Video Production: 6 Takeaways From a Decade of Storytelling On-Screen

  • Categories:

    Content Marketing, Creative, Television and Video

  • Date:

    October 18, 2023

Video Production: 6 Takeaways From a Decade of Storytelling On-Screen

Content Marketing Creative Television and Video

In 2013, we created the Wray Ward Motion team to embed video production into our full-service marketing communications agency. Instead of outsourcing production, cinematography, editing, illustration, animation, sound design, music composition and photography, we cultivated a team of talent within our walls.

The past 10 years have seen massive changes in digital media, but video content has consistently ranked highly for marketers. In fact, the Wyzowl State of Video Marketing in 2023 report revealed that 96% of marketers see video as an important part of their marketing strategy — the highest since the report’s inception in 2015.

When Wray Ward created the Motion team in 2013, the digital media space was very different:

  • Content reigned supreme with video leading the way. Horizontal video was still the default, but vertical video stepped onstage via Snapchat. It would take another three years for vertical video to become widespread on social media.

  • The pendulum swung toward long-form video. Our collective attention spans were starting to shorten, but long-form videos still dominated.

  • Specialty video gear had yet to make it to the masses. Drones, camera stabilizers, stabilization software for smartphones and cinematic mode for smartphones were still years away.

  • Apple released the iPhone 5C and 5S. The new model featured the first 64-bit processor, making it faster, and added 720p at 120 fps slow-mo video recording. These advancements expanded the creative boundaries for users eager to express themselves through content.

  • Social media was evolving at breakneck speed. Targeting Snapchat, Instagram (acquired by Facebook in 2012) added 15-second video sharing. Meanwhile, Twitter (RIP) launched Vine, a six-second looping video option.

  • Omnichannel marketing, fueled by big data, gained traction. And with it, inbound marketing, the notion that brands should help customers find answers, began to take off.

  • Online video killed the cable subscription. With the proliferation of video, our online experience began looking more like TV, and cord-cutting became entrenched.

In 2023, we live in a mobile-first world where data and insights drive marketing plans. The creator economy is firmly established. And video content is central to how brands inspire, educate and drive consumers to purchase.

There’s a camera in every pocket and a creator on every corner. But it takes the creative firepower found at a multidisciplinary agency to marry data and insights with high-quality video production to achieve meaningful results.

That’s why I sat down with our Motion team to talk about what we’ve learned in a decade of doing production in-house. Looking back, we found six key takeaways:

1. Video and photography can be captured together. But it takes planning.

    Our team of motion producers and cinematographers often work side by side with photographers to maximize the investment our clients make in a location shoot. Our work for Palmetto Bluff provides a perfect example of collaboration. In addition to the brand video below, we also produced photography for brochures and a monthly magazine for residents and prospects.

    2. Future-proofing your footage is the key to success in an era where brands need to reach audiences on radically different platforms.

    When we created a new television spot for VELUX®, we planned production for traditional horizontal video for television, YouTube and banner ads, as well as vertical video and cutdown edits for social media. Framing for different crops was essential to our success. One of our photographers was also on set to capture a library of photos for use on social media, websites, e-newsletters and more.

    3. Marry your tech to your needs.

    Smartphone cameras have come a long way, but they have limitations. They perform in well-lit situations where audio isn’t being captured. On a recent VELUX influencer content production, we used an iPhone to capture reels. The space was ideal for this setup because it was bright and evenly lit with two large skylights and two windows.

    Watch the VELUX Brighten Up Any Room Giveaway transformation video.

    4. Animation is no longer a niche skill.

      When we started the Motion team, we hired people specifically for their animation skills. But in today’s world, animation is a must-have for any editor. By working closely with our designers, the Motion team can level up how we use animations to tell brand stories — from bringing intricate illustrations to life to simplifying complex concepts.

      5. Do big things.

      When Sunbrella® decided to sponsor the US Sailing Team, we brought them a big idea: Produce a documentary in which the athletes’ perseverance and toughness symbolize the brand’s durable indoor/outdoor fabric. Over the course of a year, we filmed in six countries to tell this inspirational story.

      6. Sometimes, you need only a little bit of motion.

      When it came to enticing prospective residents of Crescent Communities’ NOVEL Turtle Creek with an elevated lifestyle experience, we opted for a subtle approach. Cinemagraphs marry still photography with a touch of motion to catch the eye.

      Need a hand telling visual stories? Reach out to see how our Motion team can help.

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