Recently Danny Rickard, Cella's Digital Media Practice Lead, offered his take on what's trending in the Video space. The key takeaway is that, with new developments within existing technologies, what was old is now new again. Here are some of Danny's discoveries of late.

1. Interactive Video

While interactive video has been around for a number of years, possibly eliciting ho-hum responses from clients, the available features have increased and ease of use has been enhanced, making the technology well worth another look. The applications are endless, ranging from virtual sales to training. Because of the robust content and features that can be included in these videos (think video branching, quizzes and dynamic URLs) upfront planning is critical to the success of an interactive video project.

2. Personalized Video

Personalized video allows for both customized content and the inclusion of authorized user information in a video produced on the fly. Having content that introduces - with their approval - the user's name, location, age, gender, etc. makes for a very engaging experience. To efficiently create these videos, producing video skins or templates that can house the personalized video will streamline the development process. Much like interactive video, personalized productions can be used for sales, education, employee engagement, recruitment and other applications.

3. Smartphones and Tablets

Moving onto hardware considerations, smartphones and tablets, once the bane of every video team's existence, have now evolved to a point where they can record video with a level of quality that is more than good enough for online distribution. Many of you are probably breaking out in a sweat over this, imagining everyone creating their own footage and handing the mess off to you to clean up. And you'd be right to worry. But the reality is, someone with video expertise can now use a smartphone or tablet to make quick videos that need to be affordable and fit within budget limitations. A tip for avoiding that DIY mess mentioned earlier? Create an easy-to-follow one-sheet of best practices to send to whoever may need it.

4. Video Walls

Nothing grabs people's attention more than scale, and organizations have used video walls to create an immediate and lasting impact. Whether you have a cluster of screens or one overall screen, strategically positioned walls of light and sound are powerful vehicles for showcasing video content and communications.

5. Mobile Video

Mobile video is now more of an evolutionary than a revolutionary technology, but since almost all social media and app platforms now support video, it's important to always be thinking of mobile as a vehicle for videos throughout the creative development process. People are on their phones more than ever. Going mobile is a great opportunity to build company brands and educate employees and consumers wherever they are. If they do it properly, employees who post their own (hopefully vetted) videos become brand ambassadors for their companies while having fun and their 15 seconds of fame in the process. Given mobile's constant push of notifications to get content noticed, you can be pretty sure your company's audience will hear about and see your brand in real time.

Telling the Compelling Story

Outside of noting new trends, Danny always insists that there must be a story and concept behind every video - regardless of platform, delivery method, production value or features. Without a narrative, there is nothing in a video that will truly engage viewers in any kind of memorable way. Now more than ever it is imperative, at a project's onset, to understand and plan for the job's logistical and technological production requirements. But without a powerful idea that can be enhanced by new technologies, a video will most likely fall flat. So have fun with the new gadgets and features out there AND make sure to put time and focus and fun too, into the story.