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The Video Age

Video is much more than an option for those who can't think how to express their ideas in sufficiently engaging words and graphics; video has become part of the "creative continuum" and made accessible through £100 cameras that can produce perfectly acceptable video (and sound). 

USP provided the technical resources for the first European "outside webcast" from a Networks IT show at Olympia around 1997. It was all rather exciting at the time and involved putting together a number of elements on 3 systems - video encoder on one PC, editing on another, server on another. Although the video production team at that time didn't believe in new-fangled digital non-linear editing (a very wobbly early Adobe Premiere), and insisted on using £5,000 Sony Betamax professional editing recorders that were standard industry issue at the time.

Although the process has become a lot more accessible thanks to falling the cost of cameras, the universal adoption of editing on PCs (and Macs) and the vast increase in available bandwidth, the art of video remains in the creation of content that attracts viewers. The key skill with any video (and any creative process) is good editing, so just as early word processed documents were frequently in danger of falling voctim to "because it can", video editing needs to be restrained and concise, with any fades or effects used sparingly.

You may not realise that you need video on your website (yet) - and if you have asked recently, the chances are that the you may have spoken to one of the many professional video production companies who are trying maintain the myth that good video costs a minimum of £5k per hour to create; but the "good old days" for the video trade are almost over and "services priced to sell" are inevitable.

From the very first days of silent movies, it became apparent that moving pictures engage an audience like words and static images never will. ..