Red Slider Films is very excited by this latest 60 second video for Health Local. It is an excellent example of our 3D/2D approach to web video production. Health Local is the largest online directory of Canadian health professionals and offers health professionals powerful tools for promoting their services in their communities. Our process began with an initial discussion about the vital services Health Local offers its users and the challenges involved in making this service known to the broadest possible audience. It was unanimously agreed that what was needed was an engaging animated spokesperson who could carry the message to a wide spectrum of potential clients.
Dr Health-Local was the solution. To put forward a simple, straightforward and dynamic delivery, Dr Health Local is a fully animated 3D character, rendered as hand drawn flat shaded 2D. This treatment delivers a full lifelike performance while retaining the charm of handmade animation.
The very talented Andrew Randall provided the voice of Dr Health Local and the result is a thoroughly charming and compelling brand character. In addition, the video also employs the use of highly effective animated support graphics, both 2D and 3D, which Dr Health Local interacts with to underline and reinforce the marketing message.
A quick 30 second piece announcing the addition of “Men’s and Women’s Ski Half Pipe” to the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.
For this video, we used a simple colored line character on a gradient background. The character is fully animated and lip synced as he delivers his brief message with the aid of an animated white-board.
Adding Production Value to a web video can be as simple as using character animation in place of static slides, or using character lip sync instead of voice over monologue. These simple considerations have an enormous impact on the effectiveness of the video.
We just delivered a really fun little web video to a client in Chicago who have an STD Screening web business. I was particularly excited about this job, not so much on account of the subject matter but because it offered the opportunity to illustrate something I’ve been saying for a while now.
Web videos need more Production Value.
It is a given that videos communicate their message better and capture an audience’s attention much more effectively when they are intelligently written and properly animated. A web video that incorporates a few simple additions like character performance, lip sync and 3D depth, will hold the attention of its audience and communicate the client’s message far better than the usual flat, static stuff we’ve been seeing up until now.
A web video that conveys its message directly from the character will outperform a static slide show video every time.
Adding production value to a web video doesn’t cost extra – it simply involves working with artists who actually know their craft.
Currently, many clients are being sold sub-standard web videos that actually drive customers away. They are told that videos don’t need character animation and if a character speaks and animates, it will be “distracting and disturbing”.
If a video company argues that character animation isn’t an enormous benefit to a web video, it’s because their company isn’t equipped to do it.
A super-effective web video that holds its audience and communicates its message in a compelling way doesn’t have to cost any more than the usual flat static type. The reason we’re not seeing better production value in web videos is not cost related at all, but rather, a lack of expertise on the part of the people making them.
Our latest HP / Symantec CLEO video went up on the big screen in front of an audience of 4000 people last week. It was a huge success and proved to be everyone’s favorite from the series so far.
Dr. Viro’s nasty little Gremlins take to the air to ambush CLEO in her airship on her way to open her new corporate headquarters. Rove suits up and meets them head on. Dr. Viro is showing definite deterioration in his mental state as the strain of repeated frustration starts to take its toll.
These are some of the most common spelling and grammar mistakes that I’ve seen actually in the body of company websites. They are all easy mistakes to make but with a little bit of care they can also be easily avoided. English is an awkward language at the best of times, but simple errors like these can really detract from the credibility of a website.
- Too – Two – To
“Too” means “in addition” or “also”. It can also mean “extremely”, “excessive” or “very”.
I see you like plums, I like them too but it’s better not to eat too many of them.
“Two ” is the number 2.
Two heads are better than one.
“To” is the most common, being essentially all of the other usages.
I want to go swimming. I know how to do it. I have places to go and people to see
- You’re – Your
“You’re” is a contraction of “you are”.
You’re looking lively today.
“Your” refers to something that belongs to you.
Your shirt is ill-fitting.
- It’s – Its
Usually an apostrophe indicates ownership, as in “Moira’s cat”. But in this case, “it’s” is a contraction “it is” or “it has.”
It’s going to snow today.
“Its” with no apostrophe means belonging to “it”.
The dog chased its tail.
- There – Their – They’re
“There” refers to a place.
I’m going over there.
“They’re” is a contraction of “they are.”
They’re coming to see us.
“Their” means belonging to them.
The birds are watching their eggs.
- Where – Wear – Were – We’re
“Where” is used to refer to a place or situation.
I’m going to where the sun keeps shining, through the pouring rain.
“Wear” means to carry or have on a person as clothing or to erode or fatigue a thing.
If you continue to wear the same socks you’ll wear them out.
“Were” is a complicated one, but for the most part, “Were” is the past tense of “be”, as in “used to be”.
We were following a slow tour group. They were really taking their time.
“We’re” is a contraction of “we are”.
We’re having such a good time.
- A lot – Allot – Alot
“A lot” refers to quantity.
There are a lot of dandelions this year.
“Allot” means to assign as a share or portion.
Some people allot too much of their spare time to playing video games.
“Alot” is not a word at all.
- Will – We’ll
“Will” is interchangeable with “shall” , meaning an action intended to occur in the future.
Fred will fix that leaky tap tomorrow.
“We’ll” is a contraction of “we will”.
We’ll have to find someone to fix that leaky tap tomorrow.
- Loose – Lose
“Loose” means not tight, it rhymes with moose.
My shoelace has become loose.
“Lose” is the opposite of win, it rhymes with snooze.
If I lose one more round, I’m quitting.
