Alternatives to Live-Action Video for Your Business

As we adjust our routines and practices to weather Covid-19’s unwelcome interruption to business as usual, we all have to make difficult decisions on which approaches we can continue to pursue, and which will need to change. In the case of video, your company’s traditional focus on live-action video might require reconsideration.  

Packing people into a studio for a several-hour shoot is not advisable for the immediate future. But that doesn’t mean that video as a whole should be avoided. In fact, video (from Facebook live to Zoom chats to the resurgence of the webinar) is more important than ever. It is keeping us socially connected while physically distant.

Let’s take a look at some alternatives to live-action video that your business can utilize safely and effectively.

Bring in the Animals

First, think about some DIY alternatives. We’ll start with a whimsical and surprisingly effective example. Low-budget and doable with a minimal (or even one-person) staff, videos can feature puppies or kittens instead of actors. They can meet your content marketing needs while avoiding the interpersonal contact that makes live-action untenable. These lighthearted, emotionally resonant videos can be made in your own home. And they’ll perform like any engaging content marketing does. Driving interest to your brand through providing entertaining, valuable content and adding relatability.

Pre-Packaged and Ready to Use

If you don’t have puppies or a suitable location to film, there are other ways to make your own videos. A stock footage video, for example, has minimal requirements. Just a script, a microphone to record your voiceover, editing software, and access to a stock video site. You can create a low-cost video from your own home office that pairs engaging visuals with your message for heightened retention.

Virtual Interview

You can also take the DIY approach to an interview. The expert video is a mainstay of content marketing. It showcases the thoughts of an in-house or otherwise brand-associated authority on a relevant topic.  

Interestingly, an expert video in the current situation can bring not only credibility to your brand, but a personal touch.

Have the expert film the video from their house, dressed in everyday clothes.

Show that your brand is in this fight with the rest of us—even your brand’s best and brightest are adjusting to the new normal.

These DIY versions of common video types can work. But there’s something to be said for the stock video among the rest for its being an actual alternative to the look and feel of a professional live-action. video

Let’s look at more examples that fully move past live-action conventions, since you might not have available animals (and depending on your brand, might not want them), and your expert might be unreachable, even remotely.  

Animation Can Tell Your Story

Animation is usually cast as the opposite of live-action. Let’s examine the method and see if it provides a viable alternative to companies used to live-action video content creation.

Let’s get the bad news out of the way first. Animation typically requires a longer production time, and potentially different skill sets than you may have readily available.

Animation requires animators, after all.

Before we delve into animation’s many advantages, there’s also something of an advantage to its production process: it “can look and sound any way you want it to.” 

In other words, animation is a controlled world that you create.

With live-action, production can be affected by actors’ schedules, availability of locations, weather—and, obviously, larger-scale disruptions.

Animation happens inside your computer monitor or on the page, so it’s safeguarded from real-world interference. You’ll never lose daylight in animation and have to pick up shooting later; you’ll never have your take ruined by a passing car horn.

Animation is also great for its explanatory power.

By simplifying and stylizing real-world concepts, it engages audiences differently than talking heads and other modes of live-action explainer videos.  

The animated approach also has more of a handle on abstract notions than live-action.

Take the idea of debt. An animated depiction of debt could take any number of convincing forms, from a massive hole to a character staring at a pile of bills. How would you portray debt in a live-action video? Dress an actor in tattered clothes? Animation offers far more engaging, interesting options.

Whiteboard Video Pairs the Action of Animation with the Human Touch of Live-Action Videos

Similar to traditional animation, but different in numerous critical ways, is the whiteboard video. Whiteboard video synchronizes hand-drawn images with a voiced script to enhance your message’s ability to engage the audience, and promote their retention of the information therein.  

Whiteboard doesn’t look like traditional animation, because the whiteboard artist’s hand remains in frame, drawing each image in synchronization with the voiced message. Images don’t move in the style of conventional animation; motion comes from the hand itself, and the lines and images that appear under the artist’s marker.

The production process of whiteboard may, like conventional animation, be slightly longer than live-action production, but the remote options available with whiteboard production make this difference all but irrelevant. 

With whiteboard video, you’ll be able to work with your scriptwriters, artists, editors, and producer remotely. With virtual production, most whiteboard team members can work from the safety of their homes while still freely communicating with clients.

That communication with clients is crucial to the success of a whiteboard video. Good whiteboard videos come from a collaborative process that involves milestone-based approvals and frequent client input—a process that, thankfully, works extremely well remotely.  

Most whiteboard videos, even in ideal circumstances, are not made “in person” with the client.  Clients are often remote, to one degree or another, so virtual conferencing, document sharing, and other communication tools are nothing new to a dedicated whiteboard staff.

At TruScribe, we’ve always been whiteboard fanatics, and now more than ever, we want companies to know that whiteboard is a powerful and viable alternative to live-action videos.

Whiteboard combines the strengths of animation with a well-guided, collaborative production process that facilitates remote interaction.  

In these difficult times, please remember that you are not alone, and your messaging need not come to a standstill. From DIY videos through the benefits afforded by whiteboard, video production can go on without live-action production for the time being.

If your business is looking for a way to keep up video production and avoid the health risks of live-action filming, remember that you can communicate with video in other ways.

Reach out to us at TruScribe. We’re producing consistently great videos for clients even as we meet and exceed community safety guidelines.  We’d love to show you the whiteboard alternative to live-action, and work together to share your important messages, especially in these trying times.