These Public Announcement Videos are the “Head Shot” of the age of video. They are planned and set up much like a photo-shoot with wardrobe and makeup, faltering light and things like auto-cue to make you look and sound as good as you possibly can.
In case you did not pick up on it early, this is a parody on every TED Talk ever. TED talks are certainly NOT a case of “seen them one, seen them all”, but lately it did start to feel; at least to me, as too much science and not enough art. Oh, I’m not talking about the content. I’m referring to the style of presentation. TED got that down to a mathematical system. Weather it was through trail and error or deep physiological research, the good people in academialand managed to resurrect the PowerPoint Presentation from the hell of mundania to the purgatory of academic pretencia. Don’t get me wrong. I love a good TED. Rory Sutherland’s frustrated tirades about why advertising men (and women) can’t be in charge of the world. Maybe the thing that I hold against them…is a grudge.
Ages ago I was a camera-man on a TED talk. Local TED-X. The TED people had more ego than talent. The speakers was fine, but still a mixed bag of….well randomness. The thing that got my goat was this. I offered to edit one or a few of the videos. My main disciplines in film making has always been the subtle things. Sound design, color grading, editing as the main language of cinematography. Team TED agreed to allow me to do one. I chose the hardest one, but not only for that reason, the degree of difficulty. As an editor one understand that you give the media what it asks for and not an inch more. You certainly not want to attract attention to the editing. In the case of this presentation, the media asked for allot!
They hated it! The main reason that was given; it was overwhelmingly unanimous, was that it just does not feel TEDish. And they said it like it was a bad thing.
My Advice to TED
Evolve or die. 15 years ago the movement was innovative. In 2020 not so much. Is TED still relevant? When I asked this question to the 1st five people I came across before hitting publish, they all responded with: WTF is TED?
Below is my cut of the video. Let me know what you think. Be honest.
This women is firing pearls with an Uzi. The video below is about how to do a good TED talk, and present it in the best possible way. Presenters and producers should be able to glean allot from it. Enjoy.
Below is one of the TED videos I shot and edited. This is an example of the hardest one I had done. Despite issues out of our control, like lighting design, this speaker had too much words over too many images all at the same time. So the choice for the editor, me, was to show either the presenter or the images….. or both. The people at TED hated this cut, and I honestly do not blame them. It simply does not have the look and feel of a TED video. But the lesson learnt was this:
A TED talk must start as a TED talk to end up as a TED Talk.
(I’m talking about visualization and planning, in case you missed the point.)