Comet Tale Productions is a Boston-based video production house. We hope that through this blog you will learn more about the behind-the-scenes of corporate video.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Dialogue: A double-edged sword

Dialogue is the most overrated aspect of film.

I say this with the intent to inform the public that, yes – speaking roles in movies are paramount to any successful film, but there should be a sense of frugality incorporated into the writing of a script when one thinks about dialogue.

Dialogue is hard to write. There are several factors to be considered when writing dialogue.

Does each separate character have its own voice? Do they sound different?
Does the dialogue act as a progression in the plot? Does it move the action forward?
Is there new information being revealed to the audience? And is that information, known as exposition, too on-the-nose? Meaning, will the audience feel like they’ve been whacked the head really hard by the writer or director saying “HEY!!! Listen up, this is IMPORTANT!!!”…nobody likes that friend who taps them on the shoulder to say, ‘Hey pay real close attention to this part. Watch it, are you watching?’

No. Nobody likes that. As an audience we like to go to the movie theatre (or sit in the comfort of your own home theatre system, or TV room) and be sucked into the world of the story. We don’t want to be reminded that we’re watching a movie. We want immerse ourselves in the story because it’s compelling enough to capture our attention.

That story will include characters you want to understand via sympathy or empathy. And dialogue is the most difficult tool to utilize as a writer to convey a sense of understanding to the audience.

A great screenwriting professor of mine once told me that great dialogue can make a good movie even better, but that bad dialogue can ruin a great movie immediately. Bottom line – dialogue get’s re-written until it is the most concise, succinct, and anti-verbose as possible. Motion pictures are being made here, I remind you. Moving pictures, visuals, are the primary component and sound and dialogue are added as fine details to the final product.

I’ll use one little example, from one of my more recent favorite films, Drive, by Nicolas Refn Winding. In it, Ryan Gosling shines as a nearly mute lead character that defines himself through his actions, not his words. He has very limited dialogue, and his character doesn’t even reveal his name throughout the entire movie, something which I’ll admit to not even realizing until I looked it up later on IMDB. How do you understand a character who barely speaks or shares very limited information to you? 

His character in my opinion is so compelling because of his non-verbal body language. Every thing he did say, merited some very valuable characterization. Whether it is a simple “Wanna see something?” and have him take his love interest and her son on a sunny Sunday drive down the Los Angeles River, or a simple “Okay,” as a response to whether he’d want some water, Ryan Gosling as “The Driver” gives the audience a tease into the grinding gears of his psyche. It’s only until we see him explode as a character of violent nature later in the film that we realize there is something innately intriguing about him, his motives, and his past. From then on, the audience can only surmise the “why” of his true nature.

That is it right there; a cinematic love and infatuation for ambiguity in complex characters. Nobody wants to be hit over the head with lines of explanation because it removes the fun out of the movie viewing experience. People love to be sleuths, and love to solve mysteries, and it is the mystery of the character that makes roles in certain movies so compelling. It’s when the screenwriter, director, or cameraperson gives you the tiniest morsel of breadcrumbs visually, not aurally, to build to your conclusion without being directly told why through dialogue of the character.

“Drama is life with the dull bits cut out.” Alfred Hitchcock said this.

For a cinematic perspective on life, you can see really good movies written by good screenwriters who tell stories peppered with great dialogue. But it is those few really great screenwriters, however, who can tell an incredible story using as little dialogue as possible.

- Sebastian Gilbert

Friday, July 26, 2013

The Method behind the Magic -- Post-production

When the cameras and lights get put back on the trucks (or in the car or closet), there’s still a lot of work to go before a finished product emerges. The raw footage itself is like clay (but like really fancy clay that is a work of art in and of itself) that becomes shaped and glazed over the course of the post-production process. In this post I’ll talk a bit about some of the aspects of post-production that go into polishing off your baby from editing, to color grading, to sound work (I’ll mention VFX but only mention it because that’s still magic to me too).


Editing – Editing is probably the most well-known part of the post-production process. Editing is the heartbeat of the video. The pace of the cuts plays a major role in the pace of the video as a whole. If you’re in the DIY realm, you can cut your own footage in programs like iMovie or windows movie maker (don’t use windows movie maker). Three main platforms are being used by the more professional sector with proponents of each one—Final Cut, Premiere, and Avid.

