The difference between commercial video and cinema, and how they collide

Sep 30, 2014, 2:06:00 PM

Ambient Skies Productions Blog

Posted by Trenton Massey


Have you ever seen a company advertisement that feels like a cinematic experience? -- I'm willing to bet that you have. It's pretty common place now a days to see high budget commercials from all the leading brands of every industry. Below we'll explain the  difference between commercial video and cinema -- and how sometimes -- the two collide.

The difference between corporate video and filmThe origin of this hybrid video approach is debatable, but it's obvious that the trend started to gain some steam after Tony Scott made it a standard in the 1980's. For decades, directors have been hired by fortune five hundred companies to produce commercials that resemble the look and feel of high dollar cinema. It seems to refine and polish the image of a company and raises the bar for their competitors at the same time. For example, more recently, there has been a lot of slow motion technique being utilized in big budget commercials as well as clever CGI tricks in the multi-million dollar range.

These are just elements that help make a commercial appear more cinematic in the hopes that you (the audience) forget that it IS an advertisement and get sucked right in. That's the point, to make one forget or happily except the fact that -- at the end of the day, the connection you felt was an illusion and it's just someone trying to sell you something. 

But the road goes both ways here. Films have always been funded by corporate companies with larger agendas. In most movies, even low-budget, you will see an abundance of product placement or lifestyles being sold subliminally, which is actually a cleverly disguised commercial placed seamlessly in between or in the middle of a scene. Most people right it off as reality driven or the film trying to appear realistic, but this typically isn't true. There have been plenty of comedy flicks in the past that poke fun and mock the product placement involved in the movie by blatantly calling the audiences attention to the overt placement, purposely disrupting the flow of the movie, thus funding the film with the product and remaining free of the "Sellout Hack" title . For most directors or creatives involved, it's not an option. The producers and the stakeholders behind a film decide how much or what product placement will be involved with the production.

In today's world, the lines between movies and commercials are starting to become blurred. Though there are plenty of bodies of work that have a distinct side of the line that they lie on, the majority of movies and commercials are trying to sell you something and hide it.

The necessity for disguise is really when commercial video and cinema collide. A new term has been established for said commercials, they are now called "Brand Films."








Topics: Corporate Video Production, company video production