Advertising Filmmaking during COVID
Filmmaking is an incredibly nuanced art, especially when it comes to telling a story within a few seconds. There are a few essential things about marketing brand films — in today’s times, the first and foremost would be the TIMING. It may be the worst time to launch a film with the entire world in the grips of a pandemic, but having said it is also essential for a brand to be active and present with the audience.
While the outdoor shoots, particularly in Covid-19 hotspots, will see a lingering risk aversion even in the medium term, another sector will become the hotspot of filmmaking — animation and Graphic oriented films for storytelling. Animation and VFX work more long-term, increasing its demand from the clients despite the crisis.
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It is possible to create wonderful live-action content without having to go out and film. Stock footage and imagery are excellent tools we can use during this pandemic without needing to go out and film. They’re very cost-effective and great in results when used creatively.
Redefining or repurposing the original content to suit the need of the hour is a quick and perhaps, the smartest way to go about things. It’s about how you utilize the older content pieces and create a new narrative. This innovative creativity received a lot of applause and inspired many others.
For content to spread at a compound rate, i.e., ‘go viral’, it must take the audience on an emotional journey. The emotional trigger can be anything — humor, fear, sadness, enlightenment, anger, lust. Years ago, the idea of shooting short movies on your camera phone wasn’t possible. But as our phones become larger, more powerful and evermore like mini media centres, mobile filmmaking, using tablets, phablets and phones has become a popular way to make short films and content and has turned the tables around. As influencers, artists or filmmakers, everyone is available just a call away to produce content from their homes. I believe that our job didn’t become redundant, but rather it has transformed into something where creativity and innovation have the space to change the game.
Dynamic content on social platforms is extremely powerful at driving engagement. Platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, TikTok are becoming the unbeatable platforms for lockdown filmmaking. Snackable content is becoming a great way of leveraging a brand’s audience and building highly shareable content. The benefit of using shorter pieces of content is that they are easily customizable, extremely shareable, and quick to produce.
Marketing films is not an easy task; the whole process from the pitch to the approvals and finally taking the product live is a journey with challenges the creators at different stages. A successful campaign relies on a good mix of a distinctive idea, creative storytelling, and a smart channel strategy. A dash of capital doesn’t hurt to see the ideas become a reality.
Nevertheless, everyone has enjoyed a good story since childhood, and that love for powerful storytelling never ceases.
A filmmaker’s heart will always be set on the art of telling stories first. Be it during the time of COVID or after COVID when we create in the “new normal.”
Taj Ali Naqvi, Director Films & Production