Imagination HD: @okaysamurai’s Video Manifesto
Frame the shot, get in focus, and tap record. You’ve got lots of great stories stuck inside your imagination – share them!
Why use video?
Motion = Engagement
Motion catches your eye. When something moves, it catches our attention. When you tells a good story, there is a sense of momentum, constantly moving forward to an inevitable conclusion.
A photo or book tells a story for the eyes. But they’re static and silent.
A song tells a story for the ears, adding the element of time, but taking away visuals.
Video combines the three. You’ve got the visuals of a photo, but they’re now moving at 24 frames per second. You’ve got the storytelling of a book, but it’s probably being told through dialogue, acting, and cinematography. And you’ve got the forward momentum and emotion of music tying everything together.
Now, this definitely isn’t saying video is better than all these other mediums. I love all four of these – I’ll take a great story anywhere I can get it. And that’s why for me, selfishly I like making videos because it lets me work with all of these things I like at the same time.
We are slowly seeing things like auto-playing videos in our news feeds or infographic animations accompanying news articles. I think the moving photos & animated newspapers in Harry Potter had it right. And yeah, too much motion at once is distracting and can be overboard, but I think we’re going to see some more subtle implementations of this in the future.
Video Stands Out
Video catches our attention and is a powerful persuasive tool.
I use video to communicate all the time. Last spring, my family was trying to buy a house in the Bay Area, and as you may know, that’s a super competitive market. We made a few offers, and wrote cover letters with photos of our family, but nothing came through.
Finally, we found it: a house we really wanted in a great neighborhood. At the Open House, the agent said that the current owners really wanted a family to move in. Based on what we had learned from previous offers and how stiff the competition was, we knew that we would really have to stand out. So we decided to make a video.
It was really basic, just all of us sitting on the couch, but we introduced ourselves and talked about specific details how we could imagine kids climbing the trees, or standing at the front window waving goodbye to me when I went to work. It was really low budget, not a big production by any stretch of the imagination: no mics, no lights, we just propped up an iPhone with a coffee mug or something, but in the end – it worked.
Video brings with it a personal connection. Within seconds of watching the video we made, you got a sense of who we are: you can hear our voices, see our mannerisms, and our interactions with each other and the environment. (It also really helps if your kids get your wife’s genes and are really cute.)
Anyway, we published the video as Unlisted on YouTube and put the link in our cover letter. That video (along with competitive offer) won us the house!
I’ll say it again: Video is persuasive. And when the status quo is something else, video stands out.