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Don't Show a Video–Tell a Story!

I don’t fly as often as I used to but, more often than not, I pull out a book to read since I don’t like to type on my laptop while cramped up in coach seating. Every so often, I’ll plug my headphones in to watch the in-flight movie.

A while ago I remember watching a movie (“Two Weeks Notice”) entirely without my headphones. It was interesting because I actually was able to follow the story line without ever hearing a word. This reminded me of my film school days where the instructor taught us about storytelling with the camera. It’s so very true: More often than not, we should be able to tell the story (or at least the theme of the story) without audio.

At the same time, audio can really make a scene come alive, so I’m not saying to make silent movies. For example, a lightsaber isn’t a lightsaber without “that sound“.

Too often I’ll have unsolicited videos from churches arrive for my critique. The one major problem with most of them? They don’t tell a story. Interviews that last 10 minutes and never center around a theme or draw me into the story; promotional spots that have lots of graphics and rockin’ music, but fail to capture the essence (story) of the event and/or ministry.

It’s more food for thought than it is a rule of thumb, but ask yourself if your videos are telling stories or showcasing the technology.

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Anthony has worked in the secular world of A/V, the ministry world of church staff and the para-church ministry of three companies that serve the church space (Auxano, Fellowship Technologies and Worlds of Wow!). Today, his consultancy focuses on helping churches and para-church ministries leverage appropriate systems, processes and technologies for more effective ministry. Anthony leads out of his strengths of effectively caring for people, efficiently managing resources and enabling scalable growth. He has been consulting, teaching, writing and speaking to church and business leaders for nearly 20 years.