Many blogs and articles will make you hunt and peck for the answer to whatever question they are trying to answer in the title. Instead of enticing you to read all the way to the bottom, how about I tell you what the point is up front. The number 1 principle for good story telling, is to HAVE A STORY. It sounds overly simple, but far too often we try to shoot and produce a video before we know what the real story is.
Ask yourself this; what is the story that is trying to be told? Do I have a story, or do I have a description of what happened.
Suppose you have a friend go over seas to a remote village in Africa. He is plumber and part of his goal is to establish a new drinking well with clean water. He accomplishes that goal, talks to the village people, inspires hope, and then returns. Most people would think, ah, the clean drinking water and installing the water well is the main story. Grab lots of b-roll shots of the drinking well being installed and the challenges of working in a different culture. While that is part of the story, is the real heart of the story the villagers who now have a hope for a brighter future, knowing their village can survive now? I think the well water footage is cut-away shots to main story of inspiring hope again to a village of people who feel forgotten, on their own, and unsure of the future.
When film making, have a good story to share. Life-change. Decision making. New attitudes. How are the events affecting the people closest to the event. That is where the story is. It’s not about the actual event, but who is affected by it. It sometimes takes a few days to immerse yourself in a different culture to find that nugget. Ask yourself this; what is the story that is trying to be told? Do I have a story, or do I have a description of what happened.