Search
  • sandy

How To Tell The Best Video Story Ever

I believe the best stories are told by people. People using their own words to explain their own experience. Whether it’s a story about the business they work for or a program they are a part of or a moment they witnessed – people tell the story better than a narrator.

Now, believe me, it’s a rare occasion to have a corporate client say “do it however you like, I trust you”. But sometimes they actually do, and when they do, it feels like Christmas morning. I can’t wait to get started working on those magical productions.

There are some basic items needed to make your storytelling job easier… It helps to have a great subject. Someone who is compelling, open, trusting & willing to share their story.



The St. Vincent de Paul organization helps a great number of folks in our area with food, pharmacy, housing & other basic needs. They needed a video for their annual fundraising breakfast. During our planning meeting, we all agreed that a single person who utilized many of their programs would be the best way to tell their story. It took a while but they were able to find the perfect person – Jessica.

This project only worked well because Jessica, the focus of our story, opened up honestly & completely. She held nothing back in telling her experience. She trusted that her contribution to the project would help others in similar situations to hers.

Some post-production decisions that help give this project some visual style were the black & white images in the beginning & the video flashing. I thought both effects helped demonstrate how bleak her life looked at that time. The flashing effect I think adds to the dysfunctional feeling – and it helped transition between jump cuts in the video.

The client wanted a simple, clean look. They wanted to showcase their programs. They wanted a compelling story that shows they make a difference. I think we reached their goals.



Another common client request is to document an event. Nothing worse than a boring event video. When you get that job, you hope the event lends itself to gathering great natural moments… I received a call from an old TV friend who was looking for contributors for a large national production that would air on PBS & at film festivals. The program was to be completely shot on one day, Veterans Day 2011. The subject matter: a veteran of my choice! As the shooter/producer of my piece, I contacted various friends who are veterans & various organizations who work with vets, hoping a great story would somehow fall in my lap. And it did. I found the perfect veteran to focus on that special day – 11.11.11. It worked out so well because the veteran was open to the idea I was proposing. He trusted I would present him well & that his story was worth telling & would make a difference. I think what was important was planning out the shoot day far in advance and communicating with my vet what the day might look like with me tagging along. I did a lot of leg work before I showed up to shoot.

Not often do you have the perfect recipe for the best video story ever.

The secret: realize it when you do. Plan. Create the moment. Let the people tell their own story. Then you’ll be telling the best video story ever.

25 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All