I enjoyed “Burning Down the House” as much as anyone. It’s a great song and the Talking Heads were awesome as a rock group. But if that’s all you have in your video, you’re missing out on the key advantage of visual storytelling.
Videos are stories told through moving pictures. With the best ones, you can turn off the sound and still follow the gist. Exciting things happen and they take up most of the screen.
When all a video has is headshots of people talking, the only thing in motion is their lips. Once you know someone is talking, seeing their lips move is not very interesting. It might as well be radio. Plus, the rest of the screen is wasted. All that wonderful potential is lost.
Yes, it’s often a good idea to include headshots in your video. Good videos often focus briefly on people, especially the first time they speak. We all trust information more when we know who is giving it. But 5 seconds or less will do it.
Once we know who’s talking, the visuals can switch to whatever illustrates the subject under discussion. For example, we recently did a branding video for Gelinas Carr Furniture. We started the video with headshots of Sandra and Joe, the furniture makers. But once they’d been introduced, we quickly switched to the real star of the piece, which is the high quality furniture they make. As you hear them describe their process, you get to watch their work coming to life.
If you take a moment and watch the video, you’ll see that the shots involve movement and not just the movement of the machines they use to make furniture. We’ve included camera moves that mimic the experience of discovering objects with your eyes.
Because that’s the beauty and the power of strong video. It lets you see the world through fresh eyes.