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The Secret to Compelling Video: Add Information

I talk a lot about how keeping your shots short makes your video more intriguing.

This video, from Walk Off the Earth is the exception that proves the rule.  We can learn a lot by looking at why it works.

Most film consists of short shots because we process visual information fast– microseconds fast.  Once we’ve processed all the visual information in front of us, we’re hungry for more.  That’s why your eyes (unless you’re staring at a screen) flit from one thing to another all the time: the rearview mirror, the wife, the road ahead, the speedometer, the road ahead…etc. We see, we understand, we seek more information.

The secret to compelling video?  Always add information.  Short shots constantly feed our brains new stuff, thus keeping us locked to the screen in (one hopes) rapt attention.

What Walk Off the Earth have done is figured out how to constantly add information– to hold our gaze, create suspense and anticipation– in one long shot.

Tough to do, but really fun when it works. Great song, too!

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About The Author

Steve Stockman

Steve Stockman, president of LA-based Custom Productions, Inc., is a prolific producer, writer, and director, known for over 200 diverse media projects. He is also the author of the best-selling book "How to Shoot Video that Doesn’t Suck," taught globally from middle school to graduate level, and available in 9 languages.

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