The Re-Emergence Of The Silent Movie

A recent report states that 85% of auto-play films viewed in Facebook are watched without sound*. It is probably fair to assume a similar trend is happening for autoplay in-feed videos on Twitter as well. This statistic gives further credence to the case for versioning your videos for each platform.

The most effective way of getting your videos seen on Facebook timelines is to upload them directly to Facebook rather than via a YouTube link. This approach means your film auto-plays in a user’s feed as they scroll down.

So this poses the question of how best to approach designing a mute video? After all, the audio on a film plays as important a role in creating mood and emotion as the visual content.

The most common solution is to use subtitles or captions, and while they can’t do the same job in creating mood a soundtrack does, it is a simple solution. The savvier video content makers are all over this and as a result the subtitled/captioned Facebook film is already starting to look a bit too familiar and perhaps a little tired already.

When devising your video concepts serious consideration needs to be taken as to whether there is a version of it that will work well in silence. Maybe it’s time we looked back at some of the great films from the silent movie era to see what we can learn from them?

*Source: various publishers including LittleThings, Mic and PopSugar as well as data gathered by MEC North America from their client base.

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