In the past decade, video has become the most consumed form of media on the internet. Today, everyone, you, me, even your neighbor can create videos easily. Because these days, almost every person has a little computer/camera in their pockets, allowing them to not only record pretty good video footage, but also edit and share videos very easily and quickly. Yes, I am talking about our modern smartphones.
Twenty years ago, it was a very expensive business venture to produce videos and that is why so often it was only done for TV or cinema spots. These cost even more money because one had to pay for the time slot for their advertisement. Today, creating videos has become much more affordable, because the technology has become cheaper and more accessible and more people are gaining the necessary expertise through this easier accessibility.
Just looking at the availability and affordability of video equipment today, the possibilities have become almost limitless. When DSLRs – digital single-lens reflex – introduced video functionality, it really changed how people and companies could produce their videos. With these types of cameras (from consumer brands such as Canon or Nikon) and the choice between a vast range of interchangeable lenses, everyone had the opportunity to become a video producer and companies could buy this affordable equipment to start to produce certain content inhouse.
Today, the market offers so called “digital cinema cameras” in a price range from about 1000-5000 CHF. These cameras often have a Super35 sensor built in and offer a very wide dynamic range, which grants a lot of power and flexibility when it comes to postproduction and color grading, something that for a long time only super expensive camera brands like ARRI or RED would offer.
Modern smartphone used as a video camera
DSLR with video functionality
Professional high-end digital cinema camera
Another continuous evolution we see is in the capabilities of software and how much easier it has become to learn and use the software, as well as the seamless workflows they support today. In the early 2000s, Blender, a license free 3D software, was introduced. It began competing directly with huge and well-known brands like Autodesk or Maxon. Adobe After Effects is now capable of working directly with 3D data. Thousands of software plugins and extensions have automated the creation processes, that in the past, would have taken dozens of work hours to achieve.
All this technical evolution has contributed to the rise of motion picture content. And we can observe this even on all the available stock and asset libraries out there, like iStock, AdobeStock, TurboSquid, Envato, etc. Everyone is producing content, sharing or selling it. Production companies or departments profit from this, as they can simply buy assets that fit their needs instead of creating everything from scratch. This way they can produce not only faster, but cheaper too.
When it comes to the distribution of content, the internet era has given us many possibilities on how we can share or promote our videos, even for free. Big social media platforms like YouTube and Facebook have given companies the possibility to reach millions of people all over the globe for less money than they would have to pay for a TV ad to play.
But how do we perceive video today? What has changed in the way of consumption? We watch videos for many reasons, to entertain, to educate or to inform ourselves. YouTube creators are managing to make a living just from producing videos for other people. Streaming services like Netflix, Disney+ and Apple TV+ are replacing our regular television. People have started to document more and more parts of their life on video. The importance of motion picture content in our lives is constantly rising. And it will only get more important in the future.
If you have a moment, pop over to our Bernafon YouTube channel and have a look at some of our videos there.