It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you’re making an explainer video. Often one of these videos comes in at around two minutes. Two minutes is a long time. If you have friends or colleagues working in advertising, they are typically working on things that are 30 seconds or 60 seconds. You’re making something that’s two or four times as long as them and you’re trying to explain a new service or a product. In no way am I saying that when you’re making an explainer video for a business you’re doing more work than someone creating an elaborate ad spot. It’s just different and the time and energy I’ve seen my friends put into five seconds of animation let alone 30 seconds of animation is amazing.
But whether it’s 30 seconds or two minutes, you need to think of the project the same way in order to not overwhelm yourself. My favorite way to look at a project is with baby steps. Yep that’s right baby steps.
When you’re working on an explainer video you’ve likely already storyboarded the video out. When you first start the animation just worry about one scene in the storyboard at a time. Don’t think about how you’re going to get to the next frame. Just animate that one scene and make it look great. Then move onto the next one and do the same thing. Soon you’ll have every scene done. By doing a single scene at a time you’re able to focus your time and energy on that one piece rather than worrying about that scene at the end that you still need to do. When you’re able to really focus like this you’re able to make a better animated video. Once you have all those scenes from your storyboard animated then you can go back and think about those transitions from one scene to the next.
I’ve been using this very idea on a holiday short that we just started at LooseKeys. It’s a three minute animation that we’re trying to finish before Christmas. Three minutes is a lot but each day we’re focused on one scene and I have a feeling it’s all going to come together.