Hype 101: A Recipe For an Epic Hype Video

By Jeff Beck on January 24, 2013 at 12:00p

If you’re living in 75% of the United States, it’s cold right now. Really cold. Coupled with the harsh winter winds is the realization you won’t be watching actual college football for quite some time.

Wow, things just got a little colder.

Gartner was on to somethingFive ingredients to avoid the "Trough of Disillusionment"

When I find myself grappling with this severe lack of collegiate gridiron glory, I do what any starved-for-football fan would and turn to Buckeye hype videos.

You know what I’m talking about, those clips floating around YouTube created to juice excitement for a game/season or to recap a game/season.

These videos are developed for one reason, and one reason only: to get fans’ blood pumping. Which is great because (see first paragraph).

Much like any creative medium, there is good, bad and ugly out there. To sort through the noise, I’ve compiled what I believe to be the five most important elements of a strong to very strong hype compilation. The hope is this piece will aid any potential hype videographers out there.

To prove I mean it, and because I care, I've added instructional examples.

Element #1: A Voice-over 

First, good hype vids seek to incorporate a voice-over during key segments of the production. But, these vocal cameos can’t feature just anyone’s voice — so put down your digital recorder. Instead, they've got to be from a person of prominence at the university or a game announcer. 

It’s critical the individual’s pipes transport fans back to a specific time and place in an instant. If the voice-over can conjure a goosebump-inducing memory, then you, the hype videographer, have succeeded. 

Exhibit A: Voice-Over By An Individual of Prominence at the University:

Exhibit B: A Voice-Over By A Game Announcer:

Element #2: Music

More trendy than classicResist the urge

Second, the video must incorporate music. If I want to watch a highlight reel sans musical stylings cranking it to 11, I’ll turn on SportsCenter. The hype video is a different canvas altogether and it needs to be treated as such.

However, much like the voice-over, a creator can’t simply select any soundtrack. The immediate impulse is to turn to the hot track of the second. You know, the one all the kids are listening to. 

Deny this feeling. The song is ablaze now, but it probably won't be in three months. Don’t date your work. 

Instead, choose a classic. You can’t go wrong with guttural and dramatic orchestra music.

Exhibit A:


Exhibit B:

Element #3: Timing

Once you’ve selected the perfect accompaniment, it’s time to make it work for you. Letting the music build to a crescendo is a plus, but always (when appropriate) time the music with the action.

Got a moment where the music breaks? Sync it with a perfectly floated pass.

Got a drumbeat or horn blast? Time that baby up with a linebacker hit over the middle.

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

Element #4: Crowd shots 

This aspect is subtle, but it makes a difference. The hype video audience was either at the game, or wishes they were. Give them a feel for what it was like.

Sustained shots of fans aren’t needed, because let’s be honest, the viewer clicked to watch some footballin’. Instead, intersperse clips of the crowd with the action. It gives the video a fluid “in-the-stadium” feel.

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

Element #5: Defensive Clips

Finally, don’t feature offensive prowess exclusively. Sure, there’s more game tape available of the 60-yard passes, but dig deeper.

Clips of the defense flying around and knocking blocks off lend themselves well to this particular medium.

Nothing says “hype” like a mouthpiece being forcefully ejected from an opponent's face-hole.

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

If these five aspects are executed correctly, the end result is a thing of beauty. In my opinion this piece leverages the aforementioned elements flawlessly.

Goosebumps on the skin, adrenaline in the heart and excitement in the soul. Hype video nirvana.

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