August 6, 2012

Storytelling tips from the experts at Pixar

Is this the chewiest infographic you’ve seen this week?

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, businesses, educators, journalists, general public.

Lauren MajorStorytelling is often undervalued by nonprofits but is a key ingredient to furthering their mission and enhancing their fundraising efforts. ”Pixar’s 22 Rules to Phenomenal Storytelling” was compiled by PB&J Publishing based upon tweets by Emma Coats, an expert storyboard artist at Pixar.

As we’ve written about regularly on Socialbrite, your nonprofit or organization has a story to tell, and it starts with effective storytelling techniques.

Below the infographic you’ll find the text version. Continue reading

April 17, 2012

Online advocacy video best practices

Tips on techniques to get traction for your efforts

Target audience: Nonprofits, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, cause organizations, brands, businesses, Web publishers, videographers, filmmakers, educators, film students.

Lauren MajorEvery person, cause and business has a story to tell, and a few key video techniques can help bring these stories to life.

Here are a few ways to achieve effective storytelling with video, allowing you to spread awareness and advocate for a cause that deserves greater visibility.

The process: Discover the real story

When going into an interview, leave preconceived notions behind. Stereotypes are not only often wrong, but they also sometimes color perceptions. In the 2-minute story Living a Balanced Life, Major Multimedia tells the story of Charlie O’Leary, executive director of the Santa Fe Conservation Trust by day and artisan of one-of-a-kind custom bikes for racers, commuters and nature lovers by night. (See video at top.)

The story can often take a totally different direction once the interview begins. Keep an open mind to find out what’s really going on.

While we researched a story concept, developed a set of interview questions and prepared a preliminary shot list prior to the initial interview, once we began talking with Charlie we recognized the conservationist angle — what motivates his bike building, living a more balance life — was a much more interesting story. In the interview, listen deeply to your subject and deviate from your script by delving into the areas that could make a more interesting story.

Once you’ve captured the initial interview, the first step to discovering the angle of the story should be the transcribing process.

Crafting a captivating script

Write down the entire interview or narrative, word for word. If you don’t want to invest the time, hire a service such as Voss Transcription, who can turn the video narrative into text in one day turnaround typically. Read and re-read the transcription several times, then …

1) Highlight the best parts of the interview.
2) Add corresponding time codes and clip numbers from the video footage.
3) Edit the text down to a script (just the highlighted parts).
4) Make sure there is a really strong beginning and ending.

Also, to reel in the viewer, building an arc in the middle of the script (a conflict or struggle) is often desirable as well. Continue reading