Why is storytelling so compelling for us? According to Christine Hennebury of CBC Nfld. & Labrador, “We all share stories. Of family, work, and of our experiences. We refer to myths, folklore, and characters from TV shows to explain things to ourselves and to others. We construct internal narratives to help us make sense of the world. Storytelling is a fundamental part of being human. Stories let us share information in a way that creates an emotional connection. They help us to understand that information and each other, and it makes the information memorable.” Storytelling is our most ancient form of communication, predating actual verbal language. It’s how we learned where and how to find and capture food, and how to live. We use storytelling in movies, in books, with children, around the fire, and yes, in business related videos.
When I make videos about businesses, I focus on the people and their story. Why did they start the business? What are they passionate about? How do they help people and why? What do they love about what they do? I draw out their story in the interview, then shoot them doing what they do, telling the story visually. For example, when I made a video about a furniture maker, I elicited her story about how and why she got started in furniture making, what she loves about it (which turned out to be the challenges), what details she pays attention to, and her satisfaction with a job well done. Then I shot her in the process of making a mid-century modern chair, with many details and close-ups. I got a picture of the design on paper and of finished chair. When editing, I had two parallel stories to tell – the oral and the visual (with sound) which I wove together with music. The result was a rather satisfying short video.
Not every business has such an obvious visually rich story to tell, but one of my roles is to discover or create that with the client. It’s one of the challenges that make my job interesting. I love the challenges, the interviewing, the shooting, the editing, the weaving like a tapestry, and most of all, the storytelling. It’s what makes us human.
PS. I also capture the stories of elders talking about their lives.
To chat about options, set up a time to talk: https://calendly.com/personalstoryfilms/30min