Like every other industry, the coronavirus affects the video production industry. Major events such as Coachella and the release of the newest James Bond film has been cancelled or postponed which has a knock-on effect for supporting industries such as video producers. It is said that Hollywood has already lost billions of dollars due to theatres closing. In addition, film productions were cancelled due to their people-intensive nature. So how do we continue video production without the accessibility to studios, actors and a production crew?
The limitations imposed by the government’s social distancing measures has challenged many video production companies, major and independent, to think outside the box and get creative. Numerous video production companies have started to focus on animation, which can be carried out by remote workers. This means that existing projects and live action videos need to be converted into an animation format. The latter is time-intensive as it forces production companies to go back to the phase of ideation and re-creating storyboards. On the other hand, it stimulates companies to go down a different path and activate different parts of our brain, in other words, get creative! As a result, the videos produced remotely tend to have a fresh look and have reduced costs. A win-win for the client.
Events like Coachella may have been postponed but for the majority of the (smaller) events “the show must go on”. As a result, many events get live-streamed. Whether it’s Joe Wicks live-streaming his P.E. classes or Andrew Lloyd Weber live-streaming his musicals, live-streaming allows worldwide audiences to “attend” events in real-time. Even though DIY live-streaming is notably cheaper, the demand for professional live-streaming services is on the rise as the experience and professional equipment that come along with such services increase the quality of a live-stream significantly. Thus, gather your live-streaming equipment, create an instruction video and send your sanitised “remote live-streaming package” off to your clients. Or offer your clients to schedule a video call and take them through the camera and lighting set-up step by step to ensure that the footage captured is of high-quality. Test to ensure it’s working on your client’s platform of choice, add any graphics, if necessary, and monitor the feed so that the only thing your client will have to worry about is the content!
Another way video production companies can make do with what they have is by diving into libraries of existing footage or imagery. An increase in the sales of stock footage confirms this. Some clients are afraid that this will result in generic and repetitive videos but on the contrary! It stimulates video production companies to think outside the box! There is nothing wrong with using footage that has been used before as long as it is presented to the viewer differently. The latter seems daunting but as a matter of fact brings us closer to the origins of our industry: creativity. Our decisions made on the montage, transitions, compositing, audio, animation, 3D elements, etcetera, etcetera, will influence the way the story is told and, thus, the originality and creativity of the end product. Whether you browse your own library or use material from large stock footage databases, videos can be personalised and modernised by, for instance, re-mixing different pieces of footage, adding 3D animated elements or applying different colour grading. You could even make use of stock images and turn them into a video by adding an appealing music track or a supporting voice over. Thus, there’s no shame in using stock footage, because, in the end, it all depends on the quality of the idea, the emotional connection and the skills of storytelling.
This is a perfect example of how well-chosen stock clips can help produce an entire video with post-production only. We have carefully listened to our client’s wishes and footage preferences and later on proceeded to source stock footage which met those demands. Through the use of stock footage, we have managed to creatively put together a video which perfectly tells the story of LHH, without needing any additional original footage.
Supporting New Clients
Other than altering the production process, video production companies can ensure their survival by reaching out to new clients who thrive during crises like these and, thus, express an increase in demand for video production. One man’s misfortune is the other man’s opportunity! Look at the gaming industry for example. According to app analytics firm App Annie, China has recorded 222 million downloads of games and apps from the AppStore since February 2. Other industries that are doing well and, therefore form an interesting new target group, are the food delivery businesses, digital communication platforms, logistics, storage and of course the healthcare industry. Yesterday, the United Nations has called upon creatives all over the globe to come up with creative and innovative ideas to “translate critical public health messages into different languages, [to] different cultures, communities and platforms, reaching everyone, everywhere” (United Nations, 2020). So reaching out to these kind of parties with proposals, may just be the way to go in surviving the current crisis.
Supporting Existing Clients
Looking after your existing clients in another way to keep your head above water. Even though companies may not immediately prioritize video marketing in today’s situation, videos turn out to be essential for survival. Offering your creative perspective on how to promote services differently and thinking about how to continue connecting your current clients with their customers within the boundaries of their current (financial) situation, might be highly valuable. After all, many businesses are in the same boat and, thus, appreciate any initiative to help each other out and fight the virus together. Another way to keep connected with your exciting clients is to draw up plans and video proposals for the future on how to promote the company’s products and services after the crisis in order to ensure re-growth.
In short, the virus brings video production companies a lot of hurdles but also allows us to get back to the origins of our industry: creativity. Whether it is through offering slightly different services such as animation or through reaching out to new prospects, thinking out of the box is a great challenge for us all.