the hero shots in this video.
In your colour grades, push two colours more than the rest the image. Choose a colour to lead and rise above the other colours to direct the eye to a certain part of the image.
The same goes for subtle, post-vignettes. See at 1-sec and 2-secs.
EF – Discover
Similar principles in transitions — same client, different video.
Manon — Lennart & Sanders
At its core, the concept is simple. A great, visually striking idea that uses:
- Three main elements: cats, cat’s engagement with props, and letters.
- Repetition, balance, emphasis, colour and tone.
- Studio setup over the course of a day.
Great creative uses principles — sometimes this is brought into reality by a concept or vision you have. Sometimes, you can begin with principles, and then build a concept from those constraints.
Arm your creative ideation with 3-5 principles that you’re going to stick by no matter what. Working with constraints allows you to work with more focus, quality and speed. Establish these constraints early in your process, through inspiration and examples from both our portfolio and the field.
- Think mixed-media first. You can then work backwards to make something more simple.
- View your storyboards as a collection of five to six sequences, not 22 shots. You will excel.
- Add a direction to your transitions. It’ll feel as smooth as butter.
- Use principles in your conceptualisation, and make them guide your script, storyboard and creative direction. Write them down and defend them.