Plan Your Video
Step 1: Write a ‘guiding paragraph’
Take time to write a description of the story and what viewers will see in your video. This should not be a summary of the video’s message or an analysis, but a description of how you visualize the story unfolding. This can also incorporate the style and feel of the video – for example, If you are looking for a fast MTV-like feel or a more slow-paced story, or a series of stark images interspersed with title-cards. An example below is a description of a story on internally displaced people in Burma.
Think visually and verbally – every word should describe something you see in the video. If you are producing a series of video, discuss with your facilitator how to consider how elements of your story will be conveyed through the series of videos.
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Step 2: Finalize Your Messages
List out the most important messages for your audience and put them in order of importance. Remember, this should be a list of messages that you will be able to convey in your video with interviews, testimony and b-roll images and audio. Think big, but be realistic.
Step 3: Choose Your Messengers
Who can tell your story most compellingly for your audience?
Remember that compelling and memorable personal stories are part of most powerful videos and stories, and that an “expert” interview may give credibility and help elaborate nuanced legal or policy obligations. You may consider how you would tell “both sides of the story” or explain why this is infeasible or ill advised. Consider that ‘who’ tells the story can also include the narrator – you can read more about narration here.
Step 4: Choose Your Audiovisual Content
What are the images and audio that can best support your video to move your audience to action? Write and create a wish-list of content and prioritize it, accounting for what you may already have or have access to easily, what content you’ll have to shoot yourself and what archival content you may want to find.
Step 5: Create a Video Outline