Silent films steal the show on social

You may not have noticed, but we’re living in a new golden era of silent film. On social media, that is.

More and more films on your mobile and social media feeds are designed to be watched (and understood) without sound. And the reason for this is simple: as social media has grown to dominate our digital lives, we’re constantly bombarded by videos, advertising and other messages from brands competing for our attention. So when Facebook, Twitter and Instagram decided that their users should be able to scroll their feeds in silence, they created a new set of challenges for content creators.

Silence speaks volumes.
To get around these limitations, viral video makers are turning to techniques developed in media 100 years ago: silent films. They’re telling their stories without sound and grabbing people’s attention by focusing on spectacles, shocking images or unexpected scenarios in familiar settings.

The magicians of storytelling.
Similar to the way vintage silent films featured circus performers and magicians, video makers are using magic tricks and clever editing to produce modern sleight-of-hand films watched by millions on YouTube. They also embrace the use of subtitles, graphics and instrumental soundtracks to tell their story.

The results have a decidedly contemporary look but are still reminiscent of the silent films of yesteryear, right down to the exaggerated facial expressions of the hosts. And the style has been adopted by major online sites like Mashable, Insider and other video creators around the world. So the next time you watch a social media video on your mobile, give a silent nod to the pioneering film directors of the 1900s for paving the way.

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NHC blog is our place to explore ideas and themes of interest. For professional audiology advice, please contact your local clinic for a consultation.