These are some of the biggest trends I see happening right now in the world of video production. Some are more technical in nature, dealing with acquisition and exhibition. Others are more conceptual, focused more on creative strategy and execution. The interesting thing is to see how these trends develop and change over time. Which ones are here to stay? Which ones will give way to other trends in another five to seven years?
Virtual Reality and 360 Video
Brands everyone are dabbling more and more into virtual reality and 360 video to provide viewers with a more unique, immersive experience. However, you get the sense while watching these videos that companies and organizations are still grappling with how they can best utilize VR and 360 video for their particular needs. To date, a lot of these videos are pretty raw, giving viewers a glimpse into a particular event or environment. They've been more about experience rather than story.
There are exceptions to this conclusion like GoPro's The Last of the Rhinos, a 360 video that tells the story about how groups are working to save an endangered rhino species.
Canadian filmmakers Felix Lajeunesse and Paul Raphael are working with Facebook to test whether virtual reality is a viable medium for long-form narrative storytelling.
Virtual reality and 360 video will continue to gain momentum as more people adopt the technology and brands solidify their strategies. According to this article from Wired, we're seeing investments shift away from social and more into emerging tech like VR.
Instagram made the square picture format ubiquitous, and since Facebook's acquisition of the service, square is now the preferred way to exhibit videos. Square videos fit nicely into the news feed layout and is a perfect format for mobile (where 51% of video views happened in the 2nd quarter of this year).
As a result, brands now produce videos in two different formats - 16:9 for YouTube and square for Facebook (the latter of which now encourages square video in their creative guidelines). And if you're thinking that producing a 16:9 video for Facebook isn't much different than producing one in a square format, consider the following from a July AdAge article:
The "storytelling" label is definitely overused and often misapplied (as this video can attest), but the concept behind the label is still applicable to current video trends. Viewers seem to respond well to content that feels less polished and less produced. They like videos that feature real people in real-life situations. They are concerned less about features and benefits and are more interested in how those features and benefits affect people and the world around them. "Authenticity" is the buzz word that is often thrown around when talking about this trend.
HDR, or High Dynamic Range, video is a term to define just how much detail a viewer can see in an image, from its darkest shadows to its brightest highlights. High Dynamic Range means that the maximum amount of an image's information and detail is preserved across the entire luminance spectrum.
In fact, some say that HDR is more important than 4K . Consider what Vubiquity CEO Darcy Antonellis said way back at the 2014 NAB Show, “It’s not just the number of pixels it’s the quality of pixels. Those of you who have seen high dynamic range, have really have seen a color palette you’ve never seen before It is stunning.” Also consider this quote from Ericsson’s Senior Vice President of Technology for TV & Media Matthew Goldman at the 2016 NAB Show:
These are four big trends in video production, video marketing, and video technology as I see them today. What did I leave out? Add your thoughts in the Comments section.