Color Grading – Depending on the time crunch of your video, whether it was shot professionally and how big your budget is, you might or might not have to deal with color grading. Color grading is basically taking the image that your cinematographer shot and modifying the color after the fact (hopefully with the blessing of the cinematographer). Color grading is an art in and of itself that takes a lot of time and practice to perfect. I am by no means an expert, so if you get the color bug, feel free to tinker around.

As a quick, somewhat sensationalist example, these two screengrabs of Megan Fox show a bit of the power of color grading. Both are daytime exterior shots, but they look incredibly different. The image from Transformers has a much more saturated and amber hue; the grab from Jennifer’s Body is more desaturated and blue.

Sound – even within sound there are a couple different post-production areas. You’ve got the musical score that accompanies the visuals, any sound effects (foley), ADR also known as automated dialogue replacement or dubbing, and any scrubbing of poorly recorded location sound. Sound is the other half of the picture or so some sound folks say. iPhone quality images can be forgiven so long as they’re consistent, but if the audio is grating and unpleasant, you’re going to lose viewers fast.

VFX – the people who can do visual effects and do them well are magicians. They sit their behind their computer screens and construct cities, magical creatures, even snow or rain where before there was a thin green sheet.

This picture comes from the new The Great Gatsby and is an example of the sorcery that is visual effects.

With that, our three part look behind the curtain at the process of film production has reached its end. This series was a brief overview of what can be a very complicated and intricate process. If you have any questions about any segment or want to learn more about anything I’ve covered, feel free to leave a comment with us.

-- by Joseph Baron

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Method behind the Magic -- Production

If you’ve decided to hire out the production process, you can kick back and relax while your professional film crew works its magic, though it never hurt anyone to learn a little bit more. So even if you hired out, you might find this post interesting. If you’re going the DIY route, this will provide insight into some of the factors that go into making the shot itself look pretty good. This entry will be on the abstract side of things without a ton of reference to hyper-specific film tools (a post on equipment is in the future).

When you go to see The Avengers or Transformers 5, you’re actually looking at images that have been thoroughly thought out and meticulously lit (a lot of hard work goes into those types of movies; a shame it isn’t directed elsewhere). One philosophy of filmmaking is to draw as little attention as possible to the technical aspects of production and design shots to look as natural as possible. This, however, does not mean that the crew just plopped a camera on the ground and hoped for the best. Composition, lighting, camera movement, and acting performance are all aspects of production that I will delve into. There are other factors such as art department, hair & makeup, and wardrobe that I am not as familiar with so I won’t make myself look like an idiot by trying to talk about them, but do know they exist.


            Composition – one of the first things that comes into place when setting up a specific shot is the composition of the image within the frame. You’ll often here “rule of thirds” get tossed around with regards to composition. As with anything in art, the rules are guidelines and should not be applied “just because they’re the rules.” Some things to consider when setting the composition of the shot: (a) where is your subject in the frame? (b) what is your eye level? (c) what direction is your subject looking (d) is the background interesting without being distracting? (e) is there anything in the foreground to add depth to the shot?

Let’s break down this image from Akira Kurosawa’s film Yojimbo (upon which Sergio Leone based his spaghetti Western A Fistful of Dollars). If you’ve seen the movie, you know that Toshiro Mifune has pitted two small-town gangs against one another and now sits atop a watchtower laughing as the two groups of thugs have a classic stand-off in the center of town. Kurosawa is a master of composition, managing to convey so much information in even a still frame. Mifune’s elevation atop the tower positions him in a role of power. As the tiny figures of thugs in the background dance around, Mifune can relax and laugh. Kurosawa places Mifune at the far right of frame and he only fills about one quarter of the whole image leaving the rest of the frame to encompass the blundering bandits. The shot has both foreground and background action capturing two stories at once.
            You can learn about composition from any number of art forms. Photography and painting are two great mediums you can visit to learn from the masters as well.

            Lighting – once you know the composition of the shot you want to get, you can light it to draw attention to the most important aspects within the frame. Light, or lack thereof, helps the viewer’s eye focus. Before telling you about any methods of lighting, you should know that different light has different color and these differences become a lot more noticeable on video if you don’t set your camera correctly. Color temperature refers to the color of light and it is usually measured in degrees Kelvin (which is a measure of heat, the color temperature has something to do with the color that a black body entity emits when it is heated to that temperature. I’m not a physicist, I just do movies). The two major benchmarks that are important to know are: standard daylight is 5600 degrees Kelvin and tungsten filaments are 3200 degrees Kelvin. If you have fluorescent tubes or compact fluorescent lights in your office, they probably run a gamut of color temperatures and most likely have a green spike to them as well.
A good place to start if you’re just starting to dabble in the art of lighting is the classic “three point lighting” technique where you have your key light (the main source of illumination), the fill light (which reduces any unwanted shadows) and back light (which helps separate the subject from the background). I’m not going to break down a lighting set up for you this post, but there’s a great article at No FilmSchool that reverse engineers a shot from Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner.

