7 Videographer Obstacles to Great Video Creation

By Alvin Motilla

Find it hard to be a better videographer?

Notice what drags you down. Escape the trap. And move on to making great videos.

A mindful videographer doesn't want to make so-so videos.

A typical scenario of someone who is in “one-person video production” is this...

You’re a videographer who’s been shooting and making your own video presentations. Then, time came when, after you evaluated your body of works, you felt a twinge and said to yourself:

“I don’t want to make so-so videos anymore! I want to come up with something great. Something that really wows the audience!”

So you start off to make your dream video. You brainstorm for ideas and strive to fulfill them on video.

Then you hit a wall!

A wall made of small bricks

You still end up with the same “so-so” video that you’re not happy about. You find it hard to make a great video presentation. And you’re confused. “What could be wrong!”, you say.

Here are some obstacles that I encountered myself as a videographer... and that you may be encountering as well... reasons why we find it hard to make great videos. Do you recognize any one of them?

1. Overlooking What It Means to Make Great Videos

Your desire is to improve, right? From making so-so videos to making great videos?

A great video is simply one that engages the viewer. Forget your viewer in the creation process and you will fail to make a great video presentation.

Because to make a great video is to focus and to jump into the process of “making it”, while keeping an eye on your audience.

2. Obsessing with Gear

I see videographers who put so much importance on equipment. They feel more excited to talk about cameras, lenses, software, and latest gadgets than to talk about improving craft and creativity.

Gear becomes your obstacle if you treat them as the end, instead as tools.

Creating great videos is already challenging. If that’s really your goal, you need to feel more enthusiastic about the practice of “doing it” than anything else.

3. Peer Pressure

Peers are a great help if they are on the same direction you’re heading to.

If you associate with people who are into the communication aspect of making videos, I think you’ll find it easier to make videos that connect with your audience.

But, if you hang out more with gear-oriented fellows, you’ll be having a hard time hitting your goal. Because you’ll be influenced to pay attention on trivial matters of video production.

4. Comparing Yourself with Another Videographer

A quote from Agnes Varda,'The Grandmother of French New Wave' Cinema. Agnes said she wouldn’t have made films, if she had seen lots of others. She started totally free, crazy and innocent.

You’ll also find it hard to make great videos when you’re always comparing yourself with another videographer.

If you’re doing that, you’re just triggering your feeling of insecurity. And you say to yourself, “There are videographers out there who are better than me.”

Well, it’s true! But it doesn’t mean you cannot produce your own great works. You can make original, engaging videos!

So, instead of hurting your ego by making needless comparisons, it’s better to...

  • put your blinders on,
  • mind your own project, and
  • do your own thing.

As Agnes Varda, “The Grandmother of French New Wave” Cinema, once said...

“Maybe I wouldn’t have made films if I had seen lots of others; maybe it would have stopped me. I started totally free and crazy and innocent.”

5. Relying on Formulas

“Formulas” are strict patterns about what elements to include, and where to place them in your video presentations. It’s like a recipe whose ingredients and proportions never change.

An example is using the same songs and placement of those songs for different wedding videos.

I remember back then when a friend paid me to edit videos he shot from different weddings. He even told me to use the same list of songs for all those wedding videos. :-l

Formulas don’t work so well in terms of engaging your viewers. Because every project has its own viewers who have their own concerns.

And formulas restrain you from thinking creatively about how to cater to your viewers’ needs.

6. Obsessing with Look

If you put so much time and effort into the external look of your video, that can get in your way of making better videos. Why?

Because it is the internal dynamics--"the inner workings"--that connect with your audience, more than the external look--or, "the external packaging".

The look of your video--color grading, effects, graphic design, widest "dynamic range" possible--may be impressive.

But, if you underestimate your video’s internal dynamics--the content, the flow of ideas, and audience reaction-- your presentation will just barely engage the audience.

7. Rushing Your Work

Making great videos is no different than other creative endeavors. It takes time, thought, intuition and care.

If you rush it, you may not recognize your own creative impulses that give freshness to your video... and you may fail to notice the faults in your presentation.

So, take your time and enjoy your work. :-)

Bottom Line

Now that you know some things that hinder a videographer from making better videos, you also know what obstacles to get past.

It takes awareness of the problem to solve it.

How about you? What are your obstacles to creating great videos?