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How to use Filmmaker Storytelling Techniques to Captivate Your Audience

By Ian Anderson Gray

Confident Live Marketing Podcast

Posted in Content & Marketing

November 13, 2020

EP 82 - Blog Image

Are you worried that your live videos are, well… boring?!

Are you concerned that your audience is getting distracted and switching off?

What if you could learn from filmmakers and documentary makers and tell stories that will actually captivate your audience?

Well, in this episode I’m joined by a fabulously talented guy… Pascal Fintoni.
He’s also the most lovely guy you could meet!

He’s a professional trainer and speaker with over 25 years practical experience in digital marketing and has worked across diverse industry sectors developing and implementing audience engagement campaigns.

I can’t wait to talk about storytelling techniques in this show. Pascal is also a video producer and has introduced many of the storytelling techniques used by filmmakers into his coaching to help his clients create great online reputations.

What You’ll Learn

[09:27] How Pascal found his passion for video
[17:55] How long it should take to tell a story
[21:09] Pascal’s thoughts on live video
[25:24] What Pascal means by ‘storytelling’
[37:05] About other techniques and considerations used by filmmakers that are useful for live streamers
[48:14] How to keep your viewers watching to the end

This episode is sponsored by Content10X

How Pascal Got Into Video
Listen at [09:27]

As a child, film was an escape for Pascal. When he was 6 years old he was diagnosed with cancer and was in the hospital for 18 months. For various reasons, he had to isolate and so television was his only companion.

The nurses allowed him to watch movies all night long and before long he started to make up stories about the characters in the films he watched. His love for film continued into his teens with his love for cinema, but it only became part of his professional toolkit when he became a marketing officer, back in the days of VHS cassettes.

He was given the job of making a marketing video in the travel industry but began to feel that what was being created was boring and too factual – there were no characters or stories.

Pascal felt he was too young and junior to tell his boss but approached him anyway. He then had to go and tell the production team (all twice his age) that they were now going to be making a documentary rather than a promotional video.

Once filmed, each one of their several thousands of customers had to be sent a copy on VHS cassette.

“They took forever to dispatch! I learned a big lesson, the creation bit you will work around, distribution is far more important. That’s why I’m so interested in live video. The distribution is taken care of.”

In 2005, Pascal got a letter from the taxman to say he’d been overpaying his tax and he got a cheque in the post. The decision was to spend the money on the house extension or buying film-making kits… to this day his wife is still awaiting the extension!

How Long Should It Take to Tell a Story?
Listen at [17:55]

"Always be ready to tell a story in as short a time as possible. Always have plan b, c and d. When you’re recording outside for example, the weather can turn. There needs to be parts you can take out. The set up of the story should be able to be explained within 3 minutes and then you can expand upon it."

Always be ready to tell a story in as short a time as possible. Always have plan b, c and d. There needs to be parts you can take out. The setup of the story should be able to be explained within 3 minutes and then be expanded upon. @pascalfintoniClick To Tweet

Pascal’s Thoughts on Live Video
Listen at [21:09]

"Actually, as part of my coaching I thought live video was actually your black belt in video storytelling, you had to master the other forms before doing live. But I’ve come full circle on that and now I actually ask people to go live first."

For Pascal, it’s because live video takes away the editing and distribution and gives people the chance to film in one-shot wonders. When you become a confident live streamer you can bring that confidence into other types of video.

As part of Pascal’s coaching service, he’s going to be launching a show called The Film with Friends Experiment. There’ll be film reviews, a critique of trailers and inviting fans and filmmakers to talk. He’s also going to be giving away production tips and things for them to try in their own video creation.

What Does Pascal Mean by ‘Storytelling’?
Listen at [25:24]

"Filmmakers try to be an observer and narrator of what is happening to others that the audience can relate to."

The no 1 story that engages us all, is:

How are people that I can relate to coping with a sudden change to their world?

Your job is to be the re-teller of stories that happen to others and that the audience can relate to.

Pascal suggests using seven story elements:

  1. Why is the world changing? In films, for example, a stranger rides into town and changes the status quo, but it could be new technology, a group of people or an individual.
  2. How is my hero dealing with that change and trying to adapt?
  3. Are they trying to go on a quest to ultimately learn how to change/cope?
  4. Or there’s the ‘assemble’ element, where people have to put together a team with different skill sets (with all the challenges that can bring.)
  5. Or metamorphosis, do they need to change so radically that they’ll be transformed so they can cope with that change?
  6. Why is it so difficult? Is it a race against time? Is it impossible at face value?
  7. Then there’s the ‘two voices’ story element – the hero torn between two bits of advice or courses of action. One option is very risky and the other takes longer and more effort.

Pascal uses Post-It notes and whiteboards in his coaching with his clients to help them map out all these different story elements in their filmmaking.

All or even some of these story elements can be incorporated into your live videos. Even when it comes to interviewing someone on your lives, whatever it is you're talking about, bring elements in such as, why is it so difficult? What are the different ways people can overcome it?

Other Techniques and Considerations Used by Filmmakers That Could Be Useful for Live Streamers
Listen at [37:05]

The stranger element is so important. The hero and all the supporting characters have no knowledge of what/who it is and they need to get to understand it and how to deal with it.

When it comes to ‘telling’ this is where your voice, talent and imagination comes in. How are you going to translate the story into visual elements?

Typically they’ll think about it in shots, what’s the principal imagery?

Then consider secondary shots, showing emotions, for example.

In live video can you cut away from the live shot of you to a gently edited bit of footage to show a motion, a solution or a place? If you can this will make you a true visual storyteller.

Pascal also suggests having a still storyboard for live video. He encourages people to doodle and sketch what they want people to see. Storyboard your live session in advance and incorporate pre-recorded 20 sec video clips for example and stock footage.

"When it comes to planning your live content, think about what you want your audience to feel, and then what you want them to hear and see."

Filmmakers have a location list too, so you should have three types of locations that you can film in (obviously this is difficult at the moment!) Keep the location different and it helps keep things interesting for your views.

You can also use the technique of flashbacks to tap into nostalgia. You can source so much content from the web, such as the first moon landing, etc., and bring a sense of direction into your content.

When it comes to planning your live content, think about what you want your audience to feel, and then what you want them to hear and see. @pascalfintoniClick To Tweet

How to Keep Your Viewers Watching to the End
Listen at [48:14]

You have to use the ‘set up’. You as the independent live show producer have crafted a visual story in advance, you set up the subject matter, the problem and the solution. People will stay with you because they want to see the resolution. If the set up is not strong, people will be less willing to stick around.

There should be a lot going on in the first 60-90 seconds. You can make it engaging with stock footage from a website like Pexels or your own footage.

One of the most important ways to keep people watching though is remembering those segments. When you deliver the story, having those clear segments is crucial.

Resources

This Episode's Sponsor

This episode is sponsored by Content10X

Watch Episode 82

Content10X


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Pascal Fintoni dot com - Portrait

Who is Pascal Fintoni?

Pascal Fintoni is a professional trainer and speaker with over 25 years practical experience in digital marketing. Pascal has worked across diverse industry sectors developing and implementing audience engagement campaigns.

Pascal is also a video producer and he has introduced many of the storytelling techniques used by filmmakers into his coaching to help his clients create great online reputations.

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How to use Filmmaker Storytelling Techniques to Captivate Your Audience
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