Don’t Show A Video – Tell A Story!

I don’t fly as often as I used to but, more often than not, I pull out a book to read since I don’t like to type on my laptop while cramped up in coach seating. Every so often, I’ll plug my headphones in to watch the in-flight movie.

A while ago I remember watching a movie (“Two Weeks Notice”) entirely without my headphones. It was interesting because I actually was able to follow the story line without ever hearing a word. This reminded me of my film school days where the instructor taught us about storytelling with the camera. It’s so very true: More often than not, we should be able to tell the story (or at least the theme of the story) without audio.

At the same time, audio can really make a scene come alive, so I’m not saying to make silent movies. For example, a lightsaber isn’t a lightsaber without “that sound“.

Too often I’ll have unsolicited videos from churches arrive for my critique. The one major problem with most of them? They don’t tell a story. Interviews that last 10 minutes and never center around a theme or draw me into the story; promotional spots that have lots of graphics and rockin’ music, but fail to capture the essence (story) of the event and/or ministry.

It’s more food for thought than it is a rule of thumb, but ask yourself if your videos are telling stories or showcasing the technology.


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