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Marketing Communications using Film & Video

A deceiving scenario

Videos convinced him to become a terrorist, then a traitor

For 27-year-old Harry Sarfo from Germany, ISIS propaganda videos were part of what initially attracted him to join the terror group. But as he witnessed one of their propaganda videos being made, he realized it was not the scenario he had imagined and decided to desert.

Since his identity was made public in the New York Times last week, his name is now not only known to the secret services, but to the entire American and German public. An interview conducted with Sarfo in English, inside the high-security prison in Bremen, made it into the international press when his connections with the Islamic State’s Secret Service in Syria came to light.

The organization responsible for attacks and known as Emni in Arabic had planned for the self-proclaimed holy warrior from Bremen to be sent back to his homeland after training, to serve as a sleeper agent. They no longer needed Europeans in Syria, instead future assassins in Germany. Only in passing were the videos mentioned in the media.

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Thrown out with the bathwater

Why subjective perception in film and video really matters

When answering the question of what subjective perception is and could be, one of Switzerland’s most popular daily newspapers had bemoaned the fact that – during the last few years and not least because of YouTube – films and videos were now (quote) “… mercilessly subjective and mercilessly random …” and had lost most of their effect. I beg your pardon? My related comment in this article: this perception is rubbish and an old hat!

Those hammering answers such as these into their computer keyboard not only hinder the knowledgeable person from gaining an insight into the reality of current trends in moving image communication, but also only permit conclusions about their own lack of expertise:

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Edit and manipulate?

Editing video and film correctly (4/4)

If we believe the demagogues and the theory of film, the moving image is the very most dangerous of all media. The killer argument why this is true: a film or a video has no final form before a large number of different settings have not been interlinked.

As opposed to a photograph (at least before Photoshop existed), this link, incurred during editing video and film, offers hardly controllable options of manipulation.

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As a formal principle

Editing films and videos correctly (3/4)

Like all film disciplines, editing videos is a trade with the potential of an art. Trade and artistic aspects of film editing can also be viewed from a purely formal aspect. Editing which is governed by high formal principles turns the effect of the film image into a style principle.

Editing as a formal principle is not only met (excessively) within the realms of art and experimental films. Alternating with further editing principles, the formally influenced cut can be found in almost all films and videos:

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Changing space and time

Editing film and video correctly (2/4)

During the pioneering times of the film, film editing was limited to cutting the necessary events in their chronological order as required for the narrative. In this case, excitement could not be created by cutting but only by the content of the narrative. Film cutting served reality.

As early as 1901, James Williamson went a step further in his film “Attack on a China Mission”: He discovered that the viewers also let film cutting guide them across larger leaps in time and space if an identical object or person was involved in the setting before and after cutting. 

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The principle of film editing

Editing films and videos correctly (1/4)

Film cutting can be hard like an unexpected slap in the face or soft like a loving look. It can change time and be a complete contrast to movement in front of the camera. The cut can guide the eye or hinder us from seeing something. Therefore, editing films and videos is more than a mere trade, it “additionally” incorporates the potential of a form of art.

The four-part article series on the trade of editing begins with the most important principles of film cutting:

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(Almost) perfect 360° videos

The truth about 360° videos: Trends and examples

360° Videos are perfect whenever they are allowed to mirror their strengths and do not have to expose their weaknesses. The first part of this article series discussed the contextual function of 360° videos. The second part emphasised the question as to the significance of 360° video for the storytelling aspect and where and when a 360° image film or 360° video make sense.

This final, third article presents selected examples and trends. It explains why 360° documentation is particularly suitable for the all-round video genre:

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Strategic stocktaking as of July 2016

Visual storytelling trends

At the end of last year, it seemed clear which visual storytelling trends would dominate communication with film and video in the future. Six months ago, the list of buzzwords was headed by virtual reality, 360° videos, immersive journalism, Wearable Computing and dynamic storytelling, all of which are finally and invariably poised to make their breakthrough and all of these megatrends seemingly as near as Brexit seemed far. And today?

The summer holidays are frequently followed by planning the budget for 2017. A sufficient reason for determining the summer’s stocktaking when it comes to trends, recommendations and best practices. As was the case during the last strategic stocktaking regarding the trends for visual storytelling, we have to once again distinguish between technical and content-related trends. And just as importantly: all comments are very welcome.

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