Embracing Lo-fi Video Production
For as long as I’ve been working in video production I’ve tried to live by the mantra, “Production Value is EVERYTHING.”
We live in a world where everybody has a video camera. Everybody is a content creator. However, we all know not every video is created equal. Not every video has legs.
When you work with a production company, like Freestyle, you should expect:
- A creative story.
- Great care and precision are taken when lighting each shot.
- The image quality of the cameras is better than the average smartphone.
- Sound recording is high quality.
- Editing is thoughtful.
They stay on time and budget.
The production is polished. It’s professional. It’s all of those qualities working together. What’s the point of great cinematography if your sound is horrible? If you shoot an interview with poor lighting there’s only so much your editor can do in post-production to boost the quality of your subject. Your video is only as good as its weakest link.
And now in 2020, we live in a world where you’re going to have to make some concessions on production value. The coronavirus may have limited the production possibilities for TV shows, commercial shoots, and testimonials, but it hasn’t limited our resourcefulness and creativity.
Late-night TV shows have proven this fact. Are the lighting and sound quality perfect on Conan or The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon? Is Seth Meyer’s attic the best-looking set? No. Not at all.
Have you seen cable news lately? I mean talk about stripping things down to the bare minimum. The on-air personalities still have a lot of solid lighting, but likely too many c-stands in their own homes than they prefer. That’s more than the pundits and experts Zooming and Skyping in on their home computers with nothing but a table lamp illuminating their faces.
And can we talk about hair and make-up? I mean, the amount of effort I typically put into this during what used to be our normal routine is low, but I’m not on TV; I’m in production! I digress. We’re getting dangerously close to our pundits looking like the anchors in Batman.
All of these typically-million dollar productions are embracing the lo-fi aesthetic. The thing that still makes these shows watchable is the news content, the writing, the personalities. I liken our new video production reality to that Super Bowl commercial starring Jason Momoa. We’re stripping everything down.
It’s our current reality and we all have to embrace it now matter how big the budget. It’s time to be nimble and make adjustments.
If you’ve been hesitant in the past to embrace video and social media we’ve got good news for you: it’s the perfect time to help lay that foundation on social media, communicate your expertise, and interact with your audience. Q2 and Q3 will have to be lean for a lot of businesses. We can get back to the high production value in Q4.
So let’s say your high-end commercial production is postponed. Now what? How can you utilize tools like Facebook and Instagram Live and Zoom recordings? How can YOU embrace lo-fi production?
- Webinars – What expertise can you share with your audience? Can you introduce a new product? Can you teach some basics?
- Virtual Town Hall – Can your CEO address what steps your company is taking during the pandemic?
- Podcasts & Talk Shows – Interview local leaders, industry experts, etc.
- How-To Videos – Home repair, applying for a loan, 14-day meal planning, home education, home workouts, gardening or lawn care, auto repair, ways you can help your community
- Rapid-fire Q&As – Come up with a list of 10 FAQs or misconceptions and answer them.
- Virtual Tours – Can you record a virtual tour and provide fun commentary?
- Repurpose Old Content – Not all footage is evergreen; businesses change and turnover occurs, but you’d be surprised at how you can change a video with new timing, music and/or voice over. You can also go down memory lane.
- Digital Concerts, Reunions, New Artists, Dance Parties, Virtual Coffee Meet-n-Greets, etc.