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Storytelling in Video: Aspects of an Engaging Production / for #mcn2015

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Telling great stories in video requires good execution on many fronts. Museum professionals—some filmmakers in the their own right—discuss various aspects and considerations for making the most in the medium. Denver-based consultant Sarah Wambold (currently at Clyfford Still Museum, and formerly at MCA Chicago) focuses on pre-production considerations, scripting, and interview techniques. Andrew Mandinach from the Balboa Park Online Collaborative focuses on production, b-roll, and visual storytelling. Andy Underwood-Bultmann from the Walker Art Center discusses post-production, editing for story, and expanding modes for storytelling. Sarah Waldorf from The Getty discusses strategizing and aligning video content for distribution with social media platforms, including using GIFS and micro-videos. Each speaker presents on best practices as well as aspects and learnings from his or her own work.

For the MCN 2015 conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Published in: Art & Photos
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Storytelling in Video: Aspects of an Engaging Production / for #mcn2015

  1. 1. Storytelling in Video: Aspects of an Engaging Production Sarah Waldorf @SarahMWaldorf The Getty Andrew Mandinach @mndnch Balboa Park Online Collaborative Answer these four questions on the notecard in front of you. 1) Your name 2) Where do you work? 3) One question you want answered today 4) Your level of experience Sarah Wambold @sarahwambold Clyfford Still Museum Andy Underwood- Bultmann Walker Art Center
  2. 2. Defining Video: What is it? Where do you put it?
  3. 3. ● General online video information (it’ s interesting, I promise) ● Audience-first production overview ● Sharable doesn’t mean bad ● Takeaways to help build a story
  4. 4. So you want to make a video?
  5. 5. Or...maybe you were tasked to make one.
  6. 6. I’ve never heard anybody say, “Gee, I’m so bored. Let me google my favorite local museum’s YouTube channel and see what they have to offer.”
  7. 7. What does “video” even mean? Short clip - Deer Running Animated GIF - Textile Curtain
  8. 8. ● 1 billion people use YouTube ● 6 billion hours of video is watched every month ● 300 hours of new video is uploaded to YouTube every minute. ● 323 days worth of YouTube videos are viewed on Facebook every minute. ● 81.9% of teens (14-17) use YouTube ● 72% of U.S. Millennials use YouTube ● 58% of U.S. Gen X More stats YouTube Watch Statistics YouTube Demographics
  9. 9. The “ABC of Digital Storytelling” Matt Locke of StoryThings / Let’s Get Real 4 “We are moving from an era of distribution to an era of circulation. Viral is the wrong metaphor - circulation is driven by user’s social needs, not your project. You cannot control circulation, but you can amplify it.”
  10. 10. What is the story? Who is it for? Meet people where they are. And know what they want when they get there. Matt Locke of StoryThings / Let’s Get Real 4
  11. 11. Where is video online?
  12. 12. Pretty much everywhere.
  13. 13. Multiplatform Video Strategy white paper by Social@Ogilvy and Tubular Labs
  14. 14. Facebook drives quick views and engagement YouTube drives continued views and engagement
  15. 15. Are you really ready to build your YouTube Channel? from Emily Robbins’ presentation “Museums and YouTube: Tips for Creating an Awesome Channel
  16. 16. YouTube YouTube is also a search engine, so useful terms that people want to find is an opportunity for content. Also: ● Branded series ● A hosted “show” ● A strict upload schedule ● Evergreen material ● Longer videos
  17. 17. Facebook Facebook favors natively uploaded videos, but if your video hasn’t done well in the first 24 hours it’s lost in the algorithm. ● Works without audio (Auto-plays in silence) ● Less than a minute ● Makes sense as a stand alone piece? ● What would somebody comment? ● Action moment 1 minute, 1 tiny book
  18. 18. GIF/Looping Clip GIFs can be used in many contexts. People use them to express their states of mind in a more precise way than text or video can do. ● Preserving a fleeting moment in time ● Create looping, forever-playing stories ● Shows how an object works or moves ● Playful, funny ● No captions/no credits ● Users take our content and wear them as costume. More on gifs from a presentation at AAUP.
  19. 19. GIF/Looping Clip GIFs can be used in many contexts. People use them to express their states of mind in a more precise way than text or video can do. ● Preserving a fleeting moment in time ● Shows how an object works or moves ● Playful, funny ● No captions/no credits ● Users take our content and wear them as costume. More on gifs from a presentation at AAUP. Volvelle love on Tumblr
  20. 20. GIF/Looping Clip GIFs can be used in many contexts. People use them to express their states of mind in a more precise way than text or video can do. ● Preserving a fleeting moment in time ● Shows how an object works or moves ● Playful, funny ● No captions/no credits ● Users take our content and wear them as costume. More on gifs from a presentation at AAUP.
