Visual Storytelling in Filmmaking 5 Tips for Creators
Posted on February 12 2019
Storytelling - The Power of Stories
A well made Video needs great “storytelling”
1. The first sentence
“The terror, which would not end for another twenty-eight years – if it ever did end – began, so far as I know or can tell, with a boat made from a sheet of newspaper floating down a gutter swollen with rain.”
This is the sentence which begins Stephen King's famous novel “it”.
If you have ever read this book or watched the movies, this sentence will bring back the memory of the small boy in his yellow slicker, running behind his little paper boat. Remember?
This is only an example for a gripping first sentence, which gets the reader interested and motivated to read along. But the famous first sentence is not only important in literature, but for every well made video storytelling is key! You just experienced, how an interesting quote gets you more curious for the following text (even if said quote has little to do with the topic of this article) than a first sentence like: “Today, I will tell you the positive aspects of storytelling.” So, You see that the first sentence is a door opener in storytelling. The first sentence decides, wether the target group will be interested in your message, or not. A choice first sentence should therefore entice curiosity and prompt questions.
3. The advantages and the how to of storytelling
A good story stays in the memory. People love stories. Already our ancestors told each other stories, to be informed and entertained. The decision, if an information will be forgotten soon, or stays ingrained to our long-term memory is based on two central switching points in our brains. On one hand, right in the centre of our brains there is the hippocampus, which processes all incoming information. On the other hand, there is the amygdala, that lies right next to the hippocampus. The amygdala decides about the emotional importance of said information. The more emotional information is presented, - like in an exciting story - the higher the likelihood, that it will be stored in long-term memory.
Take Note: Information, that is wrapped in emotional stories, will more likely be stored in the long-term memory of its audience, than simply listed facts.
4. Stories can even increase the value of items
A common fender guitar will be sold at a higher price, if she was owned by a famous musician like Jimi Hendrix, than if she belonged to your neighbour. Let us conclude: A message will become ingrained very likely, if the audience was emotionally touched by it. To tell a great story, you need an outstanding first sentence. This can be achieved by presenting a radical thesis or using a famous quote. The main thing is to create curiosity for your message in your audience!
5. Narrative Structure
To keep the interest of your targeted audience, you will need to hold up the suspense. This is best achieved by using the five-acts-structure of the classical drama. So your protagonist should have a goal and will need to fight obstacles on his/her way to reach said goal. Get your audience emotionally invested in your story, to earn a place in their memory!