You should be using cheesy effects in your videos

We’re constantly told we’re supposed to avoid cheezy effects and transitions at all costs. But sometimes, going over the top is exactly what your video needs.

Why is it that cheesy effects are always cast in a negative light? It’s because many confuse cheesy effects with bad CGI. They aren’t the same. Bad CGI will always hurt a video’s ultimate goal; cheesy CGI may or not help a video achieve its ultimate goal. The same thing applies to transitions. Certainly, cheesy CGI, effects and transitions can be bad, but when used with purpose and in the right situations, they can really spice up the entire experience.

When should you apply the cheese whiz?

Good cheesy CGI and transitions are effects that intentionally over-the-top or obviously joking. Often they make audiences laugh, and you can use that to your advantage. In this article, we will go over a few instances where spraying on the cheese is actually good and elevates a video.

Apply the cheese whiz when aiming for comedy or parody

Perfectly applied cheesy effects and transitions will always make you laugh. That is a great thing for comedy projects since their whole intent is to make people laugh. Take a look at Sharknado. While the project started out as a serious film, people would crack up watching the movie because the effects were so over the top. The following sequels became more of a comedy and embraced the over the top effects and actually pushed them even further because they knew that’s what their audience would enjoy. Sharknado likely wouldn’t have been as big of a hit with audiences as it was if it didn’t pile on the cheese and embrace its humor.

You can also use cheesy effects if you’re looking to make fun of other projects that use them. For instance, we can all picture how over the top and cheesy infomercials are. It, in many ways, has become its own style of video and many look to parody that style. There are many online creators who layer on the cheese whizz to create an over-the-top infomercial showing off a sponsored product or promoting something of their own. It spices up what would normally be a standard promotion, which many viewers would likely skip. A healthy does of cheese can make something that is usually boring into something entertaining — which leads us to our next topic.

Use cheesy effects to make projects more engaging

Corny CGI, transitions and sound effects can literally elevate the driest piece of content into something full of life. YouTuber Ian, the owner of YouTube channel brutalmoose, fills all his videos to the brim with cheesy green screen backdrops, cartoon sound effects and more PowerPoint transitions than you can count. But Ian uses all the cheesiness to elevate his videos. For instance, he runs a food series where he is simply tasting TV dinners in his kitchen. His food video setup would be just like any other standard food review channel if it weren’t for his effects. However, with his over the top effects, he’s able to get his audience to laugh even when he’s simply putting a TV dinner into his oven. His cheesy editing style engages his viewers because it’s taking a pretty standard format and injecting it with humor and style.

There’s nothing wrong with using cheesy effects if you’re working on a budget

Everyone has a budget for what they can spend on their videos, even stars like musician John Mayer. When trying to make a music video budget for his mega-hit “New Light,” no one could agree on what to spend. So Mayer decided to shoot the video in a place he found downtown that usually does birthday and Bar Mitzvah videos. If there is a definition of cheesy, it’s Mayer’s video for “New Light” — and it’s exactly what Mayer needed to do.

Even if you don’t have a huge budget for top-of-the-line special effects, you can still make something spectacular by embracing cheezy effects. John Mayer made his video on a budget and “New Light (Premium Content!)” is one of his most popular music videos on YouTube, with over 57 million views. It has even more views than his classic “Waiting On the World to Change” music video, which has 44 million. As it comes to likes, “New Light (Premium Content!)” has 617K, while “Waiting On the World to Change” has just 207k.

Cheesy effects can take a project back in time

While cheesy effects and transitions can be funny and engaging, they can also be used to make a project feel like it was made in another time. If you want a film with an older feel to it, consider using more cheesy effects. 80s films were full of cheesy effects and transitions. If you want your video to look like it was made in the 80s, better get the cheesy effects ready.

While watching the teaser trailer for Bill & Ted Face the Music, it has the series’ signature cheesy guitar and lighting effects. While these effects feel really dated in 2020, that is exactly what the trailer is going for. They want viewers to feel like this film was made in the 80s, throwing back to when the series started and hit people right in their nostalgia.

Apply the cheese whiz when it will help you achieve your goal

In this article, we have discussed all the different instances where using cheesy effects can be a good thing for your videos. Now, not all productions will benefit from cheesy effects. Serious works will likely suffer since they strive to build a world that immerses its audience. Cheesiness, while it does engage audiences, isn’t a good tool to build a realistic world.

Cheesy effects work when they don’t take away from the video’s ultimate goal. If the film’s ultimate goal is to build a realistic world, then they will probably hurt the project. If the video’s goal is to simply entertain, then applying the cheese might be a good way to go.

Sean Berry
Sean Berry
Sean Berry is Videomaker's Managing Editor.

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