Inspiration

The VICE News effect; or, how to make a video without doing any actual filming

Hint: found footage and After Effect templates

All images: stills from VICE News.

You may have noticed that your social media feeds are full of videos. While personal photos, statuses, articles, memes, and GIFs all had their moment, video is the latest craze; made possible by the continuing rise of YouTube, and platforms like Facebook and Twitter making video integration ever easier.

But even if you aren’t a master videographer, don’t despair. You can still engage with video-accustomed audiences by taking part in the VICE news effect, or the use of stock imagery and found footage to put together video stories using a simple video editor.

VICE is just one of many news sources that uses such videos to keep up with the fast pace of social media use and ever-changing news occurring every minute. With minimal actual interview footage, fieldwork, or even video footage, these outlets have proven that it’s possible to create a quality video that quickly communicates your message, tells a story, or reports on an issue that might be super relevant today, yet already old news tomorrow. Even top news sources like CNN have followed in the footsteps of the VICE effect to report on updates from anti-semitic vandalism in the USA to a 3,000 ft. statue found in Egypt.

Ready to try this video production strategy for yourself? Here’s how to make compelling video content without shooting any actual video:

Choose your topic

A crucial part of making a video using sourced still and moving image content is choosing a topic that will provide sufficient source material. In order to save time on creating this material, it’s necessary that the topic be timely and covered enough by other sources. Media outlets that produce the VICE style of video tend to focus on viral issues that are both trending and have a demand for quick video satisfaction. For example, Now This exclusively produces videos for their target market of fast-paced news consumers on social media and mobile applications. Mainly garnering the majority of their views on Facebook, Now This chooses topics that are shareable and therefore more likely to circulate around via News Feed referrals.

This Algae Makes Water Glow

This algae glows in the dark (NowThis Future)

Posted by NowThis on Sunday, March 26, 2017

 Source content

Finding content to create your video is simple as long as you choose stock footage, cite sources, or select from open sourced content platforms. Your videos can ultimately include a mixture of media ranging from images to video clips to even audio files. Videos about current events can benefit from broader, impartial news sources that offer video library products, like Reuters or the Associated Press. Save yourself the trip across the world or the hassle of nailing down an expert interview or witness testimony and simply give some credit to these international conglomerates. As a result, you’ll have plenty of content to work with at your fingertips and to back up your innovative insights into the world today.

Mix, edit, add text

Once you’ve downloaded, uploaded, saved, and sorted all your topical content, it’s time to pop it all in your video editor and get started. There are plenty of video editing software programs to choose from that vary in their interfaces, platform compatibilities, and features. For a VICE-style video, there’s no need for anything too fancy. Most importantly, you’ll need to be sure that your software provides the capability to overlay text or add subtitles to your video in order to add your unique touch and information.

Related: Video Marketing Trends for 2017

According to Buffer, as much as 85% percent of video views on Facebook happen with the sound off, and assuming that your viewers will have their full audio attention on your video misses out on this key aspect of video consumer behavior. The trend of VICE-style videos is not only videographer-friendly, but also is compatible with this trend in video viewership.

Brand it

Beyond the textual content of your video, the most visible way to make it your own is with a branding strategy that encompasses colors, graphics, and typography. This way, even if your footage isn’t original, viewers come away with a strong sense that the video came from your creative platform. After Effect templates are another way to create a consistent tone across your videos.

Protests are a part of American history

America hates protesters — it shouldn't.From the Boston Tea Party to the Civil Rights Movement, Gabe Gonzalez explains why America should embrace protest. Now's the time.

Posted by Mic on Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Mic is a great example with their pervasive use of baby blue, black, and white text and graphics that span both their videos and their logo. In addition, some of their videos use a soft yellow to add emphasis to a particular word or phrase. Keep it simple with a palette that maintains a consistent personality.

Post it

Finally, all that’s left is to share your video with the world! Video marketing isn’t going anywhere, so throw your content into the mix. Make sure to add some relevant keywords and abide by a promotion strategy that centers on social media. The short length and single-topic focus of found-footage style videos make them easily digestible. Once you’ve gone down the rabbit-hole of some of these existing players and their videos and gotten the hang of this style, it’s time to find your niche and get your content out there.


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Mariel Tavakoli

About the Author Mariel Tavakoli

Mariel is a writer, content marketer, ESL teacher, and writing coach. She loves all things cultural exchange and is always planning her next trip. She tweets @mstavakoli and writes on her website.