In 2015 Annual Conference, 2015 Conference - Monday, 2015 Conference - Updates

By Whitney Ladwig (Northwest Florida Chapter)

What is the science behind successful storytelling?

Speaker Dan Farkas said it’s all a mind game. Look at the human eye. Your eye can see wide, medium, tight, really tight. Everything you shoot needs to be shot from all four of these aspects. You must accommodate the human eye in order to build engagement with your user. Do the work to get the best shot.

Three Major Tips for Creating an Effective Video

1) Play 3-D Four Square – Remember the Four Square game as a child at recess? You must capture your video from four vantage points. Farkas gave an example of a press conference. Sure, it seems like a boring, classroom style shot. Find four vantage points such as the speaker, the audience, the side stage and the media. Float between these vantage points and the shot variations mentioned above with the human eye.

2) Master BPM-Beats Per Minute Every story has a baseline pace. You must understand your audience’s pace and cater to that. Through content and vantage points, you have seven seconds to engage your user. You must change the pace every seven seconds to keep the user engaged. When you pause the content, you actually speed up the pace through graphics, music or verbal content.

3) Become a Hoarder  In one and a half days of shooting, there is enough content captured to generate 11 videos! Why? You take every single morsel of content shot on those days. Stretch your money and time across the board by getting a wide amount of content. Ensure that you own the raw footage. You never know how that content could come to life in a different video. When shooting, make sure you prepare for the following:

  • Mobile vs. desktop – Understand where your audience will be viewing the video. Mobile users do best with content that is shot tight or really tight.
  • Play the platform game – Upload every file into every format.
  • If you are working with Instagram, working with the 4×3 format is important, so plan ahead.
  • Remember B2B – How can you engage other businesses to get passionate about the content?
  • Use your content across the board! Be prepared to position the video for e-news, website or social media.

Saving $$$

Shot variation and BPM minimize the need for digital bells and whistles — which inflate your budget the most! The more movement through your video from shot to shot, the less revisions will be necessary, which saves your dollars! Time is money, right?

You lay the foundation. You are the creator of the storyboard with your vision for the client/company. The production team is just there to build from your foundation and bring your vision to life. You know your client and goals better than any outside company could. Videographers with news experience are valuable, as they know how to work on deadline and make things happen in a fast-paced environment. This is not a job for an intern. Would you let them write the press announcement?

Logistics tips:

  • Invest in a headphone jack.
  • Record audio and video together.
  • Invest in a wireless microphone and tripod.
  • iPhones are a side dish…and you need the main course!
  • Digital Juice (creative content library) is a great resource for stock footage, fonts, b-roll and more.



Dan Farkas
Instructor of Strategic Communications, E.W. Scipps School of Journalism at Ohio University

Dan Farkas is an Instructor of Strategic Communication at the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University. Dan teaches writing, social media, content marketing, video, strategy, and campaign classes. Farkas also owns Dan Farkas Interactive, which does everything listed above along with podcasting and blogging.  Farkas spent more than a decade working as a reporter in Iowa, Michigan and Tennessee. His work on air and online earned nearly two dozen awards and appeared on CNN,, TVTalk and other forums.  He has also been quoted by the BBC, Mashable, Tech Republic, The Street and lives in Powell, Ohio with his wife Melanie, daughter Leah, and son Will. He hopes you will connect with him  @danfarkas on Twitter or through LinkedIn.

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