Story Is Everything
Video production is a complex, multi-faceted process. Things can go wrong — or right — at many different stages of production. As videographers, many of us love the technical aspects of our craft, like tinkering with the latest gear or learning all the intricacies of an obscure specialty such as color science or sensor technology. Expertise has real payoffs, and part of the job is understanding the little technical details that can make or break a project.
But there’s something else that matters a lot more than any of that: story. That’s what I want to talk about today.
Story is the reason for every other aspect of production. When dozens of hardworking crew members and talent show up on set, it’s all for the purpose of telling a story. The props are designed to suit the story. The talent play characters in the story. The crew are experts at capturing visuals and sounds, but without a good story worth capturing, our skills are futile. Would anyone watch an 8K, perfectly lit, 240fps video of paint drying?
This certainly applies to post-production as well. An animated effect will only be effective if it serves a clear purpose for the story. Audiences don’t appreciate videos from the perspective of how difficult they were to create, unless you’re James Cameron making Avatar. Viewers only care about how enjoyable the video is for them to watch.
Look at the most-viewed videos in the world today. They’re recorded on selfie cameras, not cinema cameras. The content itself is compelling enough to elevate phone footage into an immersive, entertaining experience. Meanwhile, even Hollywood levels of sheen can’t cover up the bad taste of a poor story.
Don’t get me wrong — polishing every detail of a video is important to me, and I obsess over capturing everything in the highest quality possible. But, to be honest, I don’t believe that’s the reason people choose to work with Wonder Storytelling. I think it’s because beneath all the layers of professionalism and polish, our first priority is creating an authentic, compelling, well-structured storyline.
Let me tell you about a video I edited years ago for EdNC that went viral in a big way, and how it cemented my belief in the fundamental importance of story.
Hope In Demand
Story coming soon!
As Seen On TV
Here is a non-exhaustive list of news organizations that featured, or wrote about, the content of the video.