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We All Have a Story To Tell

Who’s Excited for Chicago Ideas Week?!

In a couple of days, Chicago Ideas Week kicks off with over 200 global thought leaders taking the stage to share their ideas and personal stories with thousands of people.  At Bottle Rocket Media this got us thinking about how we all have a story to tell and you don’t necessarily need a podium to share it. So in honor of this week-long festival, here’s some thoughts and tips from us about great storytelling.

We All Have a Story To Tell

Yes yes, we’ve heard this a thousand times. It’s over-used, but it is very true. And no matter what medium you’re working within, you have to find the story. Let’s stress the importance of that again… you have to FIND it.  Sometimes it’s right in front of you. Other times you have to take the facts turn them inside out and upside down before you are presented with a story that will cut through the clutter and resonate with your audience.

We’ll never forget the time we were introduced to the beautiful world of Lurpak Butter. This catalog of spots is so stunning and they aren’t really even about the product line of butter. They’re about the adventure you go on when you use it.

And when Evian Water rolled up its sleeves for some branded content, we were gifted with a comical story about the water’s hometown. Seriously, its really funny and who knew Evian had such a dry sense of humor?

The Importance of Pre-Pre… Pre-Production

When it comes to finding that great brand story it’s all about doing your homework. If you don’t put in the lion’s share of the work on the front end of your project, before you even consider putting pen to paper, you will most certainly miss something. Here are some tips we consider necessary when it comes to finding, and telling, the best story for your brand.

Do the research

Starting off your project with a nod to Google is a logical place to start, but it isn’t enough. Dig in and dig in deep. Talk to people, read articles, talk to more people and read even more. Endless articles, books, and subject matter experts are out there waiting to be consulted.

Don’t just research your subject, get to know it

Investing your time can be tricky when you’re on a budget or an accelerated timeline, but an extra 30-minute phone call, meet-up over coffee, or secondary chat with subject matter experts will only bring your idea to the next level. The more insight and information you can gather, the more authenticity you will bring to your story.

Question your answers

When considering your story don’t take every answer at face value. If you are conducting an interview be sure to probe for more detailed answers. If you are doing research be sure to follow up with the source. Anyway you slice it, there is always more to learn about a subject.

Get buy-in upfront

When collaborating on a brand story, always confirm your ideas before you advance to the next phase of the project.  The tone, style, and point of view in your head need to be communicated to the brand experts in order to confirm the project is moving in the right direction.

So there you have it.  A few reminders to help you get started with your next big story. Go to Chicago Ideas Week.  And if you are looking for a team to tell your story reach out to Bottle Rocket Media for all of your video production services needs. We’d love to hear from you!

The Bullhorn| Meet Director Kristina Perreault

Meet Bottle Rocket Media Director Kristina Perreault

Kristina Perreault has been everywhere, man. This world-traveling lens master brings both a breathtaking portfolio and endless vision to Bottle Rocket Media’s growing roster of creative talent. Discover the inspiration behind her work!

What got you into directing?

I have always had visions—even from a young age, I was able to make them happen. When I was 14, I began making up random stories and I would enroll my friends to act them out. It was a blast! I guess I naturally fell into that role. It was never a goal of mine—it’s just who I am.

How/why did travel become such a big part of your work?

The world is magical, and I want to share that with people. Travel opens our eyes to different ways of life and takes us out of our little bubble of reality—it expands consciousness. That’s what I’m here for.

How does your style/technique tie into creating successful brand videos?

My work is an extension of the way I see things: full of wonder, excitement, sensuality and grace. I want people to feel how I feel about the subject through my work. With every project, I am focused on connecting viewers to a real emotion that brings them further into the message—one that hopefully stays with them long after.

What unique element(s) will you bring to BRM’s portfolio?

With all the dudes around here, my style definitely brings a much-needed feminine touch. That said, I feel my contributions nicely complement their existing slate.

What types of projects are you looking forward to in 2019?

