2021 has been an incredibly tough year for just about everyone, both personally and professionally. There’s been so much change, and people are adapting to new rules and procedures almost every week! Businesses have had to transform their business models and staffing. I am in awe of everyone who has turned it around in this short time.
We had quiet Summer in our studio, with a very strict British lockdown going on and many other companies unable to work.
But by the August bank holiday, it was like The world flipped a switch, and we have been our busiest ever since. It’s incredible, and we’re very grateful.
It seems everyone was in a rush to make up for the lost three months of production!
Since then, we’ve not had to change so drastically, but we can see some new video trends for business, and I think a few are here to stay.
WFH will be the most significant change for most of our clients, working from home and possibly trying to home-school at the same time!
For our company, this is not new. We have been working with businesses and organisations worldwide for several years, so we’re used to all the phone calls and explaining everything through very clearly and precisely without ever seeing a face.
For us, communication is so important! And although we’ve never met some of our main clients, we’ve worked with them for years and have a lovely and reliable relationship.
It is possible, but building trust online is more important than ever, both with your own staff and customers.
Filming Live Action Shoots
For training, marketing and corporate videos, filming has still been mostly possible for us as a company to do. But there are many new safety precautions and procedures to ensure our and the client’s safety.
We have limited crew and staff from the organisation on shoots—the least people there as possible, only those who are necessary.
I’ve also heard of production companies having additional staff work on the shoot remotely via zoom to limit numbers.
Filming days can often take longer, as crew and staff may need more time between shots to prepare. It means we need more time to film the same content safely.
This increase in shoot days has led to a slight increase in the cost of these productions.
Large scale scenes and shots with many people together, particularly indoors, are still a while off being possible, so, for now, we’ll have to think outside the box.
Any video studio for filming will now be up to date with all safety regulations and generally will be sufficient to film in for green screen/ VFX shoots in a safe manner.
We’ve also been doing more Zoom recordings and are finding creative workarounds to filming such a disparate workforce.
Animated Video Production
We’ve always split between being an animated video company and a corporate video company. Animation has increased massively for us over the past few years and became almost 70% of our work since 2020.
But this year has undoubtedly swayed more towards animation and explainer videos – we’re producing one every 1-2 weeks right now.
This is because they are much easier to do remotely, as long as you have a reliable working method and excellent communication with the client.
Companies are realising animation’s potential, particularly how it’s still possible to do when no one can be in the same room for various reasons.
When you have a methodology in place with client review stages for the script, illustrated storyboard, animatic, animation etc, everyone is informed and can feel confident about the outcome.
Training Video Productions
There has been a significant increase in training videos, from new workplace procedures, internal communication announcements to educational content.
Recently we’ve made covid training videos and videos on best practices for working at home – ensuring workers keep up good health and safety. We’ve also worked on projects around mental health.
Getting these important messages across to a very widespread and often WFH workforce is more accessible with video as it gives a concise and repeatable message.
This might be just my view, but deadlines have gone a little haywire. Our industry is often tight with deadlines, and clients want the video almost instantly, but now it needed last week!
These deadlines have definitely increased the general stress level. Many businesses are so desperate to make up for lost production and get sales boosted… I can see where it’s coming from.
I’m hoping this will settle as time goes on. Good video, particularly animation, is not instantaneous, and it needs proper planning to be a real business sales or training tool.
More Online Meetings
I think because not everyone is so used to working remotely, we have been in about 5x as many meetings with clients than before, even though, broadly, we’ve worked on a 90% remote basis since we set up in 2015.
I can see it’s more important for people to have a connection and build trust.
It’ll be interesting to see how many of these changes are here for the long term, I’ve seen animation and motion graphics on the up and up, so I think this trend will continue.
Training videos will also continue to increase, they’re so functional and needed with the fast-changing situation.
I also think we’ll continue to have a billion meetings!
Safe safe 🙂