The Commercial Video Production Industry Has Changed

Hey guys, Clarke Scott from Next Level Filmmaker

In this video I wanted to talk about how the industry has changed. So, about ten years ago, the 5D Mark II came out. And the industry went completely ballistic as a result. Vincent Laforet as we all know, made that famous find. The story behind it almost sounds unreal, but by all accounts it is. Stumbled across the fact that it had 1080P, you could put a stills lens so you can get basically video that didn't look like video and for $3000.

So everything changed at that point. But it wasn't just the camera that caused that to happen. There were a number of other things that were also taking place within the world, within the Chinese economy, and also the maturity of digital platform and digital in general meant that there was this almost tsunami effect that happened in the industry, such that the process for commercial film making just plummeted over the next few years. 

And the changes are still happening, they're still occurring now. You know, you could get a great looking image, although we look at it now and a 5D Mark II image now looks pretty crappy. But I shot on it and it was a nice little camera insofar as it was little. And even though they're smaller now, it was little back then. So you could do a lot with it and you could get it into places that you basically couldn't take a massive crew into. 

So you could get away with a lot of things because you didn't really look like a film crew. And so there was a lot of experimentation that happened as well. But it was a combination of that camera and also the fact that the Chinese economy and the manufacturing process was beginning to mature as well so that we could begin to rely on the stuff that was coming out of China. 

Like, remember LEDs back in the say were horrible. The Chinese ones had this horrible green tinge to them. And they've just gotten better and better and better. But the other thing that was really important that many people didn't notice was that the digital landscape changed. 

So, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, they've all matured. So businesses started using the internet and digital more and more to basically market their stuff. And therefor film making because less about broadcast and more about digital. And that happened more and more and more every year. It just became more and more true. 

I heard recently that about six months ago ... we pronounce it Adidas. If you're in the States, if you're an American, I believe the Canadians say it the same way, it's Adidas. So, Adidas, Adidas, pulled two billion dollars from broadcast. So ads they were gonna spend on traditional broadcast media, they pulled that from broadcast and they put it directly into digital. Specifically, 50/50 down the line, YouTube and Facebook. 

So two billion dollars. If that doesn't say that broadcast is effectively dead, and that all of their ads and the effectiveness of digital is far superior, they I'll go [he 00:03:37]. Because there is no way known that a business that large would take that much money and just move it from here to there all in one fell swoop. 

So if you think about the reason why they would do that, I'll tell you the reason. Then you don't even have to think about it. The reason is that our stuff is trackable. We can now measure the effectiveness of our campaigns. 

You cannot really do it in traditional media, broadcasts and whatnot. And people that sell in that space will say that, that's not true, that you can. But that's not true. There is no way to be able to track the eyeballs of every single person that sees your ad. Maybe some of them, but not all of them. And therefor, they're kind of guessing as to whether the ads that you're producing for broadcast are effective or not. 

In the digital landscape, we can tell you which ad, which creative, which cut of a particular piece of branding content has a better click-through rate, a better conversion rate. So when you go back to an owner and you're able to say, we created a video ...

I'll actually tell you a story. For me, the power of this became very, very evident when I had a prospect come in, I pitched them on a retainer and I told them what I was gonna shoot. I was gonna shoot something that was really almost low-fi, point of view. And aesthetically, it was not very pleasing. I mean, it was good video, it was good content, but it wasn't dolly shots or slider shots or super shallow depth of field. There was no emotive music. 

It was very raw, very low-fi, but there was a very specific reason for that, very specific business reason why I chose to shot it in a certain way. And I was speaking directly to the business owners and sold the business owners on the idea without really consulting the marketing department. So we ended up producing the content for them and we set up the distribution channel. 

And then the marketing department kind of stepped in, and I got a call from the owner one day, saying, look, we're really concerned about this video. It's not the kind of video that we believe our business should be creating. And I knew immediately where this was coming from. It was coming from someone that is old school marketing and didn't really understand what it was that we were trying to achieve. 

And so they were really looking at it just from a brand perspective and not so much from the perspective of driving direct response, on getting people to respond directly to our content. And so, long story short, I said, okay, let's create another video that's exactly like the video that your marketing manager wants to create, and let's test those two videos up against each other. 

So, we ran two campaigns, exactly the same everything except different videos, and I said to the business owner, I can guarantee you which one's gonna work, and it'll be mine. And it probably sounded a little bit arrogant, but I just knew that was going to be the case, because the other one was off-brand for a start, and it was just, it was never gonna work. 

A week later we turn off these fairly costly campaigns on their video, not my video, because their video, the click-through rate, cost per click, everything, as soon as we turned it on it went like that. And after a week it was like, oh my god, turn this thing off, 'cause we are haemorrhaging money on this campaign while this other one continued to have a positive return on investment and a positive return on their ad spend. 

So the data in the end is what will really tell whether what we're creating for a business owner is working or not working. The power in that is the reason why someone like Adidas, Adidas, pulled two billion dollars from traditional broadcast and are putting it directly into Facebook ads and YouTube ads. 

So if you as a film maker can create compelling, branded video content that also is able to drive a business result, then the world is your oyster, to use a cliched phraseology. But cliches are cliches for a reason. Literally you are handing your career and the ability to scale up your business, it's sitting in the palm of your hand. You just need to do something. It's right there, right now, it's the best time to be a film maker. 

The film making industry has completely changed. So because of that, what's happening is that ad agencies are starting to bring production in-house. Now that probably started around five or six years ago, where because the cost of production went down, they couldn't out source it, they had to bring it in. 

And obviously for the large productions, they still outsource. But for smaller productions they do it in-house. Production companies now are starting to source their own clients. They're going directly to brand. So big production companies, medium sized production companies and small size production companies like mine, going direct to brand. 

Why? Because we have all the tools that we need to be able to create compelling content and then get it in front of the right people at the right time in order to drive a business result such that someone will pay us the cost of production, plus the cost of set up, and then a retainer to maintain the thing to work, to get the result on an ongoing basis. 

And so, the industry's, over the last ten years, is so different compared to ten years ago. It's not even funny. And yet there are people, more hope marketing. Still film makers that I speak to from time to time who are still trying to work in the old model. And they don't realise, either through just plain ignorance or just stubbornness, that the landscape underneath them, you know, the floor underneath them has completely changed. 

And so, this is the new model. It's the new world. And it's already here, it's not as if this is like, going to be happening in the future, it's already here. Adidas, Adidas, pulled two billion dollars. If you need more evidence than that, then I'm never gonna be able to convince you that this is the way the industry is going, 'cause it's already gone. Adidas is a perfect example. 

I think that's all I wanted to say for this video. Catch yeah later. 


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