Monday, June 29, 2015

Two Distinct Parts of being a Multimedia Storyteller

Nikon D750, AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED, ISO 12800, ƒ/5.6, 1/25
At the end of a very packed week of the Storytellers Abroad Workshop in Bucharest, Romania we showed the projects to our hosts. While not all were complete we showed the works in progress.

A few were pretty much done with just minor tweaks that might be needed.

Nikon D750, AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED, ISO 5600, ƒ/5.6, 1/100
In this photo James Dockery, lead video editor for ESPN, is interviewed by Jeff Raymond.

I too was interviewed about my perspective on the workshop. These clips along with others will be used to help promote Storytellers Abroad in the future.

Nikon D750, AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED, ISO 1400, ƒ/4.5, 1/100
Anthony [Tony] Amorteguy has his own communication business was the one capturing all the footage during the week.

As we talked there are two things I think stood out the most.

Storyline

The first skill that must be mastered is understanding storyline. We believe that the best students for the workshop are those like journalists who understand story.

The one student who excelled beyond most everyone else wasn't a journalist but a creative director. He was used to directing the capture of stories, but had never actually done the hands on camera/audio/video editing himself. He had always directed others.

Those who didn't have this background were struggling the most with their packages.


While you do not have to have your storyline in this exact order to work, the basic elements need to be present.

Multimedia

The second skill needed to produce these packages is the capturing of the content using still images, audio, video and the ability to edit this into a timeline.

Nikon D750, AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, ISO 7200, ƒ/5.3, 1/100
Here you can see Jon Franz, senior creative director for Kimberly-Clark, working with Jeff Raymond, media missionary with Association of Baptists for World Evangelism, fine tuning his project on missions in Romania.

Nikon D750, Nikon 85mm ƒ/1.8G,  ISO 720, ƒ/1.8, 1/100
We worked around the clock shooting and editing our projects. Here is Keziah Khoo working through her lunch to get her edits done.

Which is more important?

So which is more important the understanding of storyline or multimedia? Really they are equally important. If either one isn't executed properly then the story never reaches their audience.

Third major Element

The biggest mistake in communication is forgetting your audience is not there with you.



You need to constantly be thinking of the audience. Why should they even care about this story? What would be most interesting to them? After they hear the story what actions should they be taking?

If you are interested in putting all these skills together I can tell you that while all three are equally important there is learning curve and steps necessary.

I would highly recommend you first learn what is a storyline and how to tell one. This is just you learning to how to tell a bedtime story for example or a campfire story.

My recommendation for those wanting to be storytellers is to read The Writer's Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers by Christopher Vogler. You can get this on Amazon for $14.88 as a paperback. Here is that link

Christopher Vogler is a veteran story consultant for major Hollywood film companies and a respected teacher of filmmakers and writers around the globe.

After reading this book then start practicing.

A simple thing to do is start practicing by telling bedtime stories. If making things up is difficult then tell the story of how you got your job. The key is that these stories are not timelines of events, but there is a crisis and that crisis forced you to look for help.

Here are some basic guidelines for interviewing a subject:

1. Prepare carefully, familiarizing yourself with as much background as possible.
2. Establish a relationship with the source conducive to obtaining information.
3. Ask questions that are relevant to the source and that induce the source to talk.
4. Listen and watch attentively.

After you gain the skill of storytelling then you are ready to capture their story using multimedia. This is when you are ready for the Storytellers Abroad Workshop.

2 comments:

Tim Shirey said...

I've been closely following the Romanian workshop, enjoying everyones' photos and updates. Sounded like a great success and blessing to all. I was surprised to see some familiar faces pop up in your photos! Tom Kilpatrick was my teacher (photography) while at TTU in the early 80s and I believe I attended TTU with Jon Franz.

Stanley Leary said...

Both Tom Kilpatrick and Jon Franz are Temple grads. The workshop is probably better enjoyed by pros with some storytelling experience that lack the skills to put it all together in a multimedia package as a one man band.