2020, a year in review. That’s a lot to unpack, right?
So much went down these past 365 days. But we believe in optimism. With each challenge comes a learning opportunity, so you could say that we learned a great deal.
Here’s a round-up of the video trends we believe will spill over, for better or for worse, into 2021 and how to prepare.
1. Remote Production
Going into 2020, we had shoots lined up in the UK, Utah, Texas, Seattle, California, Germany, you name it, we were going. Things were looking great for our Delta points. Alas, March. Suddenly, travel restrictions came into play and businesses across the globe shut their doors to nonessential employees. We had to pivot.
Our first interaction with Remote Production came when we were contracted by the Virginia Department of Health to produce a series of varying deliverables amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. Through remote interviews and remotely-directed shooting conducted via Zoom, Cameratus, and FaceTime, this experience skyrocketed our remote production process across the world. And honestly, it’s way easier than we even anticipated. We were able to create a safe and seamless production experience for our production crews and clients regardless of their location.
Looking to 2021, we don’t see this trend losing steam any time soon. Remote productions are an effective way to involve employees who aren’t located near HQ or employees who are unable to film in person. They’re also a great way to showcase foreign office spaces with ease, displaying size and scope.
2. Process Tours
Long gone are the days of stakeholders packing their bags to tour a facility, and, honestly, we don’t think anyone hates this. Of course it’s essential to see a customized manufacturing process in action, but isn’t it easier, and equally effective to see the same thing right from your kitchen table? It saves both time and money and it allows people to focus on the content at their convenience.
These videos also make the tour experience accessible to larger teams of people. Top decision-makers may start to take flight again in 2021, but process tours are a great way to recap the experience after visiting and involve entire teams.
Check out this facility tour video we did for Facebook’s new data center. Before process tour videos, B2C and B2B audiences were largely unable to experience behind the scenes, staying in the dark about crucial details that could enhance their brand loyalty.
3. Company Communications
In the past year, we saw corporate communications change entirely. Without daily face-to-face interaction, many management teams looked to video for a more personal approach. From state-of-the-union addresses to HR recruitment, video is a way to build trust and goodwill among employees.
Even when employees return to the office, communicating important information via video messaging is less likely to be lost in a cluttered inbox or tuned out during a lengthy meeting. Check out the state-of-the-union address we created with Call Federal in Richmond to see how it’s done.
With remote productions in full swing, what began as a fairly fragmented industry grew quickly to become extremely collaborative. As every production company faced travel and in-person filming challenges, our network extended from major broadcasting companies such as NBC to independent contractors like Savoy Film Productions in Germany. As a result of problem-solving, we have re-energized our range of vendors, incorporating different styles, budgets, and global locations. For example, this year we saw a huge rise in animation, pushing us to create strong ties with local animation studios.
5. Mission Sharing
One of the shining stars of 2020 was watching communities band together to take a stand.
We’ve seen our hometown of Richmond, VA use their voices and make history, as did many cities all over the world. Through this cultural awakening, videos are becoming a strong way for brands to share passion and a more meaningful purpose.
Nike, for instance, released a simple but powerful message on the issue of racism in their “For Once, Don’t Do It” ad following Black Lives Matter protests. With 2021, we foresee mission-driven companies continuing to standout.
6. Educational Videos
From training videos to technical sales explanations, educational videos have seen a rise throughout 2020. Educational videos are a really great way to save time and money in the long run. Not only does it allow sales people to focus on relationships rather than the technical aspect, but it also provides a reference for trainees to return to when questions arise.
We are also seeing a rise of educational videos on many social platforms, like TikTok and Instagram Reels. With everyone out of the classroom and on the couch, active brains are interested and ready to consume endless content. These short-form, :15 second snippets are a great way to engage viewers in modern times. Research shows that people retain more information learned via video than via text.
For these reasons, we would be surprised if this trend lost momentum in 2021.
7. Virtual Reality
People have been obsessed with VR for years. With the release of the Oculus in 2016, VR has been becoming more and more accessible. Even without a headset, most video sharing platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo have optimized their sites for VR playback.
The benefits of 360-degree videos have been especially highlighted in the pandemic era. It’s the closest comparison to actually being in-person. Beyond entertainment, VR can be used in a multitude of ways. Several industries including healthcare, corporate training and machine operations use it for educational and training purposes. With remote learning on the rise, the Virtual Reality market is now projected to reach 72.8 billion US dollars in revenue by 2024, compared to just 10.5 billion dollars in 2019.
8. Closed Captioning
With the rise of Facebook’s autoplay feature and companies looking to increase viewership of their content , we anticipate that more videos will incorporate closed captioning. Today, the average U.S. adult spends 6 hours a day watching video content and 85% of those videos are watched without sound. We saw this as an opportunity to caption our videos, making them more accessible in numerous ways.
This was first seen in our project with the Virginia Department of Health, which addressed thousands of Virginia residents on multiple media platforms. By adding captioning, this enabled not only individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing, it also allowed people to watch videos in sound-sensitive environments.
9. Short Form “How To’s”
Have you ever taught yourself how to do something by watching a “How To” video? Of course you have! At the start of 2020 we saw the beautiful story of Rob Kenney, a man who grew up without a father, create the YouTube channel “Dad, How Do I?”. His video tutorials of “How to Change a Car Tire” and “How to Unclog a Sink” caught the hearts of the nation.
Videos are an especially compelling way to learn how to accomplish something online. No longer do you need to contact your wacky neighbor to help fix your TV, or ask your overbearing Grandma how to cook country gravy. Just watch a video!
At the height of the pandemic, we helped the VDH produce “How-To” videos fully remotely. By directing individuals from afar, our team guided everyday folks to shoot videos using their iPhones. These videos included: How to correctly wash your hands and How to make a mask from a t-shirt.
10. Filming on Smartphones
Let’s be honest – Your phone rules your world. My old math teacher once told me, “You best learn long division, you’re not going to always have a calculator in your pocket!” Oh how wrong she was! Not only do I have a calculator in my pocket but I also have an HD camera capable of capturing content till my hearts desire.
Not only is it a far cheaper way to create videos but the camera quality has surpassed a level that we never would have imagined. Just ask director Sean Baker who was the talk of the town at the Sundance Film Festival for his movie “Tangerine”, shot entirely on a mobile phone.
Though we don’t expect remotely shot iPhone footage to replace professional cinema cameras, we certainly can expect to see a rise in social media content created with more authentic, less perfect mediums.
All in all, there will be a lot of changes in this upcoming year. Whether it’s through a camera, an iPhone, or VR, effectively communicating with your audience will continue to be crucial.
If you have any predictions on what video trends will dominate 2021, we would love to hear them. Share your thoughts with firstname.lastname@example.org