Find Those Storytelling Nuggets

Sometimes when telling a client’s story, the best story is an actual story. And there are times when you find them in the most unusual places.

Listen. Learn. Leap.

I interview a lot of people who have no extensive or professional experience speaking in front of a camera. It’s understandable. When people see that little red tally light turn on in the front of the camera, they can become a deer caught in headlights. So it’s my job as the director to make them feel comfortable. One way I do that is getting them to talk about something they can get excited about. james-storyEarlier this year we were filming a promotional video for one of our clients at Mighty 8th Media. The company is Byteworks, an IT consultancy.

As we interviewed one of their partners, I needed to get him comfortable. I knew he was passionate about science, so I did what I normally do and engaged with him about a topic I knew he loved. As the camera rolled, I asked him how he got into science. He proceeded to tell me the story of how his grandfather bought him one of those 50-in-1 electronic kits from Radio Shack that allowed you to make a little transistor radio or communicator.

As soon as we heard that story, we knew we were going to work it into the video some how. Our idea was simple: film a kid putting together such a kit and use that as the book ends for the video. It would elevate the look and feel of the video beyond a traditional promo to something special. An inspirational piece that gave valuable insight into what sets Byteworks apart from its competition.

It was kind of a gamble because it could come off totally cheesy (which this client hates.) But they trusted our instinct and we went for it. When they saw the final video, the partner whom we interviewed just had one word: “BRILLIANT!”

The moral of the story…

As you go about the process of telling your client’s story, listen for keywords and stories that can take your project to a new level. Learn all you can about them so you can discover those nuggets. Then take a leap of faith to implement what you’ve learned in some creative way.

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