More festivals and more travel!

What video technology/storytelling technique are you most excited about right now?

360 VR is finally on the rise in the travel industry. It’s the closest you can get to experiencing something new, somewhere else, without leaving your seat.

Favorite movie of all time and why…

Avatar really knocked my socks off when it came out. I love the story, the vibrancy, the world the characters live in, what they value and all the messaging throughout. It also looks a lot like my dreams – which is fun to see on film.

Breaking the fourth wall: The ultimate guide to storytelling

Hey you! Quick question! What do Hamilton, The Emperor’s New Groove, and The Office have in common? Or have you noticed any similarities between the movies Annie Hall, Fight Club, and Goodfellas? Aside from being Grade A entertainment, they all break the fourth wall — a storytelling technique that predates Shakespeare, and continues to be embraced by generations of filmmakers, playwrights, storytellers, and video production companies (yours truly included).

The phrase is based on the physical layout of a stage. Walls 1, 2, and 3 exist as backstage/set, stage left, and stage right. The last wall, the “fourth wall”, is the front of the stage and is the imaginary wall separating the fictional world on stage from real life.

When an actor is in character, they are pretending that an audience does not exist–otherwise, they would break the illusion created by the magic of television/film/theater.

When a character faces the camera and addresses the audience directly, we feel included, like they are letting us in on their deepest secrets and welcoming us into their world.

If the audience’s suspension of belief is broken–even for a second, the fourth wall will come tumbling down. But more often than not, breaking the fourth wall is an effective technique used to engage with the audience, let them in on a secret, provide information, or build a heightened connection. Audiences appreciate and enjoy personal conversations and relationships, so when a character faces the camera and addresses them directly, it feels like they’re letting the audience into the world of the film or play.

For fun, take a look at the opening monologue of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

Ferris breaks the fourth wall multiple times in his explanation of what he is about to do. In context, he is skipping school for the ninth day in the same semester—and shamelessly showing us his entire secret game plan. This automatically makes him a likable character. From this opening scene forward, we’re on Team Ferris (Ferris Bueller v. The School Principal). If the kid was selling something, you just bought it.

Deadpool is another great example of this technique. In this case, the act of breaking the fourth wall is used as a storytelling tactic. Deadpool’s origin as a character leads his comic book readers to always question whether or not he is insane. By breaking the fourth wall, he is consciously aware that he is in a book filled with pictures, while all other characters completely accept that they are in fiction as if it were reality. Check out all the times Deadpool broke the fourth wall in the video below.

Tips on breaking the fourth wall

Breaking the fourth wall must be done in a conscious and precise manner to reap its full benefits. When executed in an amateurish manner, it can immediately alienate the audience from the main plot and characters and pull them out of the fictional world. 

Here are a few tips that will create a fully immersive experience for the viewers when the fourth wall is broken:

  1. Be bold: Dare to take bold steps for heightened emotional response. 
  2. Be funny: Use it for creating maximum comic relief.
  3. Be consistent: Break the fourth wall in the right way so it neither feels overwhelming nor underwhelms you with its lack of consistency.

Below are a few contexts in which media can break the fourth wall:

  1. A commercial that directly states that the point of the spot is to get the viewer to buy a product
  2. A narrator in a story pointing out that the book doesn’t have a happy ending or instructing us to close the book and stop reading entirely
  3. An ad asking readers or viewers directly if they’ve seen a product like theirs before
  4. An ad that asks thoughtful questions that might have room for discussion, rather than just a direct call-to-action that baits an action from the viewer

Why should you break the fourth wall?

By breaking the fourth wall, you create more intimacy between the actors and the audience, and it helps strengthen their relationship. It also acts as a comedic device to trigger laughs. The audience engages and participates more when the fourth wall is broken the right way.

How often should it be done?

