November 8, 2017 Dan Fisher

Storytelling Technique: Time-Lapse Video

Showcase an entire complex process in a second with time-lapse technology

Time-lapse videos are the perfect way to show off your team’s latest project. By filming over a long period of time from a single vantage point, then speeding up your footage to condense it, time-lapse videos can turn a long-term event or project into a short, action-packed clip. These videos are wildly popular—and super shareable on social media—because they allow viewers to experience something exciting in an instant.

But time-lapse videos aren’t just about entertainment: They can also help your audience understand how efficiently your team works, how much thought and planning your brand puts into its work and your company’s personality. Those can have big benefits for your brand.

When to use time-lapse video
Time-lapse videos are great for showcasing the scope of a project that took a significant effort extended over a period of time. It was a perfect fit for this video we made for Discover Card’s Orange Friday promotion, where they transformed a Downtown Chicago plaza into an orange-tinted oasis for holiday shoppers. By propping up a camera in a fixed location while they did their thing, and then speeding it up, we could show viewers how much work went into creating this promotion and how dramatically they transformed the space, without spending too much time in a video with a broader overall goal of capturing the feel of the moment and the details of the experience. If you have an event or project that could be a good fit for a time-lapse video, and you want it to look professional and polished, consider working with our team of experts at Bottle Rocket Media so you can focus on the task at hand.

How to decide what to record
First, determine what you want to achieve by making a time-lapse video. Time-lapse videos are most successful when they show action and change. Talk with your team about the project’s goal and what story it will tell about your brand. If you’re trying to engage with an audience and show off your brand’s personality, have some fun: Record the view outside your window over the course of a day, show your team putting together a crafty project or even document the growth of a beloved office plant. For an especially mission-driven project, look for ways to show off your company’s work. If your team is revamping your store, set up a camera to show your customers how you transformed the space, or create a time-lapse showing your company’s products in action.

How to get the most out of your time-lapse video
Time-lapse videos don’t just have to be videos: You can double your reach by creating gifs out of your time-lapse video content. Since time-lapse videos generate bite-sized clips that tell a big story, they’re perfectly packaged for social media sharing. Time-lapse videos can be infinitely versatile because unlike most video footage, there’s a lot of flexibility in how you edit their length and package their narrative.

If you’re wondering whether a time-lapse video might be right for a project or event coming up for your company, contact us today: we’d love to help you brainstorm.

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