In the world of content and media – we’re horrendously wasteful. Every new idea requires a new shoot or huge quantities of new design. We never consider that what was old might be made new again. Even those of us shouting from the rooftops about recycling and up cycling our world’s objects - never consider that our thoughts can be re-packaged in order to make our content creation more efficient and creative.
Content up cycling is re-contextualizing something old so that it might be something completely new. For reasons that will make sense later - Check out this messenger bag:
Without me telling you, I don’t think you’d consider that the bag was made of bike tubes. The reason for this is that the tubes were used in a completely different way. They were cut up, sewn together, and re-contextualized into something unique.
Well, with video and animation we can do the same thing. Cut up old content, twist it around, spin it, and sew it back together into something new. Believe it or not – this is one of the oldest tricks in the cinematic book – the montage.
To explain the montage – let me bring in one of the most famous directors of all time, Alfred Hithcock:
To summarize - the context with which the content is presented is the whole story. Montage editing is placing audio and visuals in a certain order to create a specific desired emotion.
Change the order, change the emotion
Below is an example of a video montage we created at Mile 80 for the launch of a new OnePlus phone. None of the animation nor videos were created uniquely for this project. They were simply up cycled through montage.
This video is a combination of stock footage, and old animation of the phones themselves. Independently, none of these assets told the story of the creation of the Earth – BUT – when put in a certain order, that new story and emotion came to life.
The OnePlus video above would have quadrupled in cost if we had to shoot or create each of those assets uniquely for the project. Additionally, I see the most valuable part of montage and content up cycling as the ability to stay explicitly in the creative space. By restricting what we can use to the world of a brand’s asset library, available stock footage, and previous art – our brains must focus on just the story. Many times, it’s this restriction that can breed the most creative energy.
So, the next time you’re considering “What should we do for our campaign?” Maybe just use what you already have… Consider creatively exploring ideas while restricting your expression to your asset library, stock footage, and re-contextualized art. It will lower costs, and often increase creativity.