There is no hard and fast rule of when you should break the fourth wall. However, whenever you choose to do it, you don’t want the audience to question your decision to use the trope. It should flow naturally and feel like an inherent part of the movie’s structure irrespective of what is the desired outcome. When done too frequently without any real purpose, it can disrupt the pace of the movie and drag the audience out of it.

How it can benefit a scene?

Breaking the fourth wall benefits a scene in numerous ways. 

  1. It is an effective technique that increases audience participation and builds on a heightened connection. 
  2. The audience feels included and gets to enjoy personal conversations, secrets, and relationships. 
  3. Elevates your storytelling and adds emotional heft. 
  4. It is used for building trust, to create humor, and take us deep into a pivotal character’s psyche. 
  5. Communicates vital information.
  6. Adds a sense of urgency to the scene
  7. Invokes a sense of fear among the audience 

So why are we telling you about this?  Well, how special do you feel when you’ve been singled out to be given a message? Pretty cool, right? We like to harness this technique to make your video really pop. Want to get in close with your audience? Break the fourth wall!

In your next script, commercial, social media video, or other types of media, try calling out to your audience. Give them an opportunity to feel connected to your characters, your story, and the cause you’re fighting for. It could be just the right approach to communicate your core message. Sound complicated? Don’t worry, we will help you out! Let us know your ideas and Start Your Project today!

Interactive 360 Video Project Shout-Out: Cocktails With Becci

Using 360 Virtual Reality To Make Videos Interactive

Cocktail how-to videos aren’t exactly a groundbreaking way to promote a mixologist or the bar where they work. It’s a stagnant, standard formula: a static frame around the bartender, shot from the waist up, watching a drink be assembled ingredient by ingredient. We decided to break the mold with our cocktail how-to series focused on Becci, the star drink-slinger at Autre Monde in Berwyn, Illinois, whose fun, outgoing personality can’t be tamed. As big-time fans of 360 video and the many creative ways filmmakers can use it, we leapt at the opportunity to turn the standard how-to on its head with interactive film and content.

“Cocktails with Becci” Q&A with Brett Singer

What was the vision and inspiration behind the “Cocktails with Becci” series?

We made this series during our early days of experimenting with 360 video production. We wanted to create a series of videos that was fun, interesting and educational, and really see how much we could do with this new medium. Weeks before we decided to make the videos I had sat in nearly in that exact same seat at the bar, watching Becci mix up a delicious Sazerac for me, and thought, this is kind of a cool moment. Maybe it’s worth exploring.

How did you come up with the idea to use interactive 360 video technology for this series, and how does it take this series beyond the standard “bartender how-to” archetype?

As a 360 video creator, you’re always thinking about projects and ideas that would benefit from this new medium. I like watching smart, creative people do their craft. I think there’s magic there. I don’t care if you’re an artist, a gaffer, a plumber, or a bartender—I like watching people do physical jobs well. They make it look easy. But most how-to videos don’t capture that whole experience of seeing someone flex their muscle inside their creative spaces. Watching Becci mix ingredients is interesting, but to also capture how at ease she feels in this environment, and what it feels like to watch her do her thing from a perch on a barstool, paints a much better picture of how I felt that first day sitting at her bar. And, you get to learn how to make a drink, too!

What elements contributed to the effectiveness of the storytelling?

I think Becci is the most effective storytelling element. She’s a wildly experienced bartender who teaches classes on mixology and is effortless in front of the camera. I’ve sat for hours just watching her work and it’s incredible. Her work is complex, and fast, and she does it with grace. She’s the best.

I also think adding the second close-up camera is a cool detail. In 360 you often want to lean in, or zoom into moments, and you can’t. This technique allowed us to use both the 360 space and a close-up camera to stitch together a truly immersive experience.

How do you think your approach to this video helped to capture the unique elements of Becci’s personal style and the Autre Monde brand?

Any video with only one person in it will obviously, for better or worse, highlight their personality and put a spotlight literally and figuratively on them. Becci has a huge personality and a massive smile. For the most part we just got out of her way because we knew she’d knock it out of the park.

