Characteristics of a powerful video story – Nine examples

If you developing a video story, there a number of key questions you have to ask yourself before you start filming:
  • What is the story about?
  • Why are you filming this story? What is the purpose you want to accomplish?
  • Who will be the target audience? And what is the essence you want to communicate to them? And how are you planning to disseminate this video?
  • What is the context?  What is the background of the story? When did it take place? From whom’s perspective is the story told?
  • Where is the videomaking taking place? What is the setting and the environment where you are filming? What videoshots do you want to make?
  • Who are the actors in the video?
  • What is the language and the subtitlng?
  • What is the estimated time span of the video?
  • When? Where? And How are you going to do the filming?
  • What will be the structure and logic of the story?  What are a number of principles you apply in the video you are producing?
  • What kind of music will be supporting the story?  Are you planning to use a voice over for telling your story?
All the aforementioned questions will help you or your videomaking team to develop the story board.  However, the filming and the video editing phase are following crucial steps in making an attractive video.  There are five  characteristics that help to build a powerful story.

The video is:
  • Engaging from the beginning to the end
  • Having elements of surprise
  • Finalizing with a clue at the end
  • Contains humor
  • Simple, short and visually attractive.
 Following is a compilation of powerful stories, which are having some of these characteristics.

A.      Engaging from the beginning to the end
1.      Crisis in the Congo   (26  min.)
This video describes in an involving way the causes and the effects of the crisis in Eastern Congo.  This documentary composed  of interviews with a number of key experts explaining the history and the current situation describing the civil war and the role of the international community and international businesses in this conflict. The video story is well built up supported by visuals and engaging from the beginning to the end.     See video;  Crisis in the Congo…..

2.     The story of milk (3 min)
In this story the visual images help to support the story teller. Throughout the video a feeling is created about something magical and mystical. Dreaming and imagination drive the story and keep me as a watcher involved.  See video;  The story of milk. 

B.      Surprise
3.     Photocopier  (1 min.)
This advertisement has a nice surprise at the end. Machines also has a life and their tastes.  See video Photocopier.    
4.     A  squirrel playing soccer(1 min)
What makes a squirrel to play soccer? The video shows something that you would not expect an animal would do.  See video;    A squirrel playing soccer   

C.      Clue is at the end
5.     The Bridge with Paul E. Hendricks  (13 min.) 
An actual life story on how the interviewed person develops in his relationship with his partner.  The clue about his life learning is at the end.  See video; The Bridge with Paul E. Hendricks.
D.      Humor
6.     Nolan ’s Cheddar  (1 min.)
On a funny and humoristic way, the video shows what cheese can do with a mouse. The music supports the video on a powerful way.   See video; Nolan’s  Cheddar  
7.     A Pepsi please! (1 min)
This is a  girl who wants the real Pepsi.  She communicates and uses the language in the setting she is ordering her cola.  See video;  A Pepsi please!

E.      Simple,short and visually attractive
8.     Nobody tells who are beginners (2 min)
This video has the principles of KISS.  Keep It Short and Simple.  The video explains that creativity and success does not come by itself. It needs determination and persistance.  See video;  Nobody tells who are beginners
9.      Hans Rosling’s 200 countries, 200 years in 4 minutes  (4 min.)
In 4 minutes a powerful lecture is given on how the status has been developing in 200 countries around the world. Again the story is simple, short and visually powerful in its communication.  See video;  Hans Rosling’s 200 countries, 200 years in 4 minutes. 

If you want to read more on how to develop a story watch the slide share presentation about Building Story Worlds.   Or watch the video >>> MSL Group Story telling – why is story telling important?    


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