How to Create Video Storytelling That Actually Tells a Story

A film critic, while comparing director Alfred Hitchcock’s cinematic style to that of modern movie makers, said that modern film relied too heavily on dialog to tell the story and less so on the other components of film such as audio and visual imagery. The same can be said for modern video journalism that relies on soundbites and interviews to communicate a story.

The following videos prove that you don’t have to have clip after clip of an interviewee of telling the story for you — sometimes the story just tells itself.

Another Night in Beijing

Escape From Tomorrow

Many video journalists sometimes default to narration, often recorded by the reporter, to summarize and further a video story. Narration, however, is sometimes not necessary to tell the story of the video. Even for packages where interviews make up the bulk of the content, the interviews can be edited together to create their own narrative without the added layer of narration to guide the viewer.

The clip below is an example of this sort of narrative structure and uses the natural quirks and gestures of its interviewees to set up and characterize the story.

PostSecret: Confessions on Life, Death and God

Video storytelling at its worst can be pedestrian and uninventive. The best video steps away from traditional storytelling techniques to create video that is both captivating and captures the subject. When shooting and editing your video, consider how other elements such as audio and various framing techniques can be used to enhance the story or send a message to the viewer.