Did any obstacles come up while making this video? If so, how did you work around them?

Honestly, no. It was smooth sailing and happened so fast (we did one take per video) that we should have planned better and done 6-10 videos. But we literally shot them all in about 30 minutes.

What was your favorite part of the project and why?

The feedback we’ve gotten from the videos has been great. Super positive, and everyone seems to enjoy them. So, that’s always good. Plus we got to do some great day drinking.

Do you have a favorite cocktail from Becci’s series?

I’m a whiskey drinker, and I like a classic, well made Old Fashioned, with great bourbon.

Give Your Viewers an Immersive VIP Tour With 360 Video

How a peek behind the scenes can give your audience engagement a major boost

No one can resist a “behind the scenes” tour, and 360 videos provide the perfect opportunity to give viewers a rare experience without having to leave their couch. For brands, 360 video tours are the perfect way to connect with viewers. If you’re hosting an event or spotlighting a cool venue, a 360 video tour can give your customers an interactive look inside their favorite company. Here’s how to make them work for you.

Finding the Right Time and Place

The best candidate for a 360 video tour is an exclusive event or a space your viewers wouldn’t normally get to explore. Look for locations with excitement from all sides, like a movie set, a colorful cultural event or a rare tour of a stunning home. The most important part of a video tour is offering your viewers a new experience. WeWork used a 360 video tour to showcase its unique coworking space in New York, offering its followers a glimpse of Times Square as well as a tour of their lively workspace that only members can usually enjoy. Access to that workspace is what they’re selling, and their tour gave potential customers a peek inside, while also highlighting the brand’s personality. E! News recently took readers inside reality star and model Kendall Jenner’s closet—a place they’ve never seen and would never be able to explore if not for the 360 tour.

When It’s The Wrong Time and Place

Not every story needs to be told with a 360 video tour, and the strongest candidates complement the message your brand is trying to share. If you’re not sure whether a 360 video tour is right for your event or location, consider what a guest would see and think if you gave them free rein to wander the space. The scene should have multiple points of interaction all around the room. If there isn’t an abundance of detail for viewers to explore, or if the story has a single focal point, a traditional video with a narrow focus might be better.

Plan The Story AND The Scene

Start your 360 video tour project by thinking about the video’s mission, audience and story. If you’re going skydiving, you don’t just want to show viewers a shot of you falling through the sky. Talk to the skydivers as they’re prepping inside the plane before the jump. In addition to mapping a narrative, you should also plan out the whole 360 degree scene. Make the most of your space, and invite your subject to move around and interact with their surroundings. Remove anything you wouldn’t want viewers to see—a messy desk, a poster with questionable language—and arrange props any you want use or highlight during the video.

If you’re thinking of telling your brand’s story with a 360 video tour, contact Bottle Rocket Media for help creating a stunning one-of-a-kind video experience. You name the place, and we’ll transport your audience there.

How Does 360 Video Work, Anyway?

A crash course in the cutting-edge technology that’s changing the way people think about video

What’s 360 Video?

360-degree video has transformed the way people capture and share their world. Using multiple lenses to record everything around them simultaneously, these high-tech cameras create interactive movies that viewers can interact with in real-time. The technology is relatively new, but 360 videos have already gained enormous popularity. They’re more interactive and engaging than static videos or photos, and they let viewers independently control what they see.

Hundreds of these videos are uploaded to Facebook daily, garnering millions of views daily.  It’s never been easier to make 360-degree videos, easier to share them, and a lot easier to watch them. Here’s what you need to know about the medium before you dive in.

There’s (Not Really) An App For That

Developers have created apps that make it easy to create 360 photos (or panoramas) by taking multiple photos and “stitching” them together. One app, Splash, will even allow you to combine photos and short clips into a video, so you get a 360-video-like effect. But because true 360 videos need a camera with multiple lenses, you won’t be able to put one together with just a single-lens phone and app.

