7 ways to improve your video storytelling

The best video stories get close to help viewers feel, taste, hear, smell and see the story. And they get wide to give viewers context and perspective. Here are some ways to bring viewers into your story.

  • Put the camera on the shadow side to record better video. Have your source face 20 or 30 degrees away from the key source of light, not toward it.
  • Don't pan or zoom when shooting video. When you needlessly zoom and pan, you add distraction.
  • Shoot in sequenced shots, the way your eyes see.
  • When the eye and the ear compete, the eye wins. Images should not overwhelm the words, and the words make the video even more powerful and meaningful
  • Pay attention to--and capture--natural sound when shooting video. It immerses the viewer the story and enriches the video in a way that words can't.
  • Pay attention to framing when shooting video. A TV story should be shot differently than a story that people will watch on mobile.
  • Get rid of visual distractions and movements in the background by changing the depth of field.

Taken from 100 Ideas to Make Your Journalism Better, a webinar replay with Poynter's Al Tompkins at Poynter NewsU.

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    Vicki Krueger

    Vicki Krueger has worked with The Poynter Institute for more than 20 years in roles from editor to director of interactive learning and her current position as marketing communications manager.

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