story telling

as a videographer, it is your job to tell the stories that haven’t been told. you are the tie between your subject and your audience. everyone has a story; your job is to discover it and share it. if told correctly, it can change the world.

engaging an audience

I know what you’re thinking, creating a video that can change the world sounds over-dramatic. But I want you to think back to that time that you saw the video of a straw being pulled out of a turtle’s nose. While it wasn’t a cinematic masterpiece (quite the opposite), people all around the world felt something: PAIN. 40 MILLION VIEWS LATER, plastic straws are facing the chopping block in many cities and states across the country. Now, whether or not you agree with the political reaction, everyone can agree that that video made a change. 

If you want to create a video that will gain an audience, the most important thing you have to do is make a connection with the viewer. 


the science behind story telling


We live in an era of cookies and content marketing. More than ever, businesses have been moving their brands to Social Media Platforms. As the market gets increasingly more competitive, one thing is sure: those who are serious are creating video content. But why are videos so important? Here are a few statistics regarding sociala media, story telling, and the way we think.


you read 10,500 digital words per day.

To improve your own videos: Make sure that if you use words, use them sparingly and try to make them worth reading.

92% of consumers want to feel like they are watching a story.

Improve your videos by creating a story with a clear narrative. How did “A” get to “B”?

your brain processes visuals 60x faster than reading

To improve your videos: Show, don’t tell. A good story can be told without any words. If you do use words, make them clear and easy to read quickly.

preparation is key

Coming from experience, your life will be a million times easier if you spend the time to plan out your video before you pick up the camera. If you know what what kind of shots you need before you film, you can better be prepared on your production day(s). Preparation means you know how you want the story to go, you know what you want the shots to look like, and you know what you equipment you will need the day of. Another thing to remember is that changes are bound to happen. Sometimes what you imagined doesn’t work, and sometimes something you weren’t expecting catches you by surprise. Be ready to make changes during production, but remember that the more you have prepared, the easier those changes will be.

Also, consider a few other ways to tell the story. I try and come up with 3 different ways of telling a story, and then I choose my favorite. This is great, because if you really like the other ideas, you have 2 more videos that you can make! 


Roald Dahl "Thoughts"

This is a quick video project that I made. I just want to show you how simple it can be to plan before you shoot. I spent about 2 hours on the story board, 1 hour to go to Teds and buy a cake, and then I filmed everything in about 30 minutes. It was planned, shot, and finished editing in less than 12 hours! That would have been impossible if I hadn’t planned everything out before hand. When you know how you want the shots to look, it  makes a world of difference.

use emotion to your advantage

 This is the way that you need to think when you are selling a product. You’re not selling a plane ticket, you’re selling the story of a person who has never been on a plane and is fulfilling a life long dream, or you’re selling the story of a soldier who hasn’t seen his wife in 9 months. These are the things that people remember, and in turn, come back when they need the service.

Facebook "the conditioned"

I cry every time I watch this video. Partially because I actually met this family on my mission (what are the ODDS). But the important thing is that you don’t need to personally know this family to FEEL something touch your heart. These creators did not try and sell an app. They were selling the story of a family torn apart for half a century and reconnecting via social media.

simplicity is key

One big mistake that a many people make is that they want to sell EVERYTHING in one minute. In the case of video, less can be more. This is why planning before you pick up a camera is essential. Decide what kind of story you want to tell. Do you want to share statistics? Do you want to tell the history of a business? Do you want to share the change that you (or the company) has made overall, or do you want to tell the story of one person, and how it has impacted their own life? You can tell a story a million different ways, and you don’t have to do everything in one video. Try and make your narrative linear. Don’t go from A to B to F to C then back to B. Just try and go from A to B, and do it in the fastest way possible! You will notice a huge difference in your story telling!

jeep "Portraits"

This is one of my favorite videos, because it is told entirely with photos. It shows that you you don’t even need to use videos to get your point across. It is simple, clean, and patriotic, and if I had 50,000 lying around, I might even buy a jeep.


create your own 


download pre-production pdf