As we bid 2016 adieu, the Miles Video team takes a gander into the benevolent video production crystal ball to see what 2017 has in store. After consulting our video tarot cards, we have the following predictions for ways to elevate your tourism videos in 2017. Hold on to your Osmo, it looks like we’re in for an exciting year ahead!
#1: Sound Design
While it can mistakenly take second stage to the visuals, sound can make or break your video. Sound design requires thoughtful consideration and planning. Good sound seamlessly merges with the visuals to provide the viewer with an immersive experience; bad sound will distract your viewer, potentially destroying whatever message you were trying to convey no matter how beautiful the footage might be. Music needs to match the tone of the video and style of the edit. Voiceovers need to be high-quality recordings. On-camera segments need to be as free of distracting background noise as possible.
Where it makes sense, the addition of natural sound (“nat sound”) from the destination can elevate the finished product by adding a subtle level of depth that further brings the viewer into the destination. Check out the beautifully executed video below. In the absence of dialogue, music and nat sound are all that remain. Would this piece be nearly as compelling if the nat sound wasn’t present?
#2: The Art of Cinematography
Much in the same way that 1080 became the standard, 4k and even higher resolutions are quickly taking its place as the industry standard. (Heck, even most cell phones now shoot in 4k!) However, there’s a level of expertise and artistry that go into utilizing an incredible camera beyond just being able to hit “record.” Understanding light, composition, color, depth of field, motion and SO MUCH more are what make someone a cinematographer versus just a person with a fancy camera.
While it’s easy to hire someone just because they can name-drop some equipment you’ve kind of heard of, and use language that makes them sound knowledgeable — be warned — the old adage remains true: proof is in the pudding. Readily available, affordable technology means more people can get into the field, but that also means that true cinematographic artists are having to compete with charlatans. Vet who you’re working with; 2017 will be filled with people who own the technology, but be sure they really know how to use it to accomplish your goals.
Rejoice! The FAA finally came out with a much more reasonable set of laws to govern who can fly drones. Drone technology continues to get better and better, which means that expensive airplane aerials will soon be a thing of the past. However, just because you can do it, doesn’t mean you always should. Per the points made in the prediction above, readily available technology means that the market will be saturated. Don’t get us wrong, we love drone technology — it’s a great way to add visual interest with motion and introduce the geography of your destination — but a skilled drone cinematographer is essential. Not only will the shots be beautifully executed but a skilled pilot will know that, visually, you can do a lot more with a drone beyond simply providing a birds-eye view. Additionally, using drone exclusively in a video doesn’t really provide much beyond the cool factor – it’s hard to create a story or provide the viewer with a true sense of place when limiting your shots to the sky. Which brings us to our next prediction…
#4: The End of “One-trick Ponies” and Other Gimmick-y Video Trends
Drone-only videos, hyperlapse and pretty much any video that overuses one particular style of shooting will (thankfully!) be a thing of the past in 2017. As mama always said, eating the entire cookie jar will give you a tummy ache. The same is true when exploiting a niche video style — well, maybe not the tummy ache, but you get our point. We aren’t saying to abstain from video trends entirely; we’re just saying use them in moderation, lest you be cast away like acid-washed jeans from the 80s. Trends are fun, but trends have a shelf life — after which they fade into our memories as goofy experiments we learned from but dare not repeat. There’s a reason why classic films remain classics: there are some rules of cinematography that are ultimately timeless, and worked as well then as they do now. Ask yourself: Will this three-minute hyperlapse stand the test of time? We think not.
All of these predictions brings us to our final, and perhaps most important, way to elevate your tourism videos: authenticity. The running theme here is that providing your viewer with an authentic experience, something that feels real and not over- or under-produced, will keep your viewer engaged and ultimately interested in your content. Selecting a cinematographer who can shoot beautiful footage while balancing the abundance of technology and trends; creating an immersive soundscape that brings the viewer into the destination seamlessly – these, combined with the final ingredient of authentic storytelling, inspire the viewer to see themselves in the destination. Using minimally scripted or a completely unscripted format helps achieve this style, allowing the viewer feel connected to the destination and talent, as if they are experiencing the destination together. The goal is to engage your viewers and ultimately have them leave with an emotional response to the content you’ve put in front of them — which ultimately may turn them from viewers into visitors.
There you have it! Our Top 5 Predictions for 2017. We’ll follow-up periodically throughout the year to see how spot-on we were in our predictions. Keep an eye out for future blog posts to dive deeper into these topics and, until then, happy shooting!