Finding the Right Camera

There are many 360-degree cameras, and each offers unique benefits. For a hobbyist, a smartphone attachment like the Insta360 Nano can replicate the 360 video effect on a budget. For a high-end camera that will create a truly immersive 360 experience, production companies spend thousands upon thousands of dollars on the most cutting-edge tech. If you need a crystal-clear, professional video, consider partnering with a professional team with the experience and the highest quality equipment.

Where To Share

Many social media sites like Facebook and Twitter support 360 videos, and you can share these videos on video-dedicated sites like YouTube and Vimeo. In fact, Facebook and YouTube even support live streaming for 360-degree videos that your viewers can watch and interact with on their phones, tablet, or computer.

The Tough Stuff

Once you’ve shot your 360 videos, editing those multiple views together—or navigating the inescapable blind spots produced by a spherical camera lens—is the most challenging and specialized part. Without 360-specific training, it can be difficult for a hobbyist to self-teach. But we can help with that.

Thinking of making a 360-degree video? Check out our guide to decide if a 360-degree video is right for you—then reach out to Bottled Rocket Media’s team, and we’ll help with everything you need to make your immersive video project pop.

Video Project Shoutout: iO Comedy Network

Pairing cutting-edge video technology with the boundary-pushing improv teams at iO Comedy Network was a perfect match

Bottle Rocket Media recently had the privilege of teaming up with the world-famous talent at The iO Comedy Network to produce their very first 360 video improv experience. Shooting improv comedy in 360 video is a perfect pairing, allowing viewers to experience not only a hilarious onstage show, but also the magic that happens in the audience as the crowd and the performers feed off each other’s enthusiasm. We sat down with Brett Singer, Bottle Rocket’s creative director and the producer at the helm of this project, to get his take on this innovative fusion of live comedy and immersive video tech.

How was the project with The iO Comedy Network different than other 360 videos you’ve produced?

Capturing a live stage performance is a completely unique experience for us. With other 360 projects, we worked to tell a unique story for the 360 viewer using typical storytelling tools like editing, composition, and so on. For the iO Show, our paramount goal was to transport the viewer to the theater and make them feel as if they’re sitting in that audience—which is a long way of saying, we did our best to just let the amazing cast do their thing, and we were lucky enough to capture it.

Why did you choose 360 over traditional film?

In a theater environment, and especially in an improv theater space, the viewers make their own discoveries watching the performers across a wide stage. There’s so much competing for their attention: who should I watch? The 3 performers in the center of the stage, or the 4 waiting in the wings to jump in? I love seeing the actors’ wheels turn, so for me personally, I love catching those transition moments where new characters are introduced into a scene, and then watching closely as the other performers react. In 360 video we retain the viewer’s ability to make their own choices in what they want to watch. We’re not forcing them to focus on this performer only. They’re free to take in the whole theater experience.

How do you think using 360 enhanced the improv experience for viewers?

I think we captured something very special that night. These are world-class improvisers, and creating a 360 video experience where anyone—anywhere—can feel like they’re sitting in the audience is quite an accomplishment. It’s opening up the improv theater-going experience to not just the 150 people sitting in that crowd, but to anyone with a 360 headset. That’s a barrier that hasn’t been broken before now. So much of the improv experience is feeling the energy of the room, seeing the people around you, watching the whole stage and the performers. This 360 video gives you a front row seat.

Since the video consists of a continuous shot of the iO Theatre’s stage, was there any editing involved? Can you elaborate on the post-production process for this video?

We cut down the show a bit, just to tighten the length. The biggest post-production challenges were in the 360 degree spatial audio editing. We captured audio with individual lav mics for each performer, and then a 4-channel spatial audio mic for the room and audience. Blending all of those sources together into one smooth mix is what really tricks your brain into thinking you’re really in that room.

What was your favorite part of this project?

