Storytelling is a must-have skill when venturing into the world of filmmaking. We communicate to our audience through the videos we direct and/or produce, especially in this day and age as viewers are most likely attracted to those they can relate to. An experience, a short film or even a product, how can you turn it into a video people will want to watch?
Beyond budget and equipment, the key is storytelling. Here are some tips to achieve it for the whole production process as shared by TV Commercial Director Paolo Ruiz at Moving Frames: Storytelling Through Videos by Fujifilm.
6. Evaluate the script.
The script is composed of casting, treatment, cinematography, production design, scoring, and editing. Each of which has their own function and works hand in hand, like how production design is 50% of cinematography as it is responsible for putting your characters to life.
5. Shoot for editing.
Before shooting takes place, you should have already thought about editing. That way you will be able to distinguish and decide the shot size or angle you need to take. Remember to take establishing shots or ‘extreme long shots’ to show where the scene is set, if it’s in day or night time, and the mood and feel you want to give your audience.
4. Vary the shot size and angle.
When showing the same character or subject, it’s awkward to put the same shot size and angle consecutively. Unless you’ll be using ‘jump cuts’ as an effect, then it’s okay. There are different types of shots you can use. For example, use a ‘mid shot’ when introducing your character/s in action, having a conversation or during a discovery.
3. Select the action that speaks.
Every shot has to mean something. In choosing which clip to use, decide by which one has the exact action or emotion you need and include only what the story needs. You may use an ‘extreme close up’ shot which captures tiny details of the scene.
2. Pay attention to sound.
Decide whether to use background music (and which) or not in each scene. Also, take note that sudden changes in sound levels or dead silence affect the mood of viewers. You can only do two things – either completely avoid it or intentionally do it.
1. Special effects take the back seat.
While special effects or fancy transitions are fun, it can also be distracting. If it’s appropriate and adds value to your story, then go ahead by all means. The most important thing that your storytelling video should possess is continuity, how each scene is stitched to the next.
According to Direk Pao, everyone can tell a story, all we need to do is back it up with craft. Even though 90% of stories must’ve already been told, everyone needs to hear them over and over again. The greatest learning I gained from this is to stay inspired even when you don’t always have the luxury of time, for our audience deserves a piece from the heart.
What’s your favorite story? Share with us in the comments below!