It’s impossible to understate the increased role of video in peoples’ lives during the pandemic. As the world gradually opens up, it’s worth asking - just as video helped to shape the “new normal”, how has the last year shaped the future of video and video marketing beyond the coronavirus crisis?
In the wake of the pandemic, traditional video production was faced with all manner of restrictions and - as could be seen everywhere from online videos to TV shows - one of the most common solutions was self-filming on more basic webcams or smartphone cameras. Though these kinds of cameras are, by no means, a true alternative to professional equipment; pandemic conditions were able to shine a light on the particular qualities of smartphone filming.
Two film-makers, Victoria Mapplebeck and Adam Gee, who have established ‘SMart: The London International Smartphone Film Festival’ illustrate this particularly well, talking to The Guardian:
“I love how it’s transformed my approach to film-making. It works in intimate settings, exploits grey areas of informality and allows for more dynamic and innovative shooting to bring out hidden and personal stories...”
“We set up the festival around smartphones because it enables greater access and diversity, as well as innovation … and there are even new apps that give you more control, allowing for remote direction.”
These characteristics, and particularly the greater sense of access, are definitely things that we’ve been able to implement into our work at Ember. Being able to give people guidance to shoot some of their own footage has allowed for more authenticity and personality to shine through. These ingredients are particularly important in higher education, with prospective students keen for an accurate portrayal of university life.
While live events of all kinds have been put on hold during the pandemic, video has stepped in as an alternative - particularly with platforms like Zoom making webinars, lectures, conferences, and even awards ceremonies possible under lockdown conditions. Talking to Mashable, Professor Eli Noam believes that it’s likely that these kinds of services will continue to flourish even when things are back to normal.
“For Noam, who is the director of the Columbia Institute for Tele-Information, the real-world cases… cement livestreaming as the future, even after the pandemic. Why wouldn’t an artist continue to livestream events when live concerts begin? It lets them reach people (and their wallets) in cities and small towns they would never visit on tour.”
With live-streaming technology having developed in leaps and bounds over the last few years, it will certainly be worth any business’ while to look at how video can be incorporated into their events post-pandemic. The live element offers a unique interactive experience for audiences, and a recorded stream can also be used as a springboard for other, smaller pieces of content, from podcast Q&As, to short highlight clips for social media.
The way we relate to video has changed radically since the pandemic began — for many of us, it’s become an essential part of how we work, how we learn, and how we spend our spare time. For businesses in particular, it’s important to remember that though many things are starting to return to normal, aspects like the convenience of live-streaming and the authentic character of self-filming are here to stay.