What Video Storytelling is Not

It was bound to happen – still photographers shooting video like still images – as DSLR’s became hybrids, capable of shooting both stills and video.  I’m starting to see video clips strung together in a timeline – like a pagination of images in a magazine – but without a cohesive storyline told through edited sequences or an audio/narrative track telling the story.   It’s neither here nor there – not achieving the lingering power of a still photograph, nor utilizing the power of motion and sound to give a story more dimension.
The problem as I see it when I come across these “samples” is that these still photographers are not thinking in motion.

I think totally differently when I shoot video than when I shoot stills.  Stills are moments in time – video is time in motion.  That means that when I shoot video I’m always thinking about the big picture – how will I get into and out of a shot.  What is coming before this shot and what is coming after?  I know to think this way because I’ve edited my own material.  Editing video is a great way to learn how to be a better shooter.  It becomes very clear in the editing room – what you should have shot to be able to cut together a cohesive story.

I learned video storytelling at one of the Platypus Workshops from Dirck Halstead and PF Bentley.  PF continues to inspire me with his storytelling skills in the video medium as he explores shooting with an HD-DSLR.  Check out a couple of his videos – beautiful storytelling and creatively executed.

So once again – it’s not about the tool – the camera.  Don’t think that because you buy a DSLR capable of shooting video that’s all there is to it.  If you really want to use the power of these new cameras – it starts with your vision and how to relay that in motion.

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3 Replies to “What Video Storytelling is Not”

  1. Thanks Gail…well said. I didn’t know you were a fellow platypi? I attended the first one in Norman, Oklahoma in 1999. Recommend it for all still photographers still entering the video arena. I believe they are now using Dslr’s exclusively.

    1. I believe I was in the next class in Norman. Was Rolf there when you were there? And yes the next Platypus is in Las Vegas to coincide with NAB and they’ll be using 7D’s

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