The Pencil is the most important tool in media production

It's not the pictures that make a video great - it's the story. This explains why Citizen Kane, Vertigo and The Godfather still feature at the top of the all time greats lists.

Effective video begins with planning!

If you're making a feature film based on an existing story, you must understand the messages already in the story. If you're making corporate video, you start by understanding who you want to communicate with and what you want them to think or do after the have watched the video.

You can then start to identify the messages that will both engage the chosen audience and provoke the action you want.

Only then can you start to develop the "story" that will contain the messages.

Story structure

There are many different Theories of Story, many of them widely mis-understood. These theories provide a framework based on what we already know works.

We know that you must connect with your audience on both an emmotional level and a logical level. You must show the relevance of the story to them personally within seconds of starting, and you must guide them to understand the impact and significance of the story. And all this is in addition to the basic "through-line".

Once you have the story you caan begin on what's called the shooting script. This fits together the dialogue with the shots. The challenge is to make the shots not simply relevent but "parallel" to the audio clarifying or extending the ideas expressed in the audio.

All to often what is produced resembles the example by Charlie Brooker below. 


Finally we can start thinking about using a camera.

Which camera we use will depend on a variety of things. What production values are needed - low production values do not mean low quality! (see the article on this subject)

We can also start planning lighting and audio recording, sets or venues and crew.