The Next Big Thing in Videography for 2016

  |   Jul 21 2016   |   Posted in: Informational Address, Business to Business


The Next Big Thing in Videography for 2016

The Rise of 360-degree Video and Virtual Reality

In the past year we have seen an explosion of technology revolutionizing the world of video.  Think of each new video technology as a tool that can be used to enhance a production.   That being said, it isn’t always appropriate to use a hammer when you really need a screwdriver.  Let’s take a look at some of the video tech out now that is changing the game.  The important thing here is to experiment, have fun, and ultimately use the best tool for your needs.

Before we talk about the newest trend in video, let’s talk about some milestones that have become important tools for video production.

GoPro AKA watch me do sports.

GoPro:  An action camera that became popular years ago and since has spawned many imitators.  Extreme conditions are no longer an excuse with this versatile little camera.  The GoPro has revolutionized action sports with its rugged design, giving videographers another option when it comes to situations that put expensive cinema cameras and delicate rigs at risk.  So if you are filming underwater, in a car, or on the side of a cliff, you can expect to use a GoPro. 

Although the GoPro has hi-quality capabilities, it does not offer the level of control a professional would use.  When I use a GoPro, it is always paired with a cinema camera and used sparingly in a production. You might not be able to spot the difference in quality but that is only after hours of editing.

Nice Pug cam... does that come in 4k?

Drones:  Using drone footage in your video is a great way to increase production value without a motion picture budget.  The option to have a camera fly up in the air adds a radically different vantage point to your production.  Be wary though, it is very easy to go overboard with the drone shots.  A seasoned editor will intersperse two or three aerial shots throughout a video when it is appropriate to enhance your story. 

Drone use has become a bit of a legal issue, so make sure you know the laws before trying your hand at drone videography.  The best option is to hire a licensed drone operator.  That person not only knows the laws but, more importantly, knows how to get the best shots.  If you have any question on if it is worth hiring a drone operator, just remember back to the days when aerial video was only possible by renting a helicopter.

If you have a GoPro but no drone you'll have to get creative.

GoPro and drone technology changed how we capture footage.  They offer great alternatives to the shots we can get safely on the ground and when used properly, can greatly raise the production value of your video and help tell the story you want told.  That being said, these great technologies thus far have fit seamlessly into the regular post production workflow.  They haven’t disrupted the editing process with special file types or strange proportions, so they can be used with cinema cameras just as long as the quality can be matched in the final rendering of the video…

Before we move ahead, let’s take a look farther in the past.  There was a very brief period in time where people thought 3D video would become the “next big thing” in videography, so much so that 3D cameras were made at the prosumer and consumer level, TVs were also outfitted with 3D capability… but then nothing. 

Does anyone else feel like they're going to throw up while looking at that screen?

Here’s why it failed; beside the point that some people don’t have stereoscopic vision making it impossible for them to even watch 3D video as well as the onslaught of lackluster 3D experiences, 3D in itself is a useless storytelling tool.  It did nothing to enhance the intended message the viewer was meant to leave with, in fact, it took away or cheapened that message greatly.

Ok, so 3D was a bust, but what about 360 video?  Why is 360 so successful where 3D failed miserably?  Let’s talk about what makes 360 a viable tool for the future.

This guy prefers Virtual Reality over reality... I think it works best if the camera isn't in the same room as you.

360 Video:  360 video’s success is largely due to the advances in mobile technology.  In the beginning of 2016, we saw mobile video viewership spike, catching up to desktop viewing and projected to pass by the end of the year.  It is important to note that about 90% of time spent on mobile video is through apps (Facebook, YouTube, etc.) and only about 10% is from surfing the internet.  360 video puts the viewer at the controls, able to look around his/her surroundings, creating a new experience every time they watch.  Marketers are getting creative with how they use 360 technologies.

360 video works best in a mobile or VR setting.  With Google Cardboard and other comparable products, anyone can have an interactive experience thanks to 360 video paired with the built in tilt sensor on your phone.

360 video still has its setbacks… and there are many.  First of all, you can’t use any other type of format than 360 in a 360 video.  So utilizing high end cinema cameras is not possible in this format.  This means there is a lack of control for the videographer.  Say goodbye to traditional lighting setups since a 360 camera will catch EVERYTHING around it.  You won’t see 360 in theaters ever because 360 video is entirely a single user experience… unless they build a 360-degree movie screen and put you in a swivel chair (which would be kind of awesome).  It is totally disruptive to the editing workflow.  You need special software to handle 360 video and as of now it’s kind of clunky.

Here's GoPro's 360 solution... Now we just need to mount this on a drone controled by a virtual headset and we've come full circle.

To sum it all up, 360 video is here to stay, but I predict that it will become more niche than a replacement to the typical video we see now.  Unlike 3D, 360 offers a greatly enhanced viewer experience.  The most beneficial markets will probably be real estate, sports, travel, and I’m sure others will find a use for it.  With live streaming becoming more accessible online, we will start seeing 360 events, putting anyone with a mobile device right in the action.

It is important to note how mobile is changing how we ingest our media.  Whether or not you utilize 360 video, optimize your videos for mobile.  This means making your videos short and sweet, readable, and hosted on apps like YouTube or Facebook so they are found and playback easier on mobile devices.


Like this article?  Comment for more about new video tech.  If you have questions about your video project, feel free to contact us today!

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