The number one rule of magic is to never show the same trick two times in a row. Turns out, the same rule applies to video production: the harder you look, the more you see the magic in the making.
Magicians are masters of misdirection. Their swift slight of hands doesn’t bend the laws of physics as much as they manipulate our senses, making it possible to weave together impossible realities and to tell a story that leaves the audience – well, in awe. While the talented team here in the office of Guy Bauer may not be ready for a headlining show on the Vegas strip, we are magicians in our own right and the same rules of magic apply: if you uncover how a trick is performed, you’ve risk robbing yourself of the masterpiece.
The More You Look the Less You See
After 7 years in the video production business, we’ve come to learn that every client experiences a similar creative journey – one which inevitably involves a mind-bending madness during the video review process. The first view often elicits that straight-from-the-gut feedback (the good stuff). But after 4, 5, 6 replays, the feedback becomes … well, a little bit frazzled, a little less focused. The goal of course is to polish the project, but along the way we all begin to miss the forest for the trees.
Go With Your First Reaction
While we all strive for viral videos, as a general rule, a target audience is not watching the video more than a few times – and never with the same level of scrutiny that you (the stakeholder) will apply. That means that by the time you’re on your 14th and 15th viewing, you’ve lapsed well beyond the level of scrutiny that suits your target audience. At this point, the best thing to do is take a break, hit pause, and focus on what your first reaction and strongest feeling is telling you.
How much is too much?
So this begs the question: what is the magic number when it comes to video viewings? How much is too much?
Here at GB, we recommend aiming for a significant few. Meaning that you should watch it a handful of times, and make those views count. That way, you’re still on the lookout for inconsistencies, but you can remain in the mindset of your intended audience – rather than the mindset of a detective (…which can be fun, but is ultimately not so helpful in the long run).
A word on perfectionism:
In the pursuit of perfection, it’s easy to overanalyze – to lose yourself in an endless loop of replays and when you come out on the other side you’ll hardly remember why you ever embarked on this project in the first place.
Should you find yourself falling down into this rabbit hole of meticulous madness, head these words: you’re watching it, because you love it. No one watches a bad movie more than one – you’re repulsed and you turn it off. But when you’re engaged, intrigued, invested, and interested – you are susceptible to this pitfall. If that should happen, turn off your computer, step away from the replay button, and just let the project simmer for a few days. When you come back to it, try to come back with a renewed perspective and a few key questions to help keep yourself on track:
What is my desired outcome? Who is my intended audience? Am I looking through their eyes or am I blinded by my own mental chatter?
Looking for a creative team to infuse your company’s video with a powerfully passionate edge? If so, we’d love to work together and hope you’ll contact us.