- You and I – You and me
“You and I” is used in place of “we”.
You and I (We) were meant for each other.
“You and me” is used in place of “us”
The differences between you and me (us) are not important.
I don’t think anyone minds a gaff or two in the body of an informal text. But when mistakes like these occur on a company website, a published page or the text of an explainer video, it looks like carelessness and impacts the credibility of the company itself.
It’s commonly held that having an explainer video on your homepage increases your conversion rate and that potential customers will stay longer on sites that have them. Sadly, this isn’t always the case.
The majority of explainer videos don’t result in any meaningful benefit at all to the business they were meant to promote. This is due entirely to the fact that most videos fail to communicate their message in a clear and engaging way. A dull uninspired video that fails to grab its audience is like throwing a bucket of ice water on your potential client’s interest in your site. Visitors to a website that don’t even watch the explainer video past the first few seconds are damn likely to leave altogether with their next mouse click.
The benefit of an explainer video is directly contingent on its ability to capture and hold the attention of its audience. By the same token, a poorly executed explainer video actually drives customers away. There is no great secret to creating a video which communicates its message successfully. It’s just that nearly no one in the explainer video industry is taking the trouble. All we’re seeing is bland repetition of the same tedious look and feel, over and over.
Most videos are produced using the same flawed formula in spite of the fact that it doesn’t deliver useful results to the client. The graphic art software used to make 99% of all explainer videos is the same one that is taught to kids in middle school. As a result, most videos look like they were made by a couple of 7th grade school children. It’s important to remember that the impression made by a video reflects directly on the product it represents. It’s a mistake to assume that a mediocre video is better than no video at all. The opposite is actually true.
Here are the three main areas where the currently prevalent production formula fails.
1.Writing . The style of writing most commonly employed uses a patronizing voice-over monologue approach – in many cases actually reusing old scripts by substituted key words and phrases. Disembodied voice-over monologue, while certainly the most convenient approach from the production company’s point of view, is by far the weakest at holding the viewer’s interest. An audience is more likely to absorb information when it’s conveyed in a narrative or conversational manner by the characters on the screen. As humans we are naturally predisposed to relate to communication conveyed by direct verbal interaction. People pay attention and absorb more when they are either addressed directly or when they feel present during a dialogue between two other people. It’s why talk shows have a host and even the shopping channel has a presenter. People just don’t relate well to a an off-camera diatribe.
2. Video Production suffers similarly by relying on a flat, static artwork technique. Here again the reason for this compromise is purely a matter of convenience on the part of the production companies. The explainer video industry has only existed for a very few years and consequently has had no opportunity to refine itself. Creatively, the industry is stuck in its infancy. The flat, largely static slide approach is pushed on clients because it can be easily produced by untrained staff or sent overseas. These explainer videos have no actual character animation – instead you get long drawn out static slides. This is a huge problem because the lack of human movement makes it impossible for an audience to identify with the characters. It alienates the viewer and results in a loss of interest. Once a viewer’s interest has been lost, they stop listening to the message and turn away.
3. Budget. Clients are paying far too much and settling for far too little. Typically, 70 to 85 percent of any given explainer video budget is allocated to the production company’s own profits and overheads. The video itself is produced with whatever is left over. So the client’s money goes largely toward things other than the video that they’re commissioning.
The biggest portion of a video budget goes to the Sales and Marketing efforts of the production company to enable them to pursue new commissions. The impact of this hits the quality of talent used to actually produce the video. This is the factor that accounts for the frequent use of re-purposed scripts and static, uninspired visual content. The big losers in this equation are the small start-up companies who are sticking their necks out to try to grab market share. It’s time for the explainer video industry to step up and raise the quality bar. Clients should be getting a lot more for their money. Companies that continue to over charge and under deliver do so at their peril.
Red Slider Films is very pleased to announce the release of the exciting fourth installment in our on-going series of CLEO explainer videos for HP/Symantec.
This latest explainer video for HP/Symantec was produced for the Vision Barcelona 2012 event.
We pride ourselves on delivering explainer videos with commercial quality production value on extremely low budgets.
To find out how we can make your video dollars go further,
call us on 1 (800) 610-5405
It is commonly held that clients must choose between QUICK, INEXPENSIVE, and QUALITY when commissioning a video.
Red Slider Films would beg to differ.
We were recently approached by a client who had an extremely tight schedule, very limited funds and needed a bright, attractive video that got their message out to the world clearly and concisely.
We were able to meet all of these conditions on our first pass. On time and looking sharp!
Contact us to get a free consultation and find out how we can bring your message to life!
Speak to Tracey on 1 (800) 610-5405
Last week we did a quick exercise to explore the combination of 2D whiteboard animation with traditional 3D character animation. We had a lot of fun with the project and came up with a cool little 30 second piece that illustrates a technique that could be very effectively used to create a unique look for almost any corporate video or custom explainer video. This is the latest in Red Slider Films’ ongoing initiative to develop new ways of creating eye-catching videos.
A common reason for an animated explainer video to fail in its effectiveness is excessive length. Writing a concise, to-the-point video script requires real discipline. It is vital to avoid the tendency to ramble.
An explainer video that runs needlessly over-length by paraphrasing and repeating itself will very likely lose its audience.
This animated video for AARP has been cut down to 41 seconds from an original voice-over recording of 1½ minutes. The result is a very clear, simple message that is easily taken on board by the viewer.