As you may recall, Blaise Pascal*, French philosopher, mathematician and theologian is credited with the joke, “Je n’ai fait celle-ci plus longue que parce que je n’ai pas eu le loisir de la faire plus courte.”
(Roughly translating to “I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time.”)
And not unlike his triangles, Pascal makes a great point.
Fortunately in the world of animation, there are a few tricks and tips we can use for getting your point across when time is in scarce supply:
Sprinkle in Some Sound Effects
Subtle and seamless audio cues can instantly indicate a solution, problem, expense, magic moment or profit. Ca-ching, indeed!
Don’t Pull Your Colors Out of the Blue
Color usage shouldn’t be random. There’s a reason all those infomercials are in black and white with a big red “X” for the “before” montage. Colors can subconsciously indicate meaning, without having to dedicate precious verbal real estate to getting your point across.
Watch Your Tone, Mister
Is your message warm and down-to-earth? Warning the audience of impending doom? The tone of your voiceover should immediately reflect the meaning you’re trying to get across.
Edit with a Machete
And Lastly, Let’s Put Some Bait on the Hook
Let’s be real. No video, no matter how incredible, is going to squeeze 2 minutes of meaning into 5 seconds (sorry!). But if crafted correctly, the first sentences should be focused on the hook, the invitation to keep watching, because this is going to be relevant and interesting to you (the viewer).
*Fun fact: This phrase is often misattributed to Mark Twain. Think of how many new friends you can make by correcting strangers!