Tips on Storytelling Effectively



Osgood and Hinshaw’s article titled “Visual Storytelling”was very informative to me because I did not know most of its contents. I have very little experience with videotaping and then no experience in editing. What I learned has been very exciting because it will greatly help us in our efforts to make two videos. There were many considerations that must be accounted for that I had not previously been made aware of.

When I think about why that is, I think it’s because I have witnessed such flawless editing in most of what I see (such as in movies or tv shows) that I don’t notice all of the little things done right that must happen in order for a story to be told. Editors have accomplished their goal with me: to not let their audience become aware of their edits. Now that I am aware, I have a big appreciation for all of their work in telling a story as beautifully and seamlessly as it can be. “Naturally, the audience probably isn’t thinking about production techniques unless there are technical problems, misuse of technique, or the edit has been created to draw attention to the technique. Editors should approach the task to ensure that every cut in a program has a purpose, with the goal of keeping the edit transparent to the viewer” (Osgood and Hinshaw 22-23). Editing varies from clips of a few minutes to just a few frames. This means that there can be hundred of edits within a single minute. 



To make the story flow well, b-roll is added and a voice over is as well to give the viewers more clarity about what is being told. The more images, the more clarity there is in what is being talked about. Images are crucial in establishing setting. Images can be confusing though if it isn’t believable. Images must make sense and the order of images is key in making or breaking the understanding of what is being depicted. To avoid not having video that does not make sense, it is always best to have more film than not have enough because extra and unused video can always just be left out.

editing 2

The pacing of the video is also really crucial in making the audience understand what is being said because it should have nice flow, but not move so fast that it cannot be understood. This relates to continuity (consistency between shots) because this is key in making the story flow. If there needs to be changed, a jump cut (lacking continuity) is used. There are different kinds of continuity:

  • Physical continuity: subject’s appearance remains the same for the duration desired/makes sense for it to be
  • Technical continuity: lighting, audio levels, image quality all unified and similar

Other miscellaneous tips include:

  • In telling a story, it’s important to be considerate of minute details, such as showing a story by if an image is showed after a character is shown looking in a direciton, that says that that image is what is seen by that character.
  • Montage (unrelated video clips brought together by music) and sequence (video clips that relate to each other) can be used to illustrate the narrative
  • Transitions should be smooth: shot to shot, scene to scene
  • Here’s a video that highlights practical tips on how to shoot

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