Storytelling through video is a nuanced art form. It’s finding the intention behind the edits, sound design, color, music and every other pre-production and post-production choice. Decisions based on methodical thinking, what is best for the final video, and clients’ needs are what make the quality of our work better. Our creative team is committed to elevating our work by making motivated decisions.
Cultivating Design Decision-Making
“I don’t know… I thought it just looked cool.”
That’s what a lazy art school student answers when their teacher or peer questions their placement of type, use of color, or basically any element in their piece. It could be a painting, a mobile, a glazed pot, or a book cover design – it doesn’t matter. “I thought it just looked cool,” isn’t a good enough answer.
Creation requires thought and motivation. Being able to justify your artistic efforts is absolutely key to long-term success in one’s career and ultimately the success of the piece – no matter the medium.
I spent my college years in art studios and classrooms, tinkering and experimenting next to my classmates, feeding off their energy and oftentimes asking them, “What do you think about this?” The very best classmates (and of course all my teachers) would require me to justify my work. This can be very, very difficult. Not only was it a good exercise in public speaking, but it also forced me to think critically about my decisions and eventually made me a better artist. “I don’t know,” isn’t good enough.
Creativity is hard work.
As an editor and motion graphic artist, I’m sometimes tasked to produce a video with very little direction. On the opposite end of that spectrum, I can be given a script with detailed storyboards and three terabytes worth of footage that is already beautifully organized on a solid-state drive. Which one of these do I prefer? The truth is that I have no preference. Each has its pros and cons. But it is my job to create a story that hits the mark for the client.
What I like most about sitting in the video editor seat is the opportunity to inject my creative vision in the piece. Staying current with video trends and looking for inspiration across the web helps me stay fresh and motivated. And, when the rubber hits the road, the ability to justify why I made this cut or why I placed this graphic in a specific place is essential to the success of the video. Even if I never have to verbally justify my work, just knowing that I can gives me the confidence to perhaps make unconventional decisions. It’s my job to help educate and work with our clients to understand these basic design principles and deliberate editing decisions.
Deliberate decisions elevate the quality of our work
Assuming clients already understand basic design principles is a dangerous assumption to make. It’s not their job to do so, but it is my job to help educate them should the need ever arise. Sometimes we get lucky and a client reviews a first draft and absolutely loves it. And when they have a different reaction, it’s our job to explain our creative decisions and hopefully get them onboard or at least come up with a solution together.
My goal is to make videos un-boring. Entertaining. That requires critical thinking, experience and surrounding myself with other creatives. I am forever grateful for that teacher teacher at whom my 20-year old self would roll her eyes when asked, “Why did you make that decision?”
Deliberate decisions elevate the quality of our work and allow me to take creative risks for our clients to make some very special videos.
This article was written by former Myriad Editor and Motion Designer Meredith Schmidt.