Client: I want a 2′ 45″ film, I want it to be “captivating” I want it to SELL!
Me: Why 2′ 45″?
Client: That’s what the statistics my web guru said people watch on their cell phone!
Me: (to myself) People watch video on their cell phone?
Me: (to client) What if the cut is 6’00″ and it is “captivating” “interesting” and people watch it all the way through?
Client: 2’45″ is what the guru said…
Me: Every story has a “natural length” longer and it’s boring, shorter and you don’t convey enough information and may defeat the purpose of making it in the first place.
Client: Do it in 2’45″
Me: (to myself) What about “natural length” don’t you understand?
Me: OK, so what part of the 6’00″ film do you want me to cut out? (people already think it’s amazing as it, but it’s not 2’45″)
Client: I don’t know…
Me: How is your business “average” do you think that the “average” You-Tube statistics really represents your prospects/customers? (It does not) What you need is a film that people will respond to, and if it takes 6’00″ to do that, so be it! If I cut it down to meet the 2’45″ guru average, it may no longer do the job and it will become a wasted effort.
Making an industrial film that runs exactly as long as you estimated in concept is usually not the best thing to do. TV commercials 0’30″ are really 0’28″ and most of them suck, why? because it’s very hard to make something an exact time! Scripted material is a little easier to time out, but documentary style interview based films are much harder to keep to an anticipated running time. I go with a powerful story over “run time” every time! Why wouldn’t you? Why make a film that does not do the job, because the “guru” said it had to run 2’45″? That’s not using statistics in a positive way, all statics need to be interpreted for every given situation, not to do so is ignorant of what statistics are really for. Statistics are a tool to describe past behavior to be used to predict future behavior, when you are “predicting” the future there are many more variables that need to come into play beyond slavish following of statistics.
I have an MBA in marketing and I don’t follow statistical trends, I use them to inform my work, as you should do.