7 Deadly Sins of Video

Jessie Garcia


Jessie Garcia


February 9, 2021

7 Deadly Sins of Video

Have you ever watched a film that just absolutely captivates you?

If you have ever had the chance to watch the 2019 movie The Joker, you can understand what we mean by films that captivate.  

This movie takes your breath away. This is because of the combination of an incredibly emotional story with the power of cinematography. The use of camera angles, haunting music, and fast-paced scene switches made it impossible to look away even for a moment.

When the credits finally rolled after a triumphant, villainous end, you almost needed to pause to process what just happened. When all was said and done, you left this movie feeling different. This is the power of storytelling in video.

Video can evoke strong emotions and leave you feeling completely different than before you watched the video. While few movies are meant to bring the feelings that The Joker brought, there is still such great importance in hemming the threads of storytelling, overlooked elements, and art into video.

Through this blog, we want to explore what hinders the power behind video storytelling. We will also include a few basics of video and how to avoid crucial mistakes. Here are the 7 deadly sins of video!

1. Not Having A Clear Purpose or Story

When we are faced with the overabundant amount of videos on the web, we can be tempted to jump right into making and posting our videos without putting the appropriate amount of thought into them.

Before you even think about pressing the record button, you want to have a clear picture of what the purpose of your video is.

Are you trying to sell something? Are you trying to share information? Is your video meant to serve as a tutorial, product review, or purely as entertainment?

All videos highly benefit from a clear overarching story. That story may serve to evoke deep emotions in your viewers and tug on their heartstrings. It may even be to give authentic examples of a product or service’s benefits in real people’s lives. Not every video needs to tell this ornate, captivating story, but it should tell something of importance.

Once you have decided on the purpose and storyline of your video, you can then dive deeper into the more logistical aspects of the video such as the length, budget, necessary equipment, and more.

2. Overlooking Your Target Audience

We explored in our blog 7 Deadly Sins of Graphic Design the importance of understanding our target audience. Before we even put pen to paper with plans for our video, we must understand our audience.

In our current culture, video is king. While graphics and well-written copy have their place, videography has steadily become the main way we consume information, and are entertained online. The odds are that most of your target audience consumes video fairly often.

Who exactly is your target audience? This group of people is predetermined in your general digital strategy, but it can be segmented into smaller groups in your video strategy.

Whoever you decide is your target audience for your video,, you want to step into their shoes during the video planning process. What exactly do they need and want to hear?

3. Lacking Proper Equipment

Depending on the type of video you are creating, your equipment will vary drastically. The basic piece of equipment you need for any video is a device with video and audio recording capabilities! Your device can be as simple as a smartphone, or as complicated and expensive as a high-end video camera.

If you are going for a more organic looking, simple video, you can get away with just a few lights and a cheap camera. But if you want the video to be of higher quality you can invest in a few of the following items:

  • Video camera & different types of lenses
  • Tripods, gimbals, and other mounting rigs
  • Lighting kit and reflectors
  • Microphone(s) - wireless, boom, or others
  • Audio XLR cables
  • Specialty gear such as a dolly, GoPro camera, or flying drone
  • Post-production software
  • A video editor

For many, this list may seem like a foreign language. Just remember that you want to have the proper equipment for your particular video project. You will need less equipment for an interview video but will need more for short documentaries. There is also a whole other realm of video production where you use mainly stock footage and other design elements to create a video. This type of video production only requires video editing software and a dedicated video editor.

4. No Attention Grabber

Having a good attention grabber is the hallmark of almost every type of entertainment. Before thinking about developing a perfect attention grabber, you need to ask yourself “Is this actually worth paying attention to?” Ouch, that may seem a bit harsh. Still, yet, it is worth considering the importance of your video and the point you want it to make to your audience.

Because videos are so diverse and we can do so much with them, there are endless ways to grab your audience’s attention. Your attention grabber can include a pressing question, a musical build-up, or even complete silence where the video does the work.

You have a limited amount of time to truly captivate your audience, so you need to make it count. The attention grabber should be powerful enough to compel the viewer to want to commit to the entirety of the video, so make sure it is good!

5. Lack of A Clear Point

Videos generally serve one major purpose out of these 5: to entertain, tell a story, inform, instruct, or convince. When you have figured out what your purpose is in the video, you can then begin to actually film and create the video.

Oftentimes, the purpose can be a combination of different purposes. No one wants to be outright sold to, so marketers will often marry the power of storytelling with the selling of their products.

This Nike commercial highlights the narrative of empowered women everywhere while simultaneously seeking to sell you their products:

Within your main point of the video, you want to include additional elements to make your point clear.

For example, if you want your video to serve as a call to action you need to include clear steps to take action, such as a URL link or step-by-step instructions. You want to make it as simple as possible for your audience to take action after watching your video.

6. Not Considering Copy & Musical Elements

There was a time in filmmaking where silent movies were the only movies. Because there was no inclusion of the actors and actresses talking, two elements were crucial for the life of the movie: music and words!

While the bulk of producing a video is in the actual video capture, there is a lot of importance in the post-production process.

Post-production is simply everything that comes after recording or shooting the elements of a video. This includes the editing process and implementation of audio, musical, and textual elements.

You can have stellar videography that just alone is beautiful and captivating, but there is a necessity in adding in other elements to really finish the video off holistically. Music can be vital in video, as it has the power to evoke certain types of emotions like happiness or compassion. Music can drive home the message if it is powerful enough and fits well with the video piece.

Copy is another important element of videos we cannot overlook. In the cases of voice-overs, there needs to be high consideration in the usage of words and how that can add value to the video piece. This is why videographers hire scriptwriters or copywriters to produce high quality words for their work.

7. Not Keeping in Mind the Platforms

One last deadly sin of video is not planning for the platform(s) where your video will be used.

In the world of social media, video is extremely vital for brands, influencers, and organizations alike. Much of what we consume on social media is viewed on our mobile devices, so we must keep in mind the vertical dimensions of social platforms. We must also remember that depending on the video mode, it may need to be shorter or longer for certain platforms.

Commercials, product reviews, sermon snippets, and feature-length videos all serve different purposes and must not be treated as all the same. Some videos work on some platforms, and others don’t. Doing a bit of research and analyzing how certain videos perform will help you discern where your video should be uploaded and available to the world.

Video has the power to move us, give us a deeper understanding of a subject, and even purely give us a good laugh. Whatever the purpose of the video, it is vital to make sure you are following the necessary steps to create a video that has a long-lasting impact.

Video creation is far too complicated and time-consuming to just half-heartedly do it! You want to have a clear vision, know your audience, consider the necessary equipment and elements, and produce something that truly wows your viewers!

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