One of the most powerful ways to tell a story is through a carefully crafted video.
With proper video editing, well-planned shots, and moving music or narration you can change someone’s perception in a few minutes or even seconds. Your church, your organization, or your brand has a story that needs to be shared, and it can be shared dynamically through video.
We are going to break down some scenes from a video that our team produced for Ladies Ministries UPCI in conjunction with their Mother’s Memorial campaign to raise money for a great number of causes. This peek behind the scenes will help you better understand the keys to crafting a great story through video. So, let’s dive in!
The Cause: Mother’s Memorial
It starts with a great cause. It starts with having a great subject to tell a story about. So, what is Mother’s Memorial? Here are a few of the needs that Mother’s Memorial funds:
Tupelo Children’s Mansion
Children from dysfunctional families live in an environment with the opportunity to grow spiritually, physically, and emotionally. Haven of Hope is a program for girls ages 13-16 with behavioral and emotional issues.
Lighthouse Ranch for Boys
Healing broken and hurting lives of teen boys. Ministering in a spirit of love and care.
Appliances, Christmas and children’s birthday checks for missionary families, and support of Bible schools.
So, this should be easy right? These are great causes that are worthy of support. However, without their stories being told no one will know they exist. These causes deserve the utmost care in explaining just how great they are, and how much they impact peoples lives. So, that’s where we step in as videographers. (storytellers)
3 Keys to Telling a Great Story through Video
Let’s break down three vital steps to telling a compelling story through video. Each one of these keys, when combined together, creates the magic that none can do on their own.
1) Write a Great Script
The words you use matter. They should reach out and grab people through the screen. They should leave a lasting impact in peoples minds, associated with your brand or cause. With the Mothers Memorial promotional video “These Hands” we wanted to tell the story of how hands involved in different areas of ministry impact peoples lives across the world. Also, by you, the audience, funding these efforts you are increasing this ministry’s reach. It’s kind of an intentional play on words. Hands reach, and so do funds. Be intentional with your words. In the scene we will break down below, we wrote the script to compliment the shots we intended to get. Here is how the script for this scene breaks down:
“These hands will thumb through the pages of
textbooks as a student earns her degree.”
Things to keep in mind
- Use words associated with your causes vision
- Use brief sentences when possible
- Don’t be afraid of breaks or silence (sometimes silence is more impactful than words in the right setting)
- Don’t get to “Wordy” (It’s important that people remember the message)
However, you choose to write your script, whether upbeat and energetic or slow and dramatic, chose your words carefully. You have very little time to keep your audience engaged.
2) Plan Your Shots–Storyboarding
Storyboarding is the best way you can set the expectations for your story. When planning shots keep in mind what you want the audience to know. Some of the best directors of all time are brilliant in the way that they reveal information to the viewer. For the “These Hands” video we planned 3 shots per scene or highlighted ministry, a close-up, a medium shot, and a wide shot. The purpose of this was to show context. First, you see hands up close, then you see those hands at work, then you see the overall picture of how those hands are impacting the world they are in. Let’s break down a scene in the storyboarding phase.
Here we have 1) Hands thumbing through pages. 2) Those hands belong to a college student. 3) A wide shot of a student in the library. From this, we have now revealed that through the viewers giving to Mothers Memorial they are putting hands in motion through education and helping a student earn a degree. The outcome of your scene may not look exactly like your storyboard but it helps give you a rough structure to build from. You will see in the next step how this kind of planning makes a huge difference in your actual shots.
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3) Shoot What You Planned
When you have already established a great plan for your video it makes the day you shoot more enjoyable. For the “These Hands” video we broke down each scene into 3 shots if possible to reveal intentional visuals. Each shot reveals more information to the viewer as the script explains the visual. Let’s jump into a scene to see this in action.
Here you can see that through planning the shots out ahead of time it removed a lot of the guesswork when arriving on set the day of the shoot. When you know what you want to accomplish visually you can then focus on the important things that will make your video so great, such as lighting, staging, camera settings, etc.
The Wrap Up
Telling a great story through video isn’t always easy, but it’s always worth it. Take the time needed to do the story justice. If creating great video content isn’t your strength, find someone to partner with you to tell your story. At Faithworks we pride ourselves in our ability to tell your story. If you would like us to take a look at your next project give us a call at 860.730.3364 or Click Here to email us.