Recently I caught up with a dozen mates. We meet up each month to check in on each other, share our wins and our challenges. It’s become a sacred space for each of us to safely report on life as we see it.
At this recent meeting, we ended up talking about the ability and importance of being present to life as it happens around us. So often we are contemplating what has happened, what needs to happen, that we miss the moments that are happening.
Later as I reflected on this conversation, I was also thinking about what makes videos such a powerful medium and I joined some dots.
A good video captures our attention. It consumes our senses. Colourful, well-constructed visuals please the eye. Stirring music lifts our spirit. Engaging stories sweep us up for the journey as it unfolds. If it is a good video we give all our attention to it. We become present with it at that moment.
And I believe it is one of life’s joys and perhaps purposes to seek out and find those moments where we stop worrying about what might happen or what did happen and just enjoy what is happening.
We experience those moments during intimacy when we look into the eyes of our loved one. When we explore each other’s bodies and lose all consciousness of the rest of the world.
Or when we meditate and are able to switch off from the distractions around us and plunge into the depth of just now.
And laughter. When you simply let go of all concerns and enjoy the instant. And I believe this experience of being present is why we seek out such moments. Being emotional is when we are fully present and when life is most interesting.
A good video producer knows it is the emotion you can tap into that counts. People don’t get excited by facts and figures. They want to know how the information will impact on their lives. How it will make them feel. For years I have been telling people videos are about moving people, but I think now I understand why.
It is about giving us opportunities to be present in the moment. To immerse ourselves in an experience.
The movies and videos that don’t work so well are the ones where we find ourselves thinking about other things. It might be the poor acting, the inconsistencies with the story, the superficial characters, the irrelevant details or the clunky direction. Regardless, it means the viewer is not fully present because they have moved away from being a fully immersed participant to a distant viewer.
So does this mean to make a successful video/movie you simply need sex, meditation, laughter – well perhaps? Steve Carrel as the meditating Buddhist monk, trying to find refuge from his sexually addictive lifestyle only to be rescued by psychotherapist Tina Fey – hey who knows, it might work.
But it is more about how the movie or video affects us as we watch.
Hitting the right buttons certainly can work. First Kiss is now in YouTube folklore, with over 90 millions views. Although created to help promote a clothing brand it was produced for less than $2,000.
Some of the reasons it works are because it has a sexual element, there’s humor and then there are some breathtaking moments of instances as we wait to see what will happen. We pause as the awkward spaces are completed with lips joining.
The music works, it uplifts us and the simple visuals in their black and white are classy. Yes, some of the people are actors who nonetheless are meeting for the first time. But we don’t care because we are voyeurs. We are the 21st person in this video of 20 people kissing for the first time.
We are actively participating in this video as we watch it unfold. We are captivated and we are present. We are in the moment with these couples.
If you can make a business video that nails all these components, then excellent. You too may have a YouTube sensation. But in the meantime look for ways to connect with your audience. Think about how you can make them feel and how you can lift their spirits along the way.
Video – the next best thing to experiencing life for real.