Video Storytelling Revisited

About ten years ago, I received my Master’s of Communications, with an emphasis in digital media. I remember the first video story I produced for my video production class– Soulard Market in St. Louis, one of the last open air markets still in existence today. My classmates and I, fresh from learning the basics of shot composition and interviewing techniques, ventured down to the market one early Saturday morning to find our story. We had basic information about the market, but we wanted something more. We wanted a story to resonate with our audience (our classmates and friends and family–this was before YouTube was well, YouTube). Armed with our big huge HD camera on our shoulder, we wandered through the crowded halls of the market, shooting everything from close-ups of veggies to wide shots of happy people discovering what was in season. At one point, we met a local musician, who would set up in his corner every Saturday with his guitar and hat open for change, and I remember him saying, “Everybody. This place is for everybody.”  We had found our story.  I went on to use that first video when I started teaching high school video storytelling. And it has since been one of my favorite projects I’ve ever produced. And I had to go to grad school to do it.

Today, I’m teaching my 4/5/6 graders how to do the same thing. Crazy how times have changed. The 5/6 graders just finished a video commercial for their original Science City exhibit as part of a contest. We have no delusions of grandeur that we will win or even be selected as finalists, but I am so proud of this great group of creatives. The director, he even learned FCX. I was amazed at how quickly he picked it up, after a few mini-lessons. I didn’t do much on this video except teach and consult. They did it all—and I think it turned out quite well for a first production!

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