I have over recent months heard professional video film makers and photographers insist that poor production values on corporate photography and video reflect badly on a company. Is this always true?
I would suggest that there are several valid reasons why many companies choose to create their own video and photographs and why they should continue to do so.
1. They are strapped for cash
Not surprisingly it is more often than not professional photographers and film makers who try and insist that amateur production will almost inevitably damage company reputation. I’m not blaming them for wanting your business but until they can develop a business model to fit smaller budgets they deserve to be ignored
2. They are in a hurry
A marketing push is often connected to a specific period of time. No one wants a Christmas campaign ready for mid-January. There’s an argument for planning further ahead but marketing campaigns born of unforeseen events and circumstances require a flexible and timely response that can’t be planned for too far ahead.
3. They are sceptical of the benefits of slick production
I listened to one photographer insist that photographs with a gazillion megapixel resolution was the only way to go in the advent of new ‘retina’ computer technology. People, he suggested, would stop paying attention to websites with photographs taken on the standard digital camera used at parties, hen nights and holidays the world over. That’s just plain nonsense, but I was too polite to say so at the time.
We are surrounded by beautifully produced moving film, so much so that we are immune to its charms – it washes over us. Often the slicker film is the less persuasive it can become (Is anyone impressed by adverts for cars and international hotel chains or those tedious CGI things?) Sure, the medium matters, but the narrative matters more and competent use of a simple video camera is sufficient to recording a compelling story. Proof that narrative matters more than production? YouTube (my case rests)
I would recommend every company spend more time considering the message rather than the look of the photographs or film they use in social media. No amount of fancy production will help a vacuous, cliché message. If you have something interesting to report I’ll listen and more likely respond, no matter if the film flickers or there’s a shadow where it shouldn’t be.
I don’t pretend my argument covers everything. If you have a comment then I’d be glad to hear it.