Our deliverable for this one week course was to build a short 2 minute video that tells the story of the concept we have been working through PCR (People Centred Research). Through this class, we were able to learn how a story has to be framed and the different elements it should have that appeals to human emotions. The content in the video have to be structured in such a way that they are resonant, visceral, shareable and repeatable. They should be simple and straight forward enough that a person can tell this story to someone else in a bar in a couple of seconds. Moreover, we also learned about different tools and frameworks like the ones below that can help frame stories.
Moreover, the whole class emphasized on how story is the king and everything else like the cameras we use or other equipments are just tools to support it. The story should be based out of a basic human truth, which serves as the bedrock. For example: a good bedrock will be health. Everyone is concerned about their health and well being, using this as bedrock for a particular concept will make the story more clear.
Another helpful model to follow is the story rollercoaster. Here, stories need to be framed with a downward emotional spike and an upward spike as seen in the picture above. Having these spikes keeps the viewers intrigued and forms the basis of a good narrative.
Framing the scenes:
The next section we went through was with the order of the scenes. Taylor had explained how he uses a wide shot first to bring the viewers into context, followed by a medium shot of the object or scene and finally using a close shot to bring the object or subject into focus. These three different frames are then repeated several times during the video.
This was another important part that was talked about. It explained how the timeline should be structured as in the diagram below. By first starting with calming scenes almost like poetry through establishing shots, followed by a thesis, storyline and finally wallop.
Some of the other tips we got were:
- To always use tripods to stabilise the video.
- To always have a symmetrical perspective with the subject in the centre.
- To always have the eyes of people on the top quarter of the frame.
- Eliminate bad audio and use proper mics at the right levels.
- Have all cameras shoot at the same FPS (usually 60).
- Correct the white balance in the picture.
- Hold shots for a minimum of 10 seconds.
- Always have movement in videos.
Moreover, there were also several fun exercises that we did to emphatise with actors and to understand story telling better. One of these was this improv session where the teachers assigned different stories to each group and they were supposed to act it out without any verbal communication:
After recording all the content, next we moved on to post production. Here we used premier pro to edit the content. We started off with this in the following order:
- Acquisition: Downloading all videos on to the computer.
- Assembly: Arranging all the rough videos on to the sequence line along with photos on the B roll.
- Rough cut: Removing bad quality clips and cutting short scenes.
- Fine cut: Trimming down clips to make it short and succinct.
- Polish: Doing color grading, white balance, distortion effects, etc.