Camera movement – if you want to incorporate steady camera moves into your video (not Blair Witch-style shaky handheld) it’s probably going to add a little more to your budget. There are some lower tech options that have their limitations but can be worth the price and some higher tech options that require a larger crew but can create some pretty impressive shots. Rather than deal with the specifics of the equipment, I want to stress the importance of intent behind camera movement. As an artistic purist, I am not a fan of throwing camera moves into a shot list “because they look cool.” The most powerful films are those in which all the elements work to create a unified and cohesive goal. This means that every decision is intentional and has some basis in the story. Shane Hurlbut, ASC has a fantastic post about the intent behind the camera move in a film he shot, Mr. 3000.

Acting performance – whether you’re using your company’s code monkeys or somehow managed to land Ryan Gosling, you’re going to want to get the most out of their acting ability. Directing, like everything else in the film world, is hardly an exact science. No two actors work the same way, so what works for your Python performer is probably not going to work for Gosling. Some general advice, however, is in order. Make sure your talent is as physically comfortable as possible. Do they have water? Do they have a comfortable place to wait while the shot is being composed? I personally don’t like to let the actor watch takes of him/herself before their picture wrap. I don’t want them seeing some little tick that only they can see and altering their entire performance as a result. Some people nail the shot on the first try, others need a couple warm ups. Try to get a feel for the rhythm of your actor. Finally, let them own the performance. Line readings (where you tell the actor exactly how to say the line) often do more harm than good as they are now just parroting you and not delivering a sincere take. It is also advisable not to call attention to a specific word. If someone stutters during an interview, tell them your cameraperson screwed up and ask them to start over.

I know I said that this post would be combined with the editing guide, but I got carried away again. So tune in tomorrow to read about some of the things that go into the editing process. Do you have any production stories? Any shoots that went terribly right or terribly wrong (the horror stories are always the most interesting)?

-- by Joseph Baron

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Method behind the Magic -- Pre-Production

The film world is full of mystery and magic. From Hollywood accounting to special effects to the process of getting a film green lit, there’s a lot about making movies that happens behind the scenes. To the unitiated, a complicated dolly move that took an hour and a half to set up and shoot is nothing more than a 20 second shot in the final product. So what exactly has to happen to take that blockbuster idea of yours from cerebrum to celluloid?
            Before I even being talking about the three stages of production, I want to call attention to the 7 Ps. Important in film and life in general, they will save you time, money, and headaches. Proper prior planning prevents piss poor performance. The more you plan, the better your final product will be.
            A video generally goes through three stages on its journey from idea to completion: pre-production, production, and post-production. Pre-production encompasses the planning, writing, and storyboarding phase. Production entails the actual shooting of the content. And post-production is the process of editing the footage together, completing the sound design, adding music, &c. Making a successful video is a lot more intense than thinking up an idea, getting a consumer camera from Best Buy and uploading it to YouTube.

            The first step in any video project is the initial idea—what is your story? Before you even start thinking about what equipment you’re going to need, you should know exactly what story you want to tell. Evertrue’s recent Reunion Crashers video is a great example of an engaging story. I didn’t have anything to do with the making of that video, but I think it’s a great example of a story that aligns with the image of the company while at the same time conveying valuable content and entertaining the viewer. The reason story is so important in this day and age is because audiences have been highly trained to tune out content they don’t want to watch—fast-forwarding through commercials, or flipping to an alternate window to ignore a YouTube ad. In order to create a video worth watching, you have to start with a story worth telling.
            Once you’ve come up with the perfect story to show the world—a story that connects with people, that conveys your brand image, and that inspires action—you can start planning how to turn this idea into reality. Some of the big steps after creating the story are: storyboarding the video, budgeting the video, choosing what equipment to use, deciding whether to do it in-house or hire an outside crew, securing any necessary locations, hiring actors or drafting talent from within, scheduling the shoot date(s), and meeting with all the creative forces to go over everything before the date of filming. I’ll touch briefly on each of the components.
            Storyboarding – this step involves putting together a detailed outline of how you want the story to progress. Feel free to make little drawings so that you have a comic strip showing the flow of the video.
            Budgeting – not every video needs to have a massive budget. For something like Localytics’ white board Wednesday, a budget of $10,000 would be complete overkill. If, however, you’re looking to put together a larger scale project, then you need to budget accordingly. The budget covers such things as equipment, crew, locations, talent, music, editing, sound design, and props. You can lower the budget by shooting in your office with employees as actors, but understand the trade-offs you’re making. Good, fast, and cheap—you can get two of those things at the same time, but not all three.

