Notes from breakout session #3 at Echo 2013
Visual Track > How We’re Learning to Tell Better Stories with and without a Budget > Blaine Hogan & Bjorn Amundsen
Church videos are the worst! How we’re learning to tell better stories with and without a budget. Developing story structure, how to do awesome interviews, and creative ways to execute so we never have to see a bad video again
Presenters are staff at Willow Creek Community Church
Why are church videos so bad?
(Audience answers) Committee direction / tight schedule / in house talent / no budget / campy imitation
Narrative stories have a 4-act structure
- Act 1 > introduce the characters / desires / flaws and inciting incident
- Act 2 > progressive complications / character chooses to grow or stay the same / what the hero would become if they don’t overcome their obstacles
- Act 3 > crisis > character has to choose after all hope is lost
- Act 4 > resolution > the audience has been changed by the story
- Don’t present the solution without developing the problem > spend more time in acts 1 and 2 than in 3 and 4.
- Be inspired but copy process rather than product
- Concept and pre production is important
Example: The Scared is Scared, a video made based on a story told by a child. Unfortunately, my notes neglected to include what this video illustrates. But it is an awesome video and could easily illustrate many things. Worth watching for sure.
Example: Easter 2013, a church video with a budget (made by the presenters)
- Consideration of how to let people feel what the subject felt without having to shoot a reenactment
- People submitted log lines
- A extensive pre-interview was held with the chosen subjects so that the to understand the feeling they needed to convey
- The interview was re-written a story with 4 acts for reference
- Direct eye contact was achieve with special cameras that show the other person. A similar affect can be perhaps be achieved with video conferencing tools.
Example: The Tomato Pastor, a church video with no budget (made by the presenters)
- Let your constraints inspire you
- The team was nearby for a different story
- The video was to promote a service opportunity of packing seeds that would be used in this ministry
- The subject didn’t speak English, so the video does not show him speaking. His words were re-read later by someone else with a suitable accent.
A few links of interest
- Blaine Hogan on Twitter: https://twitter.com/blainehogan
- Bjorn Amundsen on Twitter: https://twitter.com/BjornAmundsen
- The book Story by Robert McKee: http://www.mckeestore.com/Robert-McKees-book-STORY_p_11.html
- Free Music Archive: http://freemusicarchive.org/
- Kendall Connor’s notes from this session
- After reading Kendall’s notes, I wasn’t sure if the breakout had really talked about a a 4-act story structure (what my notes said), or 3-act story structure (what his notes said). Neither were familiar to me, but I found some answers in these comparisons of the two: http://edittorrent.blogspot.com/2012/03/three-or-four-acts.html and http://blog.karenwoodward.org/2013/06/the-four-act-structure-for-story-writing.html.
Your job is to make your protagonists suffer to the point where they have only one way out, where only one thing can transform the suffering into a solution: change. ~ Karen Woodward