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This week I came across a video for a council-run tennis club for children. The video started with piano music, a slow-motion establishing shot of a child looking up at a tennis court in magical anticipation, a lingering tension in the air. A voice begins to speak, the child’s inner monologue talks about how they will step into a new world, take on a challenge and be a better person than before. Soaring and sweeping slow-motion shots litter the sequence.
I sat and thought, “It’s just a bloody tennis club, why did that need to be so cinematic?”.
I’m seeing so much of this at the moment. An epidemic of unnecessary cinematics.
So many video makers are pressure-cooking even the most humdrum subject matters into lofty masterpieces to showcase their craft.
Craft over content is really quite selfish if you ask me. It’s the equivalent of a plumber installing a waterpark in your downstairs toilet. It’s a Van Gogh masterpiece lovingly crafted on to the top of your latte. Pretty, but also probably a waste of time and effort.
When filmmaking equipment is more accessible than ever, it’s harder for content creators to stand out. I know that. We live in a world where “best idea wins”, and I think that’s a good thing.
But standing out doesn’t have to mean cinematic at all costs.
It shouldn’t mean putting the “aesthetic” above the audience needs.
Not every video needs lens flares, not every advert needs a lofty voice-over. Sometimes the client just wants to show what a tennis club looks like without trying to make everyone cry.
P.S Unnecessary cinematics epidemic is a great name for a band