I loved this piece by National Public Radio’s Scott Simon on storytelling…and how to do it well in video:[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tiX_WNdJu6w&feature=player_embedded]
To Scott’s excellent summary, we would add:
- Great stories don’t let the technology or the execution get in the way. The audio is crisp, the graphics non-intrusive (unless they’re part of the story), and the effects are tasteful.
- Great stories are memorable, and they do something to impress themselves on the consciousness. They might surprise. They might demonstrate something in an unusual way. They might do something that exceeds expectations.
- Great stories not only start strongly (Scott’s point), but end strongly. They leave an image or point that reverberates and fills the room when it’s over.
- Great stories create a certain amount of suspense about the outcome. The curiosity about the end, planted at the beginning, pulls a viewer through to the conclusion.
- Finally, great stories start a conversation — if only the viewers with themselves — about what it means for them. About what they should do next.
Today, there are a lot of people picking up video cameras and shooting “stories”. But as the volume of video stories explodes, the percentage of them that tell great stories seems to diminish.