15 December 2022

Making the cut: Compression is not the solution

Imagine you’re a filmmaker. You have made a two hour documentary. Then the producer comes back and says, “Sorry, but we will want a one hour documentary.”

This is an unfortunate situation to be in. What to do? There are a few possible solutions, but I can guarantee you that there is one method that is not going to work:

Just run the video at double the playback speed so you can see everything we put in.

2X playback speed

I say this as someone who listens to podcasts on an increased playback speed (1.5× is my sweet spot). But even with audio only, this does not work for most people. I bet less so for video. But I would never want to watch a movie at an increased playback speed.

But this is exactly the strategy that a lot of poster makers use: they try compressing what they have so they can keep everything. They shrink graphs, they shrink text, and posters become the infamous “wall of text.”

Sorry, but when you are faced with limited space or time, you have to cut. Nobody’s saying it’s going to be easy.

HIlar Clinton saying, "These are difficult, hard choices."

External links

Does skim-watching videos on 2X speed hurt or help your brain?

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