Tag Archives: production

Animation or Live Action… What Kind of Video Should I Use?

Over the past few years, we’ve seen a significant shift toward using video to connect with an audience. From YouTube and vimeo, to news sites and now even Instagram, video offers users rich and engaging content.

But what kind of video is best?

Video CameraAnimation, which starts with independent pictures / objects and pieces them together (think movies created from still pictures or illustrations and cartoons), provides an easy way to describe complex stories, ideas, and information. With animation, you can do just about anything. It performs very well for tech companies and internet services, and it’s a great method of demonstrating something abstract or conceptual. Animation makes it very easy to brand your video. By using similar colors, styles, and themes, your video can easily fit in seamlessly with your website and advertising and marketing collateral. And if your product or service is continuously developing, it’s simpler to make an update to an animated video than it is to a live one.

However, it’s harder to elicit emotion with animated videos. They are much less realistic and it is harder to gain the audience’s trust. Production can be time-consuming.

Live-action video, which uses filmed footage (anything from a C-level executive in front of a green screen to aerial shots taken from a helicopter), is a great alternative to animation and is certainly more appealing to an audience.

“There is a very economical way to produce executive messaging depending on the length of the message (usually one to three minutes) utilizing minimal graphics and the client’s location,” according to Bob Nastasi, Infinitely Big’s executive producer.

Viewers tend to feel more of a connection to the message. Live action is a good way to demonstrate a concrete product or service. When offered the choice, most people prefer to see a product or service in action. Live action is also a great tool for connecting with your audience, especially if you run a personal business, like a consulting firm or an eatery. People like seeing other people. It gives them an emotional connection, which can be influential and effective when telling your tale. Actual people and real life, as opposed to make-believe characters, help in developing trust with the audience.

But with live-action filming it can take days to get the right take; the equipment (and sometimes the talent) can be pricey; and editing can be a headache – especially if you want to alter the script or the setting, because then you’ll have to reshoot.

With both options, cost is always a consideration.

“In my world, true animation almost always is more expensive than live video depending on the content and degree of difficulty,” Nastasi said. “Animation actually can be costly – but let’s match apples to apples. What type of animation are we estimating? Is it 2D or 3D? What type of creative are we pitching? How many talent voices are needed? What about music and sound design? What is the total running time of the animated program? All these elements factor into the total cost, and how easy or difficult updating the program can be.”

“I can say with confidence that live action video can be produced for competitive rates and even for less than animation,” he added.

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