In the previous post, I talked about how brevity is a virtue in making a science video. In this post, I will consider two more features of successful videos (from the list of 10 characterizing a video I analyzed previously):
#3: The video keeps adding information at a steady, relatively rapid pace
#4: There is constant motion going on throughout the video.
The constant addition of new information (and new visual stimuli) keeps the viewer watching. This point is an important one. If you let a segment of your video drag on too long, the viewer will get bored and look for something else more fast-paced and that seems to be feeding them more and more information. As I explained in a previous post, humans are hard-wired to be fascinated by motion. A lot of science videos feature talking heads. Not much going on….just someone droning on and on and on. If you have talking heads in your video, interspersed with images or footage of something else (an animation, a landscape scene, people working), then you make the segment more interesting because you give the eye something to look at other than the talking head. If you only have a talking head (e.g., TED talks), then your talking head must be describing something (an idea or concept or emotion) that sparks the viewer’s imagination or causes an emotional reaction.
Here’s a video that meets the two criteria (constant addition of new information, constant motion) listed above and also is shorter than 3 minutes:
This is an example of informational graphics (infographics), which is a hot trend in motion graphics. It’s clearly an effective way to get science information across in an entertaining way.