Telling Stories within Stories.
Morgans is a great little coffee and lunch hang out on Table View Beachfront. We often come here for brain storming sessions in an office outside of the office environment. The best part is having a front row Table Mountain seat. Today we came to Morgans to tell you a little more about a unique Travelvids lesson: Micro Stories.
So what is is a Micro Story?
When we make a video about one of our experiences we are telling the viewer a story. Not just any story, but our story. This story is hardly ever a straight line from beginning to end. Like in the movies or a good novel, the plot twists and turns and builds and drops. There are also various aspects that make up the beginning middle and end. Sometimes we announce our stories verbally (read more on this) and other times we use a series of shots.
At first glance the video about Morgans is a very simple video of Darren & Dean going for lunch at a local coffee shop. What you don’t consciously realise is that a lot of the information is subliminal. This type of info is not always important for the viewer to know consciously, but is important for you as a creator to be aware of. It will enhance the depth to your story as well as guide you to making better and better shot-lists (knowing what you want to film, before you film). Let’s break down a couple of scenes to show you what I’m talking about.
Scene 1 - Walking to Morgans
The first 12 seconds of this video are a variety of shots showing us walk to the coffee shop. One thing is obvious, because we said it out loud and then even added a title: we going for lunch. What is not consciously obvious is that we are in walking distance from our destination, it’s a safe neighbourhood & the walk has some great views.
We can walk. It’s a safe area. Look at that view.
There are also some shots of other places along the way like the Ice Cream Cafe. By wanting to show people all of these elements we drew up some ideas of what to film. Placing the shots in a little series tell the viewer a story within the bigger picture of the story. This is a great tool to use if you are shouting out your accommodation.
Scene 2 - Making Coffee
There is a series of shots of the barista making and delivering our coffee. It may be obvious that this is a scene of “coffee being made” so we don’t need to spell it out. So what is the purpose of this micro story? Well, it’s simply a neat trick of making one shot into many which instantly makes your video that much more interesting to watch.
Break an action down into as many short clips as you can rather than filming the whole process and trying to cut it up afterwards.
Scene 3 - Reverse Angles
The Micro story doesn’t always have to be a long series of shots. Sometimes two shots are enough to tell the viewer something subliminal. By facing the camera at yourself in one shot & looking at a view directly after, the viewer will automatically put the two together and deduce that you are seeing this view. We call this a POV or point-of-view shot.
Yes, this is also a micro story.
Ultimately this idea of Micro stories is just a way for you to break down an idea or a scene into various shots. Make use of angles, shot types & direct speech to vary the dynamics of the video. This will not only make it more fun to watch but also give your main story much more substance.
So, even if you are only having a quick lunch at a local cafe, you can capture 10 easy shots that will tell a story about what you experienced on that day, whilst enjoying your holiday. Who knows, you might even get a free coffee? There is a double feature lecture in our online course on Micro stories. Check it out!!!!
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