This race video from GTR Diecast prompted a nice side chat and one that I think might be worthy of some broader discussion. The challenge of finding the balance between action in a video and the commentary.
A lot of the trending diecast racing now is quite heavy on the commentary, mimicking real world racing and highlights like you'd see on TV. I'm always rather impressed by the detailed commentary because I know how challenging it is, but sometimes it can be a little too much.
In the video linked above, I commented about how the action felt slow. Our friends at Chaos Canyon suggested the lack of perceived speed is a biproduct of the commentating. Finding the right playback speed to allow for commentating can be quite difficult...and I appreciate that challenge.
That made me curious about how people approach commentary for their videos. I believe commentary is an art, for sure. But that also made me wonder if people adjust/produce the action to meet their commentary, or the other way around?
Now...I know in a race that only last a few seconds in real-time, that the video needs slowed down. I slow down videos too, even without commentary...that's not the issue. I don't expect anyone to try and commentate a 5 second race, but I'd also like to think that commentary isn't planned out so much that editors feel the need to adjust the action to match the script. Shouldn't it be the other way around?
Find a good video speed for the race first. Get it so the cars look good, look fast but can still be easily seen, etc. And then once you're happy with that, adjust your commentary to meet that timing. Everyone does a bunch of replays and slow(er) motion anyway...that's where you can spend time elaborating and diving into your script more.
I know it's all a balancing act. And I also write this as someone that never commentates their race videos. That's partially because I know the expectations that comes with it, but more so because I only have a drag strip and that style does not lend itself to commentary as much as the open tracks. It's something I want to try and do more but have talked myself out of it due to the effort and time needed.
All that said, thankfully there is a buffet of racing out there that runs the spectrum when it comes to commentary. There are races like mine that never get commentary, all the way to videos that have too much commentary. So there's something for everyone. I'm not trying to crap on anyone's work or preference, but rather just hoping to get some insight into the challenges of commentary and how that impacts production, and, ultimately, how it impacts the audience.