In our efforts to learn new tools for our crafts and for the creation of story I am often reminded of how much story matters. And, ultimately, all media creation is storytelling. Whether you are creating a web series, a corporate video, a feature film, a short film, documentary-they are all stories. And story matters. Not just the story you are telling but how you choose to tell the stories.
Ultimately it doesn’t matter what you shoot on, edit on, mix on. What matters is how you ultimately put your production elements together and why you put them together a certain way. What motivates a cut? What motivates an audio sound effect? Or a visual filter?
It’s easy for us to get lost in our technology and think that it’s an answer for great storytelling. At this point you don’t have to be a media professional to get a great image. Even an iPhone can take great looking HD Video. However, I do think it takes a professional to plan a production properly, write a great script or come up with an innovative concept, get the needed footage for the budget, and edit that footage so that it tells the story and relays the information to the audience the best way possible. Great productions are crafted, created, mulled over.
So, how do you construct a great story? I think the tried and true method of having a clear beginning, middle, and end is key. As well as understanding the element of “the setup” and “the payoff” per scene as well as for the overall picture. It’s also important to understand that your media production sustain itself and be entertaining, no matter the genre.
Any good writer will tell you that writing is not about writing, it’s about re-writing. Getting to that second, third, fourth draft. Pouring over the choices. Did we tell the audience everything we needed to tell them? Did we tell the audience too much? Or too little?
It’s important as the technology continues to move forward and we implement more fantastic tools that we remember that we are storytellers. Take the time to make the creative choices that will move people, entertain people, and maybe even make a difference.