The basic rules for storytelling never change and with the use of a smartphone, which can be found in nearly every person’s pocket in this day and age, absolutely anyone can become a practiced storyteller on mobile video.
My tips for successful storytelling on mobile video are: keep it SIMPLE, SHORT, STEADY, be aware of SOUND and STORY, and make it SUPER.
Make your video SIMPLE – that is to say, don’t worry about starting small and keeping it easy, this can really help you in the end. No need to practise any high-speed car chase scenes while starting out on a smartphone camera. Keep it simple. Try planning a video with only four shots, an effective method of storytelling taught often in my courses.
Keeping your video SHORT falls in line with keeping things simple – that interview shot doesn’t need to be three minutes long by itself. In fact, it’s definitely going to be better if it’s not three minutes long! We live in a fast-paced world that thrives on 10-second social media videos to inform us of what’s going on. So keeping your video short not only saves you time and (ideally) minimizes complications, but helps you reach wider audiences, who are more willing to watch a 30 second video than a 3 minute one.
Keep it STEADY. To ensure professionalism and appeal within your video, making it STEADY is vital. Don’t panic and start thinking you need the fanciest, self-stabilizing tripod rig with a shoulder mount you’ve ever seen – making your video steady does not mean it has to cost a great amount of money. Small, simple tripods or monopods can be purchased for very reasonable prices and really, that’s all you need. Don’t be afraid of being reasonable in what you’re willing to spend on equipment, but also don’t try to get away with not purchasing a camera stabilizer at all – it will always, always make your footage look much cleaner, tidier, and professional.
If we’re talking techy, SOUND is just as equally vital to your video as keeping it steady. Good sound can be a delicate thing to achieve, but that doesn’t mean it has to be difficult. Bad sound can also destroy an audience’s interest in your video faster than just about anything else. The online training course I’m providing will go over a few simple, cost-effective ways you can achieve quality sound on your mobile video, including using both the phone’s built-in microphone and microphone attachments.
Of course, there will be no video if there isn’t also a STORY. We all know how this works: a beginning, middle, and end. A story can be someone answering a question, a quick exploration of a new place, or showing an audience how to make pancakes. The point is, there must be a story. A single shot on a train passing by may look brilliant and sound exhilarating, but it hardly does well to engage an audience. Try to keep in mind how you’re going to do just that.
And finally, last but not least – make your video SUPER. What I mean by this is simply that you must always do your best with what you have and to the capacity that you know how. Believe your work is going to be super, and it shall be. Don’t be afraid to experiment and struggle and learn. Give your best, and your best will come.
I hope you’ve found these six tips something to think about over the next few weeks, as we lead up to the special offer launch of my online course, on March 19th.