Five Reasons to Tell Your Story with Video
18 March 2014 at 8:35 am
If 2014 is the year to create impact with a story, then Not for Profits should consider making a video, say the founders of Digital Storytellers, Mikey Leung and Peter Dowson. Westpac Social Sector Banking Team met the creative duo to learn how film can ignite a message.
|Film makers, Digital Storytellers, filming a video for Little Wings.|
1. Video Allows a Deep Dive into Your Story
Providing access to an emotional journey with an organisation moves an audience beyond facts, and places them alongside you, say Leung and Dowson.
They recently filmed with Little Wings*, a free flight service transporting children with cancer between their homes in regional NSW and oncology services in Sydney.
Filmed on the tarmac, they captured the passionate conviction in the voice of founder, Kevin Robinson; the nervous anticipation as a small plane lands with its precious cargo on board; and the tired faces of a parent and child far from home, and with a long journey still ahead of them.
“Film can allow the audience to experience the reality, not just see it or read about it,” explains Leung.
2. Your Audience is Cast as the Hero
The challenge for any community group is to include the audience in the organisation’s narrative.
The opportunity with film, says Dowson, is that you can carve a role for your audience too.
According to the author of Winning the Story Wars, Jonah Sachs, your audience gets to be the hero.
In just a few film minutes, the Little Wings audience may connect with any of the stakeholders: the determined founder who pushes through obstacles to provide the much-needed service, the stoic parents, the brave child, the volunteer pilot, or the business that donated the aircraft.
“By knowing your audience, and keeping them at the centre of your film, you create a pathway for them to join their story with yours and live out their values with you,” Dowson explains.
3. The Process Clarifies Your Story
Filming the video is just a small part of the process. Eighty percent of the work is uncovering the story you want to tell: the underpinning values, what you want to communicate, why, and to whom. Leung and Dowson have found the process is often a wonderful voyage of research and discovery for an organisation; it crystallises the organisation’s identity, ideas and purpose.
4. Video is Easy to Consume
People are time and attention poor, and digital mediums like video are proving to be an excellent platform for receiving information in a succinct and captivating way.
YouTube reports it has over 6 billion hours of video watched each month, a 50 per cent growth from last year.
If a large part of your audience is accessing digital information, a beautifully produced video could satisfy their need to participate in a rich experience, in a timely way, digitally.
5. Video Can be Easily Integrated to Your Communications
One production can be transformed – through edits – to a number of communications that can be used across all your channels: embed it on Facebook, link to it on Twitter, host an extended version on the website, and post a trailer on YouTube. Integrating it with your marketing or content strategy can extend the value of your video.
Leung and Dowson find that organisations are using their videos at launch events, presentations, on crowd funding sites, and even in grant submissions.
Dowson sums up the value of video with this: “A nicely produced video is easier and quicker for your audience to consume, creates real impact, and breathes life into your story.”
For an online lesson for anyone interested to learn more about video storytelling, click here.
Digital Storytellers is a social enterprise specialising in using film and digital technologies to tell stories with social impact. For more on Digital Storytellers, click here.
*Little Wings won the 2013 Westpac Community Leaders Awards, in the category of Start-Up Not for Profit Executive.