A popular topic on the videography boards I frequent is the issue of content vs. quality. Which is better: a flawlessly executed production where lighting, camera movement, composition, etc., are all spot on, or content: the story if you will. The characters. Whenever I hear a topic like this, it always reminds of what the Stanford college recruiter said to one kid’s question: “What’s more important: getting straight As or having a lot of extracurricular activities?” To which he replied, “Getting straight A’s AND having a lot of extra curricular activities. (Disclaimer: FWIW, I went to the superior UC Berkeley.) In a perfect world, you’d have excellent production values AND great content.
But, we don’t live in a perfect world. For whatever reason, there are times when production values aren’t as great as they should be. Or, particularly if you’re shooting a live event, you may have to grab a shot of the 99 year old grandma hugging the bride when you were just in the process of shooting the best man and groom giving each other a high five. Judging the dying grandma shot is more powerful, you whip around to grab the precious few seconds. But, in the editing room, you notice it’s shaky and a little out of focus. So, do you include it in the final edit? That’s the question. I say include it.
We’ve all seen $100 million+ blockbusters with state of the art effects and killer cinematography that absolutely suck! You feel like you wasted 2 hours of your life. Then we’ve seen those $100,000 independent films that make you laugh and cry that you watch over and over and over. In the grand scheme of things, if you HAD to pick one over the other, I’d say content trumps quality every time.
CASE IN POINT
Below is a link to a video from a very “disturbed” yet well known wedding and portrait photographer out of the Pacific Northwest. His photography is off da hook (as his multiple award winning record will illustrate). His video production skills need a little work. (I say that in the nicest most caring of ways. 🙂 But, his content always kills. Below is a link to a video he posted on Facebook and the comments on it are non-ceasing. Why? Because it’s hilarious. Poor quality. Great content. Enjoy. (Warning: some of the content gets a little racy.)