By Scott Trudeau
1.Tell a story.
Instead of simply burning a DVD of your kid’s soccer game (BORING) capture the highlights from the entire season and create a documentary. The NFL does a great job at this. They are able to take snippets of video throughout the season, add narration and music, and turn it into a compelling story. Of course having a voice like John Facenda (the voice of NFL Films) certainly helps.
2.Don’t Focus Only on the Positive
Success is great! Heck, who doesn’t like to succeed? However, some of the best selling NFL videos document football follies! Try incorporating a bit of life’s struggles into your videos; failure is often times waaaaay more interesting than success (at least on video).
3.Tell the “Rest of the Story”
Senior Jason McElwain scored 20 points for his high school basketball team. Big deal…that is until you hear the rest of the story. Jason was the team’s manager, not a player, and is autistic. His coach, Jim Johnson decided to add Jason to the roster for the last game of the season, entitling Jason to a basketball jersey and hopefully some play time. Jason went on to score twenty points in four minutes, and won his way into the hearts of sports fans across the nation. Without the details…you have no emotion!
– see the video on YouTube
4.Take the Road Less Traveled
My cousin invited me to watch a video of his honeymoon in San Francisco. I rolled my eyes, sighed, and prepared myself for home video boredom. It turns out that Matt and Julie are a bit more adventurous than your average honeymooners. At each location they would walk up to the locals and interview them (think Jay Leno’s “Man on the Street”). The best part of the tape documented Matt finagling a turn on a street performer’s drum set. It was both funny and interesting. It didn’t hurt that they spent a bit of time in post production cutting out the boring parts, adding music, and highlighting the interesting stuff.
I taught middle school and junior high science for six years. Hands down the best instructional videos were those starring Bill Nye the Science Guy. He seemed to have a short 20 minute, highly engaging video for just about every topic I taught. He incorporated humor and wacky (but relevant) experiments into every episode. The students and I loved Bill Nye.
So there you have it. My five tips for combating movie mediocrity. Anybody else care to share?