Video is increasingly becoming the center of my storytelling workflow. In the past I would shoot video with dedicated cameras that required their own cases, batteries, lenses, and cables, not to mention storage media. I still have boxes full of High-8 video cassettes, and I occasionally open them and shudder. I would rather work with an Arri BL16 in all honesty.
But today, the ease of video is incredible. Cell phones can shoot near-broadcast quality – in fact, I’ve seen cell phone footage in a number of documentaries edited alongside of other footage. It’s difficult to tell the difference. The improvements in quality and handling of video certainly means there is a lot more video being shot and shared. Having the ability to shoot on a phone, make rudimentary edits and upload directly to the cloud makes video unbelievably simple compared to the workflow of shooting, transfering, digitizing, editing, rendering, exporting, etc that was the norm just a few short years ago. But this raises a question: how much of all this video is worth watching?
We spend far more time watching short, low-production video than we used to. Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram have become much more video-focused, and as a result we are all watching more cat-videos and craft-tutorials than ever before.
I’m not sure how I feal about the proliferation of mediocre content that results from ubiquitous high-quality video.
The same improvements in video have also made it far easier for people like me to capture and tell stories. With a few items that can be carried in a single backpack, I can set up and shoot an interview in 4K on 2 cameras and record separate dedicated audio with a high quality shotgun microphone. These videos can be fast, spontaneous, and incredibly valuable. They don’t need to be perfect. They don’t need loads of expensive lighting, and crew of people. I shoot alone, mostly in ambient lighting.
It means, I can help people tell their story without spending a fortune, or having to do it themselves. Some examples of this can be seen in these video interviews I did for the Montana Repertory Theater last year. These were shot on a Canon G7x point and shoot camera (at 1080p) and were edited and uploaded to their YouTube page in less than a day from when they were shot. This is the power of video today.
Below are a selection of video posts. A few, mainly for purposes of illustration, are client pieces. But I will try to make most of this personal projects moving forward.