            Equipment – a lot of film equipment looks odd and has an even odder name. Cardellinis, mafers, platypus clamps, Gary Colemans, mickeys, C-47s (which are just clothespins). A full-scale heavy-duty film set has its own language. Choosing the right equipment for the job depends on the specific project. Something like white board Wednesday can be done with a prosumer camera from Best Buy. Something like Reunion Crashers calls for more professional-level equipment. Stay tuned for a more in-depth blog post regarding equipment.
            Crew – while many freelancers own their own gear and will most likely bill you for it, their labor is a separate expense. Deciding to handle production yourself or hire freelancers again depends on the specific project. If you bring on an independent producer, talk over the amount of crew you’re going to need for the shoot. A simple interview setup can be completed by a team as small as three—a sounder recordist, camera operator, and gaffer. Larger scale productions require larger teams. Next time you see a blockbuster Hollywood film, stay to the end of the credits and watch how many people are involved in the whole process. And that’s not even everyone who worked on the movie.
            Locations – the location of your video plays an important role in the look and feel of the piece and certain locations require more paperwork/guile than others. Shooting in your office is an easy and cost-effective solution but if the space doesn’t have that visual aesthetic, you might need to go further afield. Permits and permission are generally good to have and take time to get. If you know you’re going to need to film in a pizza shop, start contacting local pizzerias and try to get the best deal you can. If you want to film on the street or in a public park, you could try to go guerilla and “steal the shot” but understand that you might have to shut down production early.

            Talent – you probably won’t be able to land Ryan Gosling for your next video (if you do, Comet Tale would love to produce your next video). If you decide to use employees, make sure they’re comfortable with being on camera. If you elect to use actors, you can reach out to casting agencies or use a website like New England Film.
            Scheduling – when scheduling your shoot, there are a number of factors to consider. Number of locations, number of days to shoot, availability of talent, &c. If you are going to be shooting in multiple locations, it’s best to shoot all of one location before moving to the next (seems like common sense, I know). If you have multiple days of shooting, try not to schedule exterior shots for the last day as weather is incredibly unpredictable. Don’t underestimate the amount of time needed to set up and light a scene. If you are unsure of how long to schedule for this, talk with your producer or crew members for estimates. And most importantly, do not forget about lunch. An efficient crew is a well-fed crew is what I always say.
            Meeting of the minds – you may need to schedule more than one meeting of all the major creative forces, but I would make sure to have at a bare minimum one. This should include the producer, director, director of photography, and whatever members of your team involved in the creative process. This is your chance to ensure that everyone is on the same page and that everyone will be making the same movie. The last thing you want is to have the producer running towards one vision, the director another and the cameraman yet another.

            I had originally intended to cover all three aspects of production in this post but got a little carried away. The second and third stages won’t take as long to cover so I’ll lump them into one post. I hope you’ve caught a glimpse of the man behind the curtain and if you have any questions about the nitty-gritty of the process don’t hesitate to reach out.

-- by Joseph Baron

Monday, July 22, 2013

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Magic of the Movies

“No form of art goes beyond ordinary consciousness as film does, straight to our emotions, deep into the twilight room of the soul.” – Ingmar Bergman

No art form so completely engages the senses like film.  This isn’t to lessen the value of the written word, of music, of painting; but only in film are all of these amazing arts fused together to make a greater whole. 

It all starts on the page.  Screenwriting has attracted the greatest writers from other fields.  Pulitzer winning playwright David Mamet has worked in film for years while fellow Pulitzer winning author Cormac McCarthy has written his first screenplay “The Counselor”, which is set to come out later this year.

