These days, it’s getting more and more important for your videos to be able to hook viewers in without the aid of any kind of sound, whether it’s because people have their devices on silent, because the platform you’re using requires viewers to do something to enable sound, etc.
The thing is, that’s a whole lot easier said than done, especially in a day and age when viewers have so much content to sift through and choose from.
But we’ve had to design plenty of videos to succeed silently in our time in NY / NJ video production, so we thought we’d pass on a few tips and tricks we’ve picked up along the way.
Go back to the fundamentals of early cinema.
First of all, it’s not like creating moving images which evoke some type of effect or emotion without sound is a new concept. After all, cinema was a silent art for a long time before sound came into the equation.
Early filmmakers had to come up with an entire cinematic language that could be understood visually. It wasn’t show don’t tell, it was show because there’s no way to tell anyway, but the good news is that that means the foundation’s already in place.
Silent films applied things like title cards, exaggerated performances and gestures, and sequences that could evoke laughter or more serious emotions purely from the visual side of things.
So, go back and watch some old silent films. Yes, the black & white ones. Try to adopt some of the early filmmaker’s approach for your own videos and see if they spark any new or interesting ideas.
Use your text wisely.
Like mentioned above, many early silent films relied on title cards to guide the audience through the viewing experience and story, and that’s something you may want to strongly consider doing with your own videos. You just need to be very mindful of how you use text.
For instance, you may obviously want to use subtitles to help viewers get an understanding or at least the gist of a conversation taking place on screen, but you could also use larger text in the borders around the video.
You may want to put more general, big-picture text there, the kind of information that gives viewers an idea of what the general point of the video content is.
The point is that text is an extremely important video tool when the objective is to make content that’s just as if not more effective silently than it is with sound or dialogue. You just need to remember to utilize it in the most fitting way for whatever video it’s accompanying.
Make sure your videos act fast.
You could probably guess that one of the biggest issues with videos trying to succeed without sound is causing confusion in viewers. We’ve been in video production in NY and Nj for a long time and trust us when we tell you that, without sound, things can get blurry, fast.
And the thing is that viewers won’t stick around to figure things out once they’re confused. They’ll be far more likely to simply head somewhere else to find a video that they don’t have to decipher.
So, your video doesn’t just need to make some type of purely visual impression fast, but also needs to do a little explaining just as fast. Again, that’s where text or even a graphic can be so helpful, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t think carefully about every other possibility.
Whether it’s a striking opening shot, a mysterious visual cliffhanger or foreshadowing, a recognizable face, or just the perfect choice of thumbnail, there are plenty of ways to hook viewers in and give them some telling information in a purely visual fashion, and to do it fast.
Just remember that you don’t want to give too much away too early either or viewers may not find any reason to continue to stick around to the video’s conclusion. Just do enough to hook them in and spark their interest.
Don’t be afraid to be bold.
When it comes to trying to hook viewers in and get your point across without sound, you can’t be afraid to experiment with different ways to do it.
Try to think of new and inventive ways to do things visually, and then give them a try. What’s the worst that could happen? You may not get the views you were hoping for, but you’ll have a better idea of what doesn’t work.
And remember, viewers have more options and alternatives than ever before, so if you manage to create videos that do things visually that viewers haven’t seen before, that may be all the reason they need to keep watching.
As long as your new ideas align with your overall goals and with the viewers you’re trying to reach, then go for it. Some trial and, hopefully, not too much error, is always in order when trying to design videos differently.
Start thinking about silent success ASAP.
The bottom line is that while it’s become increasingly important to design videos that can succeed without sound, not every videomaker has caught on to this fact. And as always, some brands are just too big to make that kind of fundamental change to their video production process overnight.
So, if you start thinking about how to ensure your video can be effective without the aid of sound from the beginning of the production process, then you may have a serious head-start over much of your competition.
Just remember that it’s not as easy as it sounds, and you can lose viewers fast if you cause just the slightest bit of confusion.
About Us: KVibe Productions, a full-service film & video production company in NJ / NY, can handle every aspect of the production process. Whether it’s a corporate video, a commercial, a feature film, etc., at KVibe, we create to inspire.