The show itself. Those iO performers (the group is called “The Late 90’s”) deserve all the credit (obviously!) for making this project such a success, and getting to enjoy their performances over and over again during the post process was my favorite part. We can’t wait for the next one!

The Magic of Motion Graphic Videos

Video projects have been limited to things you can see, shoot or reenact — until now

The beauty of videos is that they provide a million different ways to tell a story. One we are particularly fond of is using motion graphics to paint a picture for viewers that might not be possible with simple B-roll or on-camera interviews. In a nutshell, motion graphics are animated illustrations that tell a story. Motion graphics can provide a fresh, creative way to visualize information. Here’s how to get on board with the trend.

Why Motion Graphics?

Visualizing information helps strengthen your audience’s understanding of your message (in fact, 65% of people are visual learners). Sure, pie charts and bar graphs aren’t anything new—we’ve all snoozed through a PowerPoint presentation or squinted at a low-res infographic shared on Facebook. What sets motion graphics apart is their dynamic nature and their compatibility with multimedia projects. Rather than be restricted to static facts and stationary symbols, motion graphics allow you to combine kinetic text, voiceovers, moving images, and animated graphs to add impact and deepen viewers’ understanding of the information you’re sharing.

Are Motion Graphics Right for You?

Before you run off to start a storyboard, it’s important to realize that motion graphics aren’t necessarily a match for every application. But they are particularly good for expressing abstract or complex ideas that might otherwise be difficult to capture on film. City Year’s “Potential” video is a great example of how motion graphics can be used in an impactful and emotional way. Their nonprofit’s concept and the statistics driving their work could be difficult to convey in more traditional video mediums. But with motion graphics, they successfully create a moving and inspiring snapshot of what they do and why.

Cost-effective, shareable, and full of infinite possibilities, motion graphics have become a popular choice for nonprofits looking to differentiate their message. And there are countless other opportunities where they can work their magic to make a video pop. Motion graphics can be easily adapted to enhance educational or explainer videos, new product reveals, kinetic logos, and more. We mean it when we say the possibilities are endless.

How Do I Start Using Motion Graphics?

As with a standard video medium, you should always start with your audience. Think about who you are trying to reach and how you want to make them feel. When the video is over, what do you want them to remember? Using these questions as a starting point will help shape a strong overall concept for your video and will lay the groundwork for the rest of the project. Then you can move on to the fun and creative task of brainstorming and storyboarding your ideas, combining your script and visuals, and seeing the whole thing come together.

An experienced video production and motion graphics company can turn your ideas into polished animations so you can start sharing your story with the world. If you want to break into the wide, wonky world of motion graphics, Bottle Rocket Media can help you get started!

The Impact of Your Video’s Soundtrack

How to choose the best music for your brand’s message

Last month we talked about how music plays a huge role in creating empathy with video. Well, we’ve got a lot more to say on that topic. In 2017, empathy is the name of the game in marketing, and getting your soundtrack right is just as important as nailing down the visuals. Video has the ability to direct how the viewer feels using time-tested audio and visual cues, and choosing the right soundtrack ensures that your video hits the right note with the audience.

Tips for Choosing the Right Music for your Video

Determine the emotional content

Before you even get to the music—or the filming for that matter—you have to define the emotional goals for the video you’re producing. Make sure to sit down with the video team right off the bat and determine what the emotional focus of the video will be. Doing your homework early on will pay off big time, making for a smoother overall filming and editing process.

Establish tone and pace

Think about the soundtrack to your favorite movie–while the set, storylines, and characters are all an important part of creating a memorable emotional journey, the soundtrack can go a long way toward setting the tone of the scene, or placing it in the right context. It’s no different when it comes to creating marketing videos that highlight your brand. Soundtracks play a key role in the overall mood and tone of video and guide the viewer along the emotional journey you’re trying to create, so make sure the choice of music is adding something significant to the story.

