Video has single-handedly become the most sought-after medium for storytelling. It captures attention, depicts meaning and evokes emotion, which is why video content has become the most popular trend across social media platforms. In fact, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have all updated their algorithms in response to the surge in video consumption. As a result, content marketing has evolved to contain video production.
To learn more about storytelling with video I attended a Drake University digital media workshop presented by Assistant Professor Chris Snider. Following are the insights and practices I learned for storytelling with video.
The best camera is the one you have with you.
Technology has exponentially grown to enable better quality smartphone photo and video content. Smartphone cameras are now equipped with advanced mega pixel technology and high definition. Snider explained how to shoot great video; here are a few of his tips:
- Move, point, shoot, stop and repeat. This is a momentum designed to encourage shooting video in shots rather than all at once. Shooting in shots allows you to capture different angles, perceptions and movements resulting in more interesting video.
- Capture emotion and motion. Part of what makes video so powerful is its ability to resonate emotion. An example of this is Coca-Cola’s Taste the Feeling commercial. Another part of what makes video so entertaining is movement – case in point: viral cat videos.
- Use the five-shot method. The five-shot method is a basic series of shots used to tell a story with video. The method includes gathering shots of 1) Extreme close-up of action detail 2) Close-up of face of person doing action 3) Medium shot of face and action together 4) Point-of-view action 5) One more creative angle
Even Inspector Gadget would be impressed.
A selfie stick isn’t the only smartphone gadget on the market. You can enhance your photo and video production with audio and stable shooting accessories.
- For better audio quality: Snider recommends purchasing an IK Multimedia iRig PRE. The iRig is a device that connects your iPhone’s auxiliary port to a microphone allowing you to stream clearer and more controlled sound. To set your smartphone audio system up you will need the iRig, a microphone and a mic cable. Snider recommends the Behringer XM8500 Dynamic Cardioid Vocal Microphone and the GLS Audio 25 foot mic cable.
- For more stable shots: Snider recommends investing in a tripod and a smartphone mount. Stabilizing your camera allows you to steady and frame your shot, which are two important dimensions in video production. Snider recommends the Vista Explorer 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod and GripTight Mount for smartphones.
The App Store will make you look like a pro.
A plethora of photo and video editing applications are available at your fingertips via the App Store. Here are a few of the best:
- To capture better video use FiLMiC Pro or FiLMiC Classic. FiLMiC is an application that turns your standard camera settings into professional video features allowing you to lock a focal point, lock the exposure setting and manipulate sound levels.
- To edit your video use iMovie or Splice: iMovie is the same video editing application on your desktop now available on your smartphone and/or tablet. Splice is a quick and easy application used for editing video shots to create video sequences.
- To create a video out of photos use Storyo and/or Legend. Storyo allows you to create video slideshows with your own photos based on a timeline of events. Legend uses typography and photography to create videography.
Storytelling with video takes practice, but with practice you can break through social media algorithms that push video content to the forefront of feeds. Use the preceding tips and tricks in your professional and personal lives to tell stories and share memories.
Snider teaches classes in social media, web design, multimedia and visual communication at Drake University. His Drake University digital media workshops are hands on and open to the public. A list of upcoming workshops can be found here. For more industry insights visit Snider’s blog where he shares web design and social media trends.