Unleash your imagination: watch creative videos

Executive communications professionals increasingly work with video. They range from simple Flip videos which tell winning stories to full-blown studio productions with panel discussions, remote participation via TelePresence and pre-recorded transition or interstitial segments.

The challenge is to not only to research, script, edit and produce the content, but to do so in as creative a way as possible — capturing those lean forward moments when the video engages viewers emotionally and connects with the audience.

I’ve recently started watching high-quality creative video in order to see the outer limits of what’s possible onscreen. It’s fascinating to see what others have done. Corporate video won’t ever look anything like this, but watching these videos unleashes my imagination. What’s more, I find that creative videos approach storytelling from a totally different perspective from that which I’m used to. Because storytelling is such a key skill in transmitting information, the more we learn how to tell stories creatively, the better we’ll become as communicators.

Here’s three creative videos I’ve enjoyed recently.

OK Go – This Too Shall Pass

This video has been seen by 24 million people on YouTube. It’s infused with a Merry Prankster, anarchic geek spirit:

Watch it a second time and you realize the smashed television sets piled against the wall and paint-splattered overalls indicate a number of rehearsals — nothing this good would have been created in one pass. Now, you might not get away with with lining up four VP’s against a wall and shooting paintballs at them; but people won’t forget variations on Rube Goldberg-like routines if you had the courage to work them into the CEO’s next keynote. Talk your product demo guys into a pinball triggering a golf club that knocks a baseball down a ramp and presses the on button that starts the demo (that lives in the house that Jack built.)

Metronomy – She Wants

This is a music video from Metronomy, an electonica /pop band from the UK. But it’s not just any music video. It creates the surrealistic atmosphere of the dream state in hypnotic detail. An homage to Buñuel, the video is the work of French directors Jul & Mat who have a movie called The Science of Sleep, which I’ve not seen, but is apparently filled with dream sequences:

METRONOMY – She Wants – by JUL & MAT from JUL & MAT on Vimeo.

I loved contrast between the dreamer and the dreamed (your executive and her staff?) and the sequence where she rotates through 360 degrees as does the camera (with stage hands dressed in black supporting her). From the moment she leaves her bed, with feathers flying in reverse motion, to the point at which she loses her dance partner at 3:28, the story-line builds. When the party-goers collapse the scenes unravel, the characters she met betray her, and the alter-ego she pushed down pushes back. A graphical a representation of the business cycle as you’ll ever see.

Just the thing to try and pull off for your next All Hands video, as long as Mary in Accounting doesn’t blink when the camera pans across.

London Time Lapse from Brick Lane to Primrose Hill

I was impressed by Anatoleya’s video taken on a Flip Ultra HD (with image stabilization software included). Speeding up the frame rate in the editing phase creates an engaging stop motion effect of a walk through this London street market:

London Time Lapse from Brick Lane to Primrose Hill from Anatoleya on Vimeo.

I can’t wait to use this effect for the opening sequence at a corporate conference – shooting the room as it fills with people.

Or how about the cafeteria from 11:45 – 1:15? But everyone already eats their lunch too fast. It might be amusing to make one video in a company cafeteria in Europe, one in Asia, one in the USA and play “spot the cultural differences”.

Or how about a stop motion video in the lobby from 6:00 am – 9:00 am
… or one corner of a sea of cubicles
… or a call center
… or one person at their desk for a couple of hours
… or technicians installing a new rack in a data center
… or the janitors at the end of the day, moving from floor to floor.

4 Comments so far
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Thanks for sharing the videos.

I love the idea of the stop motion video for documenting the various interactions at a conference. We could get everything from attendees checking into the hotel, filling the keynote hall, attending break out sessions, networking in the hall during breaks, etc.

Kent:

Yes, stop motion seems to have lots of potential. I need to upgrade from Windows Movie Maker to one of the 3rd party editing packages so I have the tools to do this. The other way of creating stop motion is to snap one photo every so many seconds with a still camera and string them together. Vimeo has a some excellent tutorials on this.

Ian

Time-lapse videos are another creative option. Here’s one of the 2011 Chicago blizzard.

Great post.
Stop motion and time-lapse videos can have a really positive impact on a business website, especially when demonstrating a work-flow or production process.
Regards,
Karl



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