After the script is perfected, it is placed in the hands of a gifted director.  This includes directors who honed their skills on the stage, in commercials, or in music videos.  These men and women translate the written word into visual art, collaborating with actors, cinematographers, costume designers, production designers and many more to ensure the quality of everything in front of the camera.

Once the principal photography is completed, composers attempt to create a score that perfectly blends with the visuals.  This field has attracted classical composers like John Williams, former composer of the Boston Pops Orchestra, as well as modern rock stars such as Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead and Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails. 

A single person can write a book, or create a beautiful painting, or record a classic song.  In film, this is impossible.  Many have tried to make films by themselves, few have succeeded.  A wide range of creative minds is needed with the support of a hardworking crew.  But why do the greatest talents in directing, music, art, fashion (Giorgio Armani designed the costumes for Brian DePalma’s “The Untouchables”) agree to step out of their individual fields to collaborate with others?  Why step out of their comfort zones to take a relatively small role on the set of a film? 

Because when the lights go down in the theater and the image comes up, the audience is enthralled.  A great line of dialogue, a spot-on acting performance, a fitting musical cue will stick with the viewer for a long time.  And when it all comes together, when John Williams’ score picks up as Elliott races his bike away from cops with E.T. in his basket, only to fly away from all his troubles, the viewer’s emotions are overwhelmed by the immersive experience.  The moment is forever immortalized in the hearts and souls of those who see it.  And it is moments like this when film transcends other art forms.    It is moments like this, when film is perfect.

-- by Curt Ege

Monday, July 15, 2013

The Impact of a Comet Tale

You might see our name and wonder, "Comet Tale? What's that? One of those PBS mini-series documenting the wonders of the universe for toddlers across America?" Well, no, although that would be the perfect name for such a thing (PBS, call us).

A Comet Tale can be a number of things:

  • A novel your fingers won't let you put down, likely about Vampires, or Werewolves, or both (Oh my!) 
  • A television series that brings you back to your couch every Sunday night, likely about infidelity, or drug use, or both (thank you AMC)
  • A film, one you wait weeks or months to see on big screens with the ones you love 
A comet does not come around very often, but when it does it mesmerizes us, it captivates us, it instills fear in us, and it gives us hope. And this all happens in a matter of seconds, minutes, or hours. As quickly as it came into our lives on the largest silver screen known to man, it similarly vanishes from sight, leaving us with nothing but the impact of its beauty. 

That's the thing about a Comet Tale - it's just a story. There are millions of them. But a story is only worth as much as the impact it leaves with to whom the story is told. No two readers, or listeners, or viewers will have the same collection of Comet Tales. But I promise you, at least everyone has one. There is at least one story in all of us that has flown through our lives and changed the essence of our being from the inside out.

These are the stories worth telling. These are the stories we hope to tell.

Oh, it's also a pun, and hey, who doesn't like a good pun?

-- by Ryan Brandenburg

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Screenwriting: A tool for teaching

Today we are increasingly exposed – maybe even overexposed to some extent - to screens. Television screens, smartphone screens, and yes, even the big screen. We are now a generation that is predominantly stimulated by images that are streamlined to us.

A generation of teenagers, middle school and high school, are a new breed of young adults that have an enhanced visual literacy, with a very high susceptibility to become illiterate in other media, most notably written work. Real, physical literature has been digitized to a screen, whether it is downloaded to a Kindle or a device similar, or it has gone to the extent that the book itself has been adapted into a movie. It’s easier to watch a story unfold in front of you, than it is to read or write a story from one’s imagination. Kids these days are coerced into finding the easy way out.

For me, there is a simple solution to ease children of all reading and writing backgrounds and skill sets;  teach screenwriting in high schools as an alternative form of creative writing.

Not only will teaching the art of screenwriting be more relatable to students because it involves creating a visual story on paper, it is fundamentally a rigid, structural, and formulaic type of writing; in other words, I believe it is a creative alternative to help entice more children to read and write. Also, I’ve never met a kid who didn’t like the movies. What’s important for them to learn is why they like movies. All things considered, it most likely written exceptionally well. If something can be written that caters to today’s youths short attention span, then it must be written exceptionally well for it come across on the big screen in such relatable fashion.

