The tidal wave of quality is on its way
The tidal wave of quality is on its way

An interesting phenomenon occurs just before a tidal wave hits: the ocean sucks away from the beach and is drawn out into the sea. This brief receding of the water can deceive unknowing observers, giving the appearance that the ocean is withdrawing. In fact, the truth is quite the opposite. The withdrawing waters instead stack up, fueling a massive tidal wave that pushes inland beyond the normal reach of the beach with untold power, leaving mass destruction in its wake. In recent years, the video production community has seen something similar happen.

The advent of cell-phone video made anyone with a phone a ‘videographer’ and anyone with an Internet connection a ‘broadcaster.’ With innumerable cameras in the hands of untrained shooters, the Internet quickly became flooded with bad videos of cats and pranks and caught-on-camera catastrophes. It seemed that high-quality productions, created with adeptness of lighting, audio, shot composition, edit sequencing and storytelling would be sucked out into the sea, never to return. But now, just as many of us look wide-eyed at the blank beaches that used to sparkle with well-made media, a tidal wave seems to be building in the distance. Popular new programs and series created for HBO and Netflix are drawing attention once again to the beauty of cinematography and the art of engaging an audience with motion pictures. As people take notice, they are being drawn to look again for impeccable productions that are both engaging and artful.

As people take notice, they are being drawn to look again for impeccable productions that are both engaging and artful.

As talented makers of media look at the opportunity that YouTube affords them, more and more serious producers with aspirations of growing an audience are creating high-quality original program content specifically for release on YouTube. YouTube is now even beginning to highlight and promote videos with higher production quality and more substantive content. Could it be that there is in fact a growing wave of high-quality media about to impact the world as a new wave of producers compels viewers to crave quality content? Could it be that the age of cheap media is coming to an end, as viewers seek more premium content? It could be.

Just as the oceans rise and fall with the tides, trends in culture tend to ebb and flow over time. Solomon, the wise King of the Old Testament, observed that there is nothing new under the sun. There is no new tale to tell. This often looks like the swinging of a pendulum. Trends and styles of every kind move in and out of vogue. Everything old will one day be new again. This phenomenon of human nature suggests that if you don’t care for whatever the current style or trend is, all you have to do is wait and something else will take its place.


And so, we watch as the rising wave of high-quality video production builds offshore. And as we watch and wait, we must also work. If a true resurgence of appreciation for high-quality video production is growing, there will assuredly be a demand for better media, and a need for masterful media makers. This does not mean that we should anticipate any sort of drought in the crazy cat video department, but rather that discerning audiences might once again crave something more than home videos of people getting hit in the crotch. The question is, what kind of content are you creating? In this continuing era of online engagement, opportunity is yours for the taking. Keep making compelling content with excellent production value, and get ready to ride the wave.

Matthew York is Videomaker‘s Publisher/Editor.

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  1. Have to agree that YT has some crap videos on it but how do you control it. With the amount of video uploaded every day it would require a staff of thousands to vet them all and whose to say the people vetting them are compentent enough to vet them. WHO WOULD MAKE THE STANDARD???
    I spend so much time on YT just looking for good content, Like travel videos WITH commentary etc.
    Not many I can assure you.!!!

  2. Just had a 80th birthday anniversary. For it I gathered together 80 trailers from 1938 to 2018 and screened in the background on a ten foot screen (without sound). It was interesting to hear the comments from various guest as something on the screen resurrected movie magic memories. After reading your article I thought about how trailers have changed over the years — and for the most part not for the better. One thing that they all have in common is that they are loud! Most of them are not very engaging. Ofter I’m not even sure of what the title of the film is when its over. Attending the latest Star Wars episode there must have been at least 10 trailers prior to the feature — and most were not very successful in creating an interest in seeing the film. We seem to be experiencing a time of special effects movies with way too little people development. Actually I find the films outside of the studio system to hold far more interest then most of the slick commercial offerings. A lot of this has been brought about because of the filmmaking tools now available to talent creators outside of the blockbuster mainstream of Hollywood.

  3. Thanks Matthew! I’ve seen some of that new high-quality work, and it’s pretty exciting. And I can see the quality going up on the youtube channels I pay attention to. But I didn’t put two and two together. I hope you’re right — you’ve got me feeling more hopeful about the future!