As Alfred Hitchcock once said, “If music and pictures are doing the same thing then one of them is being wasted.” While visuals guide the storyline, music can add emotional depth, signal a shift in tone, or set the pace. Our Day in the Life video for Travelzoo is a great example of music and visuals working in tandem to set pace and create distinct emotional tones throughout.

Don’t be afraid to experiment

Choosing music to suit a video can seem like a daunting process. The music choice needs to fit both the emotional chord you’re trying to strike in the video, and the core identity of your brand. It’s a decision that can make or break a project.

The music-video synergy can often be boiled down to common sense: you wouldn’t want to choose a fast-paced song with a heavy beat for an interview with your CEO, for example. On the other hand, if you’re putting together a video like our Adidas promo for March Madness, upbeat, on-trend music works to build intensity and excitement. Don’t be shy about experimenting.  Unusual musical juxtapositions can add humor, or subvert expectations and make a video more memorable. Think Mr. Clean getting his grind on in this Super Bowl ad.

Don’t leave it as an afterthought

Music’s importance in telling a story effectively and authentically cannot be underestimated. Music has the power to evoke strong emotions from an audience, and requires careful consideration throughout the production process. Music and visuals work in tandem to tell your story, so if you’ve been waiting until the last minute to think about adding tunes to your video, you’re probably not maximizing the emotional impact that should exist.`

A well-made video is a powerful thing, and we want to help you make something powerful—with a soundtrack to boot. Give us a shout when you’re ready to get to work.

Empathy’s Influence on Today’s Storytelling

The power of “empathy”

If you stop and watch one of the hundreds of ads circulating your nightly programming or Facebook feed, you will see brands working harder than ever to tell their story in a way that sticks with their target audience. With so many ongoing changes to the marketing world, the focus is officially off the brand itself, and on the audience it is trying to attract. The key ingredient that makes the whole thing work? Empathy.

Empathy’s influence on storytelling: Q&A with Bottle Rocket Media’s Dan Fisher

Why is empathy such an important part of today’s marketing landscape?

Marketing is ever-present in today’s culture. The landscape has grown from three TV channels and periodicals to include phones, smart TVs and computers. Not to mention digital billboards as far as the eye can see! Creating video with an empathetic component allows the viewer to take away more than just product information or store hours. Videos with empathy allow the audience to take away a feeling. This will resonate a lot longer than some simple facts.

How has the recent shift in marketing trends shaped the role of empathy in storytelling?

The role of empathy in storytelling hasn’t changed at all. A good story will always have some degree of empathy involved. What has changed is the importance of creating a video that has empathy baked in. Empathy is what separates a solid, true message from the rest of the online video fodder. With so much messaging competition to contend with, a video with empathy will have a better chance of getting seen, being remembered and sticking. And if that doesn’t work, make sure you use images of babies, cats, guns, or beach parties!

How does video play a role in creating empathy?

It’s all about sounds and images. Outside of face-to-face communication, there is nothing better to communicate an empathetic story than video. A well-crafted video can grab any emotion based on the way it is shot and then edited. When you read a book, empathy comes from relating an experience to something that has happened in the reader’s life. Video is not so different, only with a video we can direct how the viewer feels with audio and visual cues used in the language of filmmaking that have been proven over time. Music is a good example of this.

What do you think are the key elements when it comes to creating empathy with video?

  1. First tell the truth
  2. Take your time in crafting the message
  3. Listen, then speak
  4. Keep it simple
  5. Have conviction

What are Bottle Rocket Media’s guidelines for creating empathy through storytelling?

We don’t have guidelines for creating empathy. In fact, we never discuss this concept when preparing for a project. I think this is because we are always in search of the authentic story, the authentic self (client and/or storyteller), and the authentic message. If we achieve this, empathy will follow. When you get down to the brass tacks, empathy itself cannot be manufactured. But if we do our homework, keep communication channels open between ourselves and our clients, and aim to tell a real story, empathy will be inevitable.

To learn more about how to create empathy in your video, contact contact Bottle Rocket Media and we will talk you through it.