Busy schedules and differing time zones do not always allow me to watch live all the racing and events I would like to watch. But no problem, we live in the age of YouTube and Vimeo and all the races are recorded and can be played back, right? Wrong. There usually find 2 kinds of racing videos: the uncut stream and the edited so-called "summary" or "highlight". As I don't have time to go through 4.5 hours of waiting, postponed starts, long beats etcetera, I aim for the "summary".
(Now, when I switch on the tv and find a sports programme to watch the football (soccer) highlight summaries, I expect to hear a bit about the background of the teams, the current form, the pitch/stadium and then a summary of all the key moments in the game, with commentary explaining the gaps and run of play. That would include the kick-off, major dramas (fouls, kicks, failed attempts), major entertainment (tantrums, fights, crowd antics) and milestones (goals, send-offs, finish), followed by some end-of-game sum-up, interview and commentary. That's also how summaries are taught in school: the essentials, but don't lose the flow. )
So, I'm all set, popcorn in hand, to see what I missed, roll tape!
Cue martial music, a rousing affair, flashing effects, glistening logos, water flying everywhere in slow motion, impressive cuts of hulls flying and people grinding, bulging muscles in black shirts. So far so good, it is only the intro after all. But it is a very long intro. I'm already 1 minute through a 3 minute vid. OK, some snippets of interviews with key players, but I've no idea what they are referring to, as I haven't seen any action yet. Aha, here it comes, more hulls flying, a tack, a mark rounding, OK Oracle is in front, oh no, its ETNZ, or is it now Team Japan? Aaah, it is not in sequence, this is not a single race. More scenic shots, crowds cheering (there are crowds!), hulls in the distance. So who won? Ah ETNZ must have won. Hey they are spraying champagne? Have I switched channels to Formula 1? Oh no, it is still sailing (really, champagne for a pre-event?). Roll credits. End.
Confused. Yes, Informed. No. I know the span of attention is ever getting shorter, but if you don't put some content in, the span of annoyance is getting even shorter. People are confusing reporting with marketing and advertising with informing. All contacts are sales contacts, and therefore the messages aim to sell, not to inform.
It is stupid, and it is short-sighted. Telling a good cohesive summarised exciting story of a race, from start to finish, with well placed cuts of commentary and interviews leaves people interested and hooked. That is far better than these outright pitches to "see how cool we all are". Every kid knows: if you have to tell them how cool you are, you're not. It is not just the AC, it is everywhere. The cut and splice function is overused, the brain function switched off. Drones in the air, drones behind the editing suite.
So please please, dear video editors: make summaries and highlight videos that are summarise and highlight the event, not the organisers, and present content, not style. Tell a story, don't shout a strapline.
To show how you can do both, look here (ok, not a sailing video, although it does have a boat in it :- ) ) https://youtu.be/kQ7kWpTrtJw
Some examples of the bad bad stuff: