"There's always room for a story that can transport people to another place."
~ J.K. Rowling
In last week's post, I talked about how you can add interest to your videos, once you're ready to move on from 'talking head' videos.
What I didn't mention, is that by mixing various elements into your videos, not only are you adding interest to your videos, but you're inevitably telling a story.
Anyone has the ability to tell a story. In fact, we all do it without realising. Our lives are made up of continually evolving stories. Whether we are at home or whether we are at work in our businesses doesn't matter. But it's in the way that we tell them, which makes people sit up and take notice.
Last week I gave you a practice activity to try. I know some of you aren't ready yet for that or may not have had time yet to tackle it, and that's okay. I like to get you thinking and give you inspiration moving forward. And for those of you who did...congratulations! You have already won because you've started.
This week I'm going to give you another example of how to use visuals in a specific way to tell a story so your viewers hang around longer to watch your video.
It's simple and I recommend using three types of shots we discussed last week: Wide, Medium and Close shots.
I'm using another video I created for a small business as an example, so you can understand how to use these three types of shots to tell a story about your business.
Below is a brand story video I created for small business, Home Amongst the Green, where I use all three types of shots to tell a story.
Here are screenshots of those three types of shots from that video.
Wide Shots are used primarily at the start of a 'Sequence' of shots. It is often called the establishing shot, because it establishes a location or scene in which something takes place. It encompasses a larger area so that you as the viewer can quickly sum up where and what is happening quickly, and provides context.
Medium shots zoom in on the wide shot, cutting out peripherals so that our eyes can focus on a particular area to draw attention to it. It could be a smaller area within the frame, and it can be taken from a different angle. What you need to ask yourself is 'What area do I want my viewer to focus on? What do I want to draw attention to? And why?'
A close shot is when you zoom in really close to focus on one single aspect of the wide or medium shot. The reason to use a close shot is to emphasise something of significance. Whether it's an expression on someone's face to heighten and connect emotionally, or whether it's to focus on an object or group of objects to support or emphasise a point.
By sequencing your shots, that is, taking the viewer from wide to medium to close, it will have more impact on your viewer and tell a better story. The thing is, you only need the viewer to see each shot for a number of seconds to communicate what you want them to understand. It takes less time than what it may take to actually explain it in dialogue.
And don't be afraid to mix up the shots and try sequencing them differently to tell a different story and emphasise a different point. And once you understand how to use this principle, you don't even have to stick to three shots.
Sequencing shots also keeps your viewer interested because they are having to think and creates distraction for the viewer (in a good way).
So this week, why not try out these three shots. You can take them as photos or videos. Then put them in order or sequence from wide to medium to close. Play them back and see if the three shots are telling a story. And try this a few times. Vary the shots a little. Maybe move things around the room or place things differently and take the shots again.
If you create any videos using video footage or photos using the above sequence and want some feedback to see whether you understand or are on the right track, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I'd be happy to cast an eye over it.
In fact, if you're already creating video and would like me to have a look and make any recommendations, I'd be happy to help.
Have fun with it and have a great week!
Kerry :) x