In praise of the humble explainer video

When companies want to communicate information simply & succinctly, they often opt for an explainer video. 


I voice a lot of explainer animations for all sorts of clients & they come in many different shapes & sizes! But where did they come from?

It seems that it may have started with the good old fashioned PowerPoint presentation. Which, of course, was purely visual to begin with. But over time it became possible to add a voice. Then, a lightbulb moment -  why not make this thing move?!

And so it began...

An explainer animation can be 2D or 3D. You might use one to explain to clients what you do, or to help your staff to understand new ways of working.  Or perhaps to illustrate how something works.

It might be formal, like the one I've just voiced for Geoplace...


Or informal, like this one...

The key to a great explainer is, of course, the story. They're usually around 2-3 minutes in duration, so that story has to be as lean, focused and appealing as a doe-eyed whippet!Do eyed whippet

They can be incredibly effective & are always lovely to voice.

Ideally, the voice over will be recorded before the animation is put together. It's always useful to see the storyboard prior to recording, too, because that gives a sense of the feel & tone of the piece in a way that words sometimes don't.

But sometimes, the animation is created first & a guide voice is used to set the pace. In which case, I'll match that pace when I record, so everything slots into place perfectly.

I think of an explainer video as being rather like a carefully honed short story, or the perfect Tweet. All excess is trimmed away, but it retains a beauty, a quirk, a little something that gives it its very own character.

As Steve Jobs said:

"Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it's worth it in the end because when you get there, you can move mountains."

But I think it's also worth adding this caveat, courtesy of Albert Einsten:

"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."

If I can help you with your explainer animation, drop me a line, I'll be happy to help!




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