Screenwriting goes beyond basic creative non-fiction or fiction writing, and it goes beyond analytical or persuasive essay writing. It can be both equally fun and challenging. The best thing of all is that it is doable for students. If students do not like to write because they are uninterested in the topics they have to analyze, or if they see no point in sharing a creative thought, screenwriting can give them an end goal to strive for. They can strive to create an individualized story that can one day, reach the silver screen. That goal becomes lost or even an afterthought in other forms of writing. That goal is probably the most important aspect of all – the ability to dream that one day, a movie can be made from a single idea that you’ve concocted. Everyone has an idea for a movie. Not everyone knows the process in order for that idea to become a movie. The good news is that this particular understanding of how a story is crafted and written for the screen can be both taught and learned.

I have had the pleasure of teaching a high school elective screenwriting class two separate times. What I found intriguing both times is that teaching a class on this topic is engaging for the students. They learn how a movie intrinsically becomes a movie – it all starts with paper and pencil, keyboard and computer screen, and most of all – with the written word that is spawned from an idea.  Screenwriting, just like any other form of writing, is a form of expression and otherwise an outlet for today’s youth. The best films are made from true experiences and if students learn to understand themselves better or even share their experiences with others in an accessible way, it can be very therapeutic and rewarding.

One of my former tutees was a sophomore girl who had trouble focusing in her English class and had issues with a creative writing assignment that dealt with writing a short story. I simply told her that a short story is a step right before writing a screenplay, which is a step right before making a movie. She immediately recalled one of her favorite Lifetime original movies that echoed one of her own real life experiences, and boom – she had discovered the fire of inspiration inside herself to write a short story. Her distraction now became an ability to emulate another story and create her own. And that’s just the start.

It’s my hope that if students at a young age can learn how to write for the movies before they reach the collegiate level, they will have much stronger overall writing skills than can help them succeed in various areas of the job market. Having a background in a regimented writing discipline is paramount in the real world. The teachers of today’s youth, editors of magazines and novels, and even lawyers, all have a strong writing background. Most people who start in these successful professions ultimately wind up as professional screenwriters or script consultants themselves at the end of the day.

What is important to take away from this is that screenwriting can be an effective teaching tool when it comes to molding creative young minds. Linking creative writing, particularly screenwriting, with visual media, notably films, as a teaching tool for students can give them a certain level of appreciation of writing they might have never learned otherwise.

Screenwriting is an art, and it can be easily taught as well as appreciated. Plus, if the younger generation is taught how to write screenplays well at a young age, we might be saved from a future of horrible movies that dilute good writing with bad special effects and action sequences. I can at least dream , can’t I?

-- by Sebastian Gilbert

Sunday, July 7, 2013

A Nose for Film

It’s pretty well accepted that if you want to be a successful filmmaker, you’ve got to have a nose for business. But how important is it to have a nose for film as a business-person? In this inaugural post on the Comet Tale Productions blog, I’ll talk for a bit about the importance of video from a business perspective.

Today’s society, the most visually oriented society to date, consumes an incredible amount of images. We are absolutely inundated with visual stimulus from billboards, to print advertisements, to instagram, to television and YouTube. Netflix members watch more than 1 billion hours of television shows and movies through the service per month. Instagram users post more than 45 million photographs per day (that’s a whopping 1,350,000,000 photos in a 30-day month). The importance and prevalence of visual media today is quite clear, and it can be used for far more than merely posting a picture of your breakfast with a nostalgic filter.

While it’s not necessary that every business-person have a keen understanding of video (sorry accountants), marketers should definitely take some time to familiarize themselves with the power and uses of video. Time for a rapid-fire statistics break: 
  • videos can increase business calls by 18%, the number of business profile clicks by 30%, and website visits by 55%
  • the average social video campaign generates a 30% ROI just by being shared and passed around
  • video in e-mail marketing increases click-through rates by over 96% 

What is it about video that makes it such an effective tool? For this, I’m going to give my own personal, “soft” answer to this. I haven’t performed controlled experiments to deduce these findings; they’re merely my own personal musings on the power of video. Aside from an in-person encounter, video is the most human form of communication—text sits passively on the page, radio broadcasts disembodies voices, still images freeze life artificially in time. Viewers connect on a deep level with video (I’m sure mirror neurons have a thing or to do with that as well). And it is this emotional connection, resonating within the psyche of the viewer, that makes video such a powerful tool.

Looking to increase your brand recognition, announce a new product, attract a new class of recruits? There’s no better way to do all that than with a succinct and heartfelt video.

Stay tuned for a post on the process behind the final product—a post on what goes into producing a video.

-- by Joseph Baron