Stories come in all shapes and sizes, whether it be in text, images, videos, or even through word of mouth. In stories, we want to be engaged, motivated, moved, or simply entertained. Developing the story is part of the process but deciding how we want to convey that story is another. From pictures in a magazine to videos on your platform of choice, each piece of media tells a story. As technology has evolved, the way we intake media has as well. In apps like Tiktok, you can scroll through endless videos of information and entertainment so quickly. One scroll turns to 5, 10, or 15 in a matter of minutes. With the amount of time you have and what story you want to tell, every frame matters. Creating an engaging piece of media in a short amount of time like 30 seconds can be scary, but here are some ways that can help you get started.
Whether you want to sell, inform, motivate, or engage a video needs to have a clear purpose. With a short amount of time on the line, your audience will need to understand quite quickly what that message or purpose is. If you don’t understand it then most likely your audience won’t either. Define what it is that you want your viewers to find in your story. That way you can craft your story around the purpose.
Crafting the Narrative
One of the best ways of crafting a story is by writing a script. A script is the blueprint of your story. It’s what frames how your story will play out from beginning to end in written words. Every 30-second commercial or viral video has had some thought process planned. Crafting your script will help you detail your plan and make your video’s purpose clear. Not only is the script for yourself but for those who you may work with on the video. If everyone understands the goal and the message is clear, the better the process will be in creating your video. Depending on the type of video you want to create, the script will help in the creation of story boarding. Story boarding is kind of like a visual script. It’s what you want to be shown frame by frame for the actual video. Remember everyone is different, but when it comes to storytelling, it’s easier to show than to tell.
Now that you have a story crafted, determine where you will publish your story. Will it be on the Internet? Will it be broadcasted? With an abundance of various platforms out there, you will have to plan and keep in mind how you want to publish your story. Each platform has different rules and parameters when it comes to media. The way people engage mostly with media these days is on a mobile device like a smartphone. Because of this, the rise of vertical video (9:16 ratio) is becoming more of the norm. The way we engage with our content is changing every day so it’s a good thing to keep in mind how our end video will be presented. That way your final product is in a format that works for your intended audience or at the very least adaptable across various platforms. Knowing your intended platform(s) will also help with how your audience will engage and discover your video. Do your research and keep in mind where you will want your video to live ultimately.
Capturing the Frames
Once you have a plan and know where you want your video to thrive, you can capture the footage. With your script and storyboard, you already know what you will need to capture as well as what equipment you need. Having that knowledge you can get the proper camera, microphone, lights, location, etc. The good thing about producing today is that equipment is pretty accessible and things are pretty multifaceted. Smartphones produce some of the most detailed images, most shooting in 4K video. Depending on what kind of video you are trying to produce the list of equipment will be different. Typically you, or your team, will plan what needs to be captured on camera. This is where your storyboards come in. By having this plan already in place, you or your camera operator will already know what shots need to be captured so that your end goal is achieved. This is why the pre-production of your project is very important so that you can go into filming with a strategy in place. Having a plan and also being adaptable will allow this process to go smoothly. Just like your video, time is important.
Now that you have acquired the footage and audio for your project you can now enter the post-production phase. Typically this deals with piecing your video together via editing and publishing of where your video will go. Editing comes in various forms via software you can buy or sometimes in an app. Regardless of where you will be editing, this is where you will be taking all the footage and trimming it down to fit your time frame. Every moment counts and you have to make sure every frame you use makes sense. Not to worry though because you have a script. The script really is the backbone of your whole project and in this, the script will help you or your editor understand what needs to be done. From a text animation to a specific shot, the script will help the editor of the project visualize what needs to be where and when. When it comes to fast-paced media you are against the clock and this is where you can avoid stress with a little planning. This way your editor can have more focus on the project than worrying about the hows and whys.
Assuming your edit has gone through the works and you are happy with the final edit it’s now time for publishing. Depending on where you upload your video you will want to make sure you understand how media is shared or engaged on that specific platform. We live in a society where trends change every second and in the same fashion social media platforms also go with the same flow. Hashtags, metadata, or descriptions vary and their uses for discoverability evolve. So before hitting post or publish research the current trends of how discoverability works on the platforms. The more opportunities for people to see and engage with your story the better.
Being prepared and having a solid foundation will help ensure your video process goes off without a hitch. Writing out things really is one of the best ways to have a schedule and have a plan for how you want your video-creating process to flow. With the amount of content creators and the way media continues to evolve every day, your content will have to evolve as well. Creating high-quality video content and staying up to date with the latest trends for sharing that content will help make your videos shine and stand out. There’s a sea of content out there so might as well make yours shine the brightest!