Live Action vs. Animated Videos: Which is Better?

Live Action vs. Animated Videos? Which is better? We get this question all of the time here at Point in Time Studios or at least once a week from clients. What do we tell them? It depends. How’s that for a direct answer. The truth is, it really does depend. We start the conversation by asking, who is your target audience, your ideal customer? What motivates them? Can you describe them in great detail (i.e. their buying habits, disposable income, sex, marital status, geographic location, etc.). Once we do this evaluation, we then talk about what are the goals of the video. Are we trying to create a Branding/Awareness campaign or a Direct Response? If it is direct response, what type of conversion and metric are we using to determine whether the campaign was successful or not. What checkpoints will have along the way to determine if we are headed on the right path or will we need to make adjustments to the campaign. After we have flushed out all of this information, we work to discover what is the best way to communicate this information to your target customer. Sometimes, a live action video (one with real people) may not work. For instance, we have had many clients whose industries are very complicated and an Animated video is best suited to tell the story rather then a Live Action one. In fact, the Live Action version may come off a little cheesy. Of course, we always like to avoid the “Cheese Factor.” With the advancements in 2D and 3D Animation over the last several years, the sky’s the limit – literally. However, proceed with caution – it is possible to get so caught-up in creating a dynamic, Animated world (i.e. James Cameron’s Avatar style) that the cost of the project may run well over budget. If this happens, you will have to determine if the additional cost is justified. In other words, can you convey the same message and achieve the same response with a more basic Animation. Now on the flip side, some products lend themselves to be produced with a spokes-model on a live set. They might include products that do not involve the cloud or some intangible element. If a dynamic spokes-model can accurately demonstrate the product and speak to it’s many attributes, then this can be a great route. Lastly, in come cases, a combination of Live Action and Animation might work best. This can be seen on the project we worked for Vertech. By using a combination of both elements, we were able to tell the story of an otherwise complex industry, full of many moving parts. In summary, which is best? Well it does truly depend. It all starts with the customer and what is going to resonate best with them to help you achieve your desired result. Above all, have fun! This should be a great experience for you as you work to create movie magic whether it’s on YouTube or Television.   Article by Rami Kalla, July 22, 2012 Founder of Point in Time Studios Past-President of the Arizona Production Association Advisory Board member of the Art Institute of Phoenix


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