Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Reality TV Killed Video

This was Reality TV ( back in the day) before slick marketing
created a whole new industry and killed  "good" video  production
Before we get into this …. I have something to share...something that may not be obvious to everyone; reality TV is marketing term developed by the television industry to capitalize on the idea of authenticity.  In “reality” (sorry for the pun), reality TV is the same old TV we have been watching since the invention of television, with slicker production packaging. 

“Reality TV” has been in the pipeline since the 40’s. A couple of supposedly unscripted television show come to mind, how about  Allen Funt's hidden camera show or  Candid Camera shows that were produced in the 40s and 50s., or Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom which aired from 1963 through 1988 with Marlin Perkins.

There are no television shows today that are shot without planning or a production crew in attendance guiding all the action. No one would spend the time and money to allow videotaping by setting up a scenario and allowing us to “just see what happens”. A friend recently told me he watches “Alone’ purportedly a reality TV show that pits man or woman against nature in a totally unscripted format. The show even claims “no television crew is present” in the making of this show. The reality is a cameraman is present not a crew; clever wording to be sure that gulls the viewer into the “willing suspension of disbelief”.

Now, having set up this premise, what does Realty TV have to do with modern video production for web sites, social media, corporate videos and events?  Well, I am glad you asked! Planning is everything, when producing videos. Scripting, storyboards, locations scouts, design, prepared on-camera talent, lighting and most recently a firm grasp of how to use new technology are essential to producing great video whether they are 10 seconds long or 10 minutes. Even someone shooting raw video has to plan, practice and prepare.

Reality TV has added a few tools to the video production tool chest in recent years but it still takes a lot of planning and creativity to allow a planned video to look authentic and un-rehearsed.  Just because you have a camera doesn’t mean you can produce great video.  Customers, especially corporate clients have been increasingly expecting the costs of production to be reduced as the proliferation of cameras and camera technology (such as drones) has increased.

While advances in video technology has reduced the cost of producing video there continues to be a significant cost for experienced , creative talent.  The cost of producing a “corporate” 10 minute video in the 80’s might have reached $ 100,000 using professional crews and talent. Today that same video might only cost $10,000 (but nobody is making 10 minute corporate videos today).  The problem is that organizations are trying to produce shorter videos today for next to nothing. In doing so they are eliminating the very thing that makes videos motivate people to buy their product or create a positive feeling about their brand. Powerful, well thought out video production that leverages creative talent and new technologies still has a cost; unfortunately, finding the right production partner to produce your video with the right blend of creative talent and technology is difficult to figure out when anybody can own a camera or a drone.  

No comments:

Post a Comment