If you have never tried making a video other than occasional video recording, then you are missing out. As a matter of fact, you may be working on your skills as a mobile filmmaker but you are not telling stories with your videos, even if your videos are mesmerizing. Telling stories through video is one of the most enriching experiences for storytelling, whether you are the storyteller or the person watching the video. Telling stories with smartphone videos is not about telling stories to watch on smartphones, in this case, it’s about using your smartphone’s camera to capture video even for a big screen in a movie theater.
There are countless video clips online right now. They are sharing snippets and clips shot with smartphones. Most are considered B roll. That is what the industry calls video clips which is used to help share a story. It is not Raw video. Raw video can be referred to as B roll due to the intention of using it to enhance a story. But raw video footage has not been altered.
Tip: If you have recorded a video with a filter effect through an app or Instagram, then don’t call it raw video. If you record video without any effects, other than settings such as focus, exposure, etc. then your footage qualifies as raw. Raw, meaning “uncooked” and unaltered.
One thing we have been saying forever, and we think almost ten years since we launched our mobile filmmaking platform in 2009 is forever ago, is how the story is king. That’s because stories induced language skills since the birth of humanity. We have a desire to express ourselves and storytelling is our natural human way of communicating. It is what differentiates us, in our opinion, from animals. Your dog or cat is a very special life form. It has character. But it has no desire to share stories with you, even if some films tell you so for entertainment.
When you are using your camera to take photos you may be thinking about capturing a moment, or even a scene at a particular moment. When you record video you are capturing the same thing in motion. You have attached a timeline to a moving picture. The timeline may just be a few seconds between the time you click “record” to the time you click “stop”. Time is very connected to motion and stories. Ever hear of the term storyline? There is a beginning, a middle and an end to every story. The best stories, in our opinion, share a message in some way or another. Your viewers love your stories even if they have never even heard them before. We all crave stories. So when someone clicks on a video that appears to have an interesting attraction, maybe a beautiful frame or image as the thumbnail for your video online, or perhaps even a great title or caption…they expect a story. They may not even be aware of it. Some of us click pretty fast to see what’s up with that!
Don’t let your viewer down. If you don’t satisfy the expectation for your viewer you are not going to get a click the next time they encounter your video. You are going to lose your audience. When you are online, your audience is coming back almost unwillingly. In a live theater or venue, your audience chooses to come back. So if your videos are online, you want to pay attention to this and you want to win your audience’s attention for the long run. They may not click on all your videos but they will not be afraid to click on some of them because you have not really disappointed them. They will click to see, perhaps, if maybe this particular video is better than the last one they clicked on. But they won’t think it’s a total fail to click on your video.
Storytelling is a way to get people to like you, in real life and in the online world. Surely, we don’t need to convince you do we? I mean one of the biggest keywords today, online and offline, is storytelling…story anything, really. It’s as if humanity has finally realized the magic and the power of storytelling. The reason we launched our platform is to give you that place and democratize that power for everyone in the world. Above and beyond any other device, more people have a mobile phone or access to one with a camera. So when we said, our platform would focus only on mobile phones that was our aim…to reach and empower everyone. Sure, many people can and will use notebooks, iPads, iPods, GoPros…you name it! But they also have access to smartphones. Many times, if someone is given the choice of going out with only one device, it would be a smartphone. And if the opportunity for a video or camera arises during their outing, the can fulfill the need to record a video or snap a photo with their smartphone…and simultaneously share it with the world.
What are you doing with your power? Are you telling stories, yet? Go ahead. Do it. Do it because you can and do it because you will enrich your life and the lives of people who watch your videos. If you like being inspired, then inspire someone else. You can do it.
By the way, if you desire to share your stories using your smartphone camera we hope you will share them with the world through the International Mobile Film Festival. It’s all ages and any smartphone qualifies. Humans too!
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