Conversations on film making often seem to start with hardware.

Film making is not about hardware, there are no magic bullets, it is all about the story.

What do you want to say, and how do you want to say it?

For film the next question is what do you want to see & how do you want to see it?

Robert Primes at [3 min] discusses how words are poor descriptors of visual information.

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The time investment to craft a well told story or marketing program is not well understood. In a 4 month re-write of product catalogues & manuals, the product never changed, but 18 months later, sales doubled because the story changed.

Consider a Play.
Well written Scripts take time, and Actors must rehearse. When the Director is satisfied, the first curtain goes up.

We end up back to the idea that it all starts with the story.
What do you want to say, and how do you say it?
What will viewers see, and how will they see it?

With limited viewer attention time you must have effective efficient delivery of stories and video can deliver. Jack Welch is quoted as saying, “You can’t manage what you do not measure.” It is easy to measure video viewers. However now there may be new tools to measure the effectiveness of the well told story.

Dr. Paul Zak used an emotional film to measure how our brains respond to effective storytelling.  As part of this research brain neural activity was measured of viewers. He discovered even a simple narrative, if it follows elements of the dramatic arc of exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and dénouement, described by playwright Gustav Freytag, can evoke powerful empathic responses associated with neurochemicals cortisol and oxytocin.

Brain responses to storytelling can translate into actions. In Dr. Zak’s research his subjects increased donations to charity and gifts to others in the research group.  He found stories that did not follow the dramatic arc, no matter how happy or pleasant they may be, produced little if any chemical or emotional response, and lacked a similar response to action. His research contains clues on measuring the well-made story.

This was the test story.

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What makes a well-made story for you?

Try these links:

http://futureofstorytelling.org/

Paul Zak: Trust, morality — and oxytocin

http://www.moralmolecule.com/

For discussions on script writing listen to the Script Notes podcast: http://johnaugust.com/podcast

The Digital Convergence Podcast Episode 94: The Producer Show included these topics

Why is story telling important to business?
What is your goal in story telling?
How do you develop an effective story?
What is the structure of a good story?
How do you know if a story is too long, short, or just right?

To listen to the podcast click here: Episode 94: The Producer Show If you have not seen, the funniest movie on producing is The Producers by Mel Brooks with Zero Mostel & Gene Widler. The Producers – 1968 (Trailer)

Jonathan Gottschall in his book The Story Telling Animal  suggests humans are “wired” for storytelling and offers a theory that we use storytelling to help navigate complex social problems in life.

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Nancy Duarte: The Secret Structure of Great Talks?
On the structure of Steve Job‘s presentations to Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream speech”, Nancy compares common construction of successful stories.

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Pictures Better Than Words?

Teachers know the problem is not content but delivery. Using text only email, introduces a reader time consumption problem. Best text is distilled like poetry with pictures & video for effective delivery. Understanding the Picture Superiority Effect helps deliver.

“When it comes to memory, researchers have known for more than 100 years that pictures and text follow very different rules. Put simply, the more visual the input becomes, the more likely it is to be recognized—and recalled. The phenomenon is so pervasive, it has been given its own name: the pictorial superiority effect, or PSE.”   John Medina

The Evolution of Communication?

Picture Superiority Effect Evolution

A brief history of writing from the British Museum (click for video)

A Research Paper on the Picture Superiority Effect.

“Conceptual and perceptual factors in the picture superiority”
EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY 2006, p.1-35, Georg Stenberg, Kristianstad University, Kristianstad, Sweden