Rod Reding, Producer and Editor at REL Productions, has spent decades working in video production. In that time, video technology has changed drastically, as has the mediums of distribution. Rod has been there every step of the way, implementing cutting-edge techniques and equipment into his work.
That experience gives him a unique vision into today’s use of video, as well as some ideas about where video technology will take us in the future.
How has video production and technology changed during your career?
“I remember a shoot I was on several years ago in the Virgin Islands,” Rod said. “We booked a pilot and a helicopter, along with specialized camera mounts and lens stabilization equipment, in order to acquire flyover shots of newly constructed luxury townhomes.”
Rod and his crew were able to capture some great footage, but the shots were limited and expensive. Getting a second-run wasn’t an option and the pressure to get everything on the first take was intense.
The introduction of commercial drones now provides endless creative possibilities at a fraction of the price. REL can now capture content from an entirely different perspective thanks to drones — and all without the time and expense of hiring a professional pilot. What’s even more impressive is how quickly the camera technology continues to improve with each new drone release.
“We've been using drones since 2015,” Rod said. “The quality of the footage has increased tremendously since then and keeps getting better. We use drone shots to give viewers a unique visual perspective that cannot be achieved from the ground.”
The REL team uses drones on nearly every outside video shoot, and even interior shots if space allows. Using drones for establishing shots and to gather multiple angles makes videos more interesting and draws the viewer in. Being able to see a farming operation or a corporate campus from a bird's eye view helps tell client stories in a more comprehensive way that just wasn’t available even a decade ago.
A piece of technology Rod and his team are closely monitoring is the use of LED screens to replace the industry-standard green screen. Current green screens are still efficient but are limited in scope. These mammoth LED screens are currently being used in Hollywood to create seamless backgrounds that act like on-site locations, but more affordable adaptations are being used on the corporate front.
“Green screens are still very useful and we’ll continue to utilize those, but these new LED screens can be used to reduce post-production time. They speed up the whole process,” Rod said.
Rod has witnessed many changes to the industry, including the increased role video production plays in marketing.
“The biggest change I’ve seen is that you have less time to get your message across,” he said. “The fast-paced world we live in wants us to get to the point now or they are off to the next thing. Solving this issue requires us to know our viewers. What are their pain points? What is important to them? What do they need? We often connect to the viewer with a question, statement, or scenario with which they can relate. Once you establish that emotional connection, you have a better chance of conveying your message.”
Where does video go from here?
The world of video, like most things in marketing, is constantly evolving. Keeping your finger on the pulse of the industry is a must to stay competitive and provide clients with the skills and techniques needed to promote their products and services.
“What we’re doing right now is working with our clients,” Rod said. “For instance, the marketing team at Corteva Agriscience knows what they want with messaging. Conversely, if a client knows they have to get a message out, but doesn’t have much of a marketing background, we have to help them identify that message. It’s situations like those that make our relationship with AKC Marketing even more valuable. They can lean on our video experience and we can lean on their marketing knowledge. It’s a win-win.”
Video distribution has also evolved over the years according to Rod, and the results are changing the way clients interact with and utilize video.
“We have come a long way from delivering a VHS tape in the mail to prospective clients. The ability to share our videos on countless distribution platforms is mind-boggling. We can literally reach millions of people around the globe in a matter of minutes.”
The implementation of video tools like iconik — a smart media management solution that allows key stakeholders to select eye-catching imagery and just the right music for their videos — has been vital to REL operating at the speed and efficiency level clients have come to expect.
It is not uncommon in today’s fast-paced world for a client to request footage for immediate use. Iconik allows REL to locate and deliver the needed footage within minutes via a sharable link — a process that used to take days.
“I certainly can’t predict the future, but what I do know is the barrier to entry for video production continues to lower,” Rod said. “What used to require specialized tools and million-dollar editing suites can now be done using powerful laptops. The needed equipment is becoming just as quick and compact as the industry demands, and we are following right along with it.”
As fast as the industry and video production has become in recent years — and comparatively, the speed is impressive — the ability to tell a captivating story is as rare as it is valuable. Video production remains an artform, requiring the creative talent and expertise to fully capitalize on today’s new versatile technology and rise above the noise.
Storytelling through video
All forms of storytelling have strengths and weaknesses, each seeking to either inform, enlighten or entertain. For Rod, the strength of video content lies in the combination of a written narrative, imagery, voice and music to tell a story that engages the viewer’s senses and leaves a lasting impression.
One of the most powerful storytelling tools is a customer testimonial. Few things are as impactful as a customer explaining how a product has changed their life. The challenge is putting together the story in a way that draws in the viewer. That's where REL’s experience of planning, shooting, interviewing, scriptwriting and editing all work together to create a dynamic story that resonates with the viewer.
To develop a story, REL spends countless hours researching in order to know the client inside and out.
“My first boss, Art Bauer, always preached that emotion plus information equals communication,” Rod said. “This simple formula helped his company create hundreds of videos for human resource departments around the globe. Connecting information to our emotions creates a stronger memory which increases our retention. Not everything we produce contains an emotional element, but if the opportunity is there, we’ll certainly utilize it.”
REL has a great team of people who care about their clients and the quality of work they produce. Each team member provides a unique perspective and versatile talents so the client can benefit.
- 85% of businesses use video as a marketing tool. (Hubspot)
- 92% of marketers who use video say that it's an important part of their marketing strategy. (Hubspot)
- 92% of users watching video on mobile will share it with others. (Wordstream)
- Viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video, compared to 10% when reading it in text. (Hubspot)
- 72% of customers would rather learn about a product or service by way of video. (Hubspot)
- Additional Statistics: https://biteable.com/blog/video-marketing-statistics/
Do you have a video project you’ve been considering? Contact REL today!