In the comments sections of our recent videos, we’ve received more feedback about the format of our videos than the actual content. So I wanted to take a moment to explain what’s happening and hopefully put the issue to bed a little.
Recently we’ve started to include real-life video mixed in with our normal animated content. We are aiming that the real-life sections are only a relatively small section of the total video, no more than 30%. We understand that a lot of people like our animated videos and often the animations are the best way of explaining things, so we don’t want to the real-life video to completely take over.
So why are we using any real-life video? The reason is the same as 90% of other business decisions; efficiency.
The scarcest resource in the TLDR workflow is my time. That might sound super arrogant, but let me explain quickly. When we create a video it normally goes through the following steps:
- Original Research – TLDR Writer
- First Version – TLDR Writer
- Final Version – Jack and TLDR Writer
- Animation – Jack
- Voiceover – Jack
- Video Edit – TLDR Editor or Jack
- Video Meta Data – Jack
- Video Promotion – Jack
As you can see we have a team of people who can help with certain steps, but currently, a lot of the work is done by me. Especially when it comes to animation, I am a real bottleneck in the process. Each video takes about 5-6 hours to animate, so that’s a lot of my time being spent on animation. That doesn’t me leave much time for the other steps of video creation or the other things involved with running TLDR (taxes, merch sales, advertising, team management etc.)
So what does this lame sob story have anything to do with the format of our videos? Well as I mentioned, I’m a bottleneck specifically when it comes to animation. So the logic behind using real-life video is that it lightens my load a little.
Let’s say animation for one video takes 6 hours. If we then make 30% of that video real-life that means less animating – 108 minutes less animating. That’s time I can put into developing the business of making a start on the next video.
Ultimately I believe that including a little bit if real-life footage is a small sacrifice for freeing me up to work on other things. Maybe you guys disagree. Maybe we will abandon this in a few weeks time. But I thought it was worth a try and I thought you deserved to know what we were thinking.
Thank you for caring enough about TLDR to read this whole monologue,
P.S. we are investing in new audio/lighting equipment for the live sections, so if that’s your beef with them, that problem will be resolved soon.