  21. 21. GIF/Looping Clip GIFs can be used in many contexts. People use them to express their states of mind in a more precise way than text or video can do. ● Preserving a fleeting moment in time ● Shows how an object works or moves ● Playful, funny ● No captions/no credits ● Users take our content and wear them as costume. More on gifs from a presentation at AAUP. “True!”
  22. 22. How will you share one story across your existing platforms?
  23. 23. What are you going for? What’s the goal? 1) Sharable? 2) Spark comments? 3) Go behind-the-scenes? 4) Is it part of a series? 5) What will a viewer get out of it? Social capital? Will they look smarter to friends?
  24. 24. These can help determine length, and how you can slice and dice content that you get on the shoot. 1) Pull audio for podcast? 2) Pull 30 second juicy action for Facebook? 3) Is there a behind-the-scenes snap story? 4) “Special behind-the-scenes” or interviews for members e-blast? 5) Blog post? The where can help shape the what.
  25. 25. At the core, the story is the same. Strategize your circulation model before the shoot. (NOT AFTER!!!) Story Wheel Center: Key story Outer ring: What will you post Inner ring: What do you need to get at the shoot to post what you’ve written in the outer ring.
  26. 26. Center: Key story Outer ring: What will you post Inner ring: What do you need to get at the shoot to post what you’ ve written in the outer ring.
  27. 27. Manet’s arrival on YouTube
  28. 28. Twitter Instagram Tumblr
  29. 29. The Interview
  30. 30. Interview types Celebrity style. The interviewer appears on camera and is (almost) as important as the interviewee. Interviewee off-camera. Interviewee speaks to producer who’s positioned just off camera, and whose audio is typically removed. Confessional style. Interviewee speaking directly into the camera. Roving interview. Subject is on the move, looking at and responding to something in our collective field of view.
  31. 31. Celebrity Style Interview ● More conversational in tone; more forgiving regarding incomplete thoughts. ● Must have good interviewer. ● Consider three camera angles. But ... ● Three times the footage to learn, cut, and store. Artist Documentation Program: Terry Winters http://adp.menil.org/?page_id=880
  32. 32. Interviewee off-camera ● Interview by producer (could be curator, educator, etc.) ● Can be tricky to get complete thoughts, putting the question in the form of their answer. ● Can be shot with one camera, but consider two camera angles. Amalia Pica at MCA Chicago
  33. 33. Confessional style ● Intimate ● Subject should be confident, charismatic, comfortable in front of the camera. ● Can be shot with one camera, but consider two camera angles. ● Prep of subjects is key. They might need to be rehearsed, but not scripted. Abby Wambach: 'Putting the crest on every single time means something to me'
  34. 34. Roving interview ● Often times interview subjects feel more relaxed in this setting. ● It’s lively, immediate, and intimate. ● Can be a logistical challenge … lots of variables (sound, light, angles, etc) ● Use a monopod / steadicam / shoulder mount, if possible. The Met: Art or Fiction? with Bill T. Jones
  35. 35. The questions ● Keep your questions short. ● Ask only one question at a time. ● Quotes and anecdotes are good to have handy. ● Follow up with “Give me a for instance,” when responses get too abstract. ● Ask the same question more than once. ● Know the answer to the question before you ask it.
  36. 36. My spiel ● In brief terms, explain how the interview will work ... “I’ll be giving you some prompts, and then I will be as quiet as possible so I don’t interfere with your audio because we will edit out my questions... Feel free to look at me, not at the camera.” ● … explain what you need from them … “Because we’ll be cutting out my voice, I need you to put my questions in your answers. So if I were to ask you your name, you would want to respond, ‘My name is [use his/her name here].” ● … remind them that they are in control of the interview. “If you are answering a question and you lose your train of thought or find yourself going in a direction you hadn’t intended, feel free to stop yourself and start again.”
  37. 37. In the interview ● Be quiet! Avoid the urge to make it conversational, unless it’s meant to be a conversation. Don’t cut your subjects off. ● Nod your head and smile … a lot. ● Listen. For complete sentences. For context. For meaning. For accuracy. And ask a follow up question if something is incomplete or unclear. ● If interviewees are tripping over theirs words, stop them and have them start again. You can’t use the stuttering anyway, and they usually respond well if they realize you are making sure they sound good.
  38. 38. Protips 1. Have Kleenex and water handy. 2. Ask curators how the show is organized. 3. Ask artists about the conceptual foundations for the work. Ask about titles. Ask about process. 4. Don’t make assumptions. Either in writing your questions or in asking them. 5. If the interviewees get cagey, do what you can to relax them. 6. Listen for context, setups, and complete thoughts. If you don’t have them, ask your question again. 7. Get everything transcribed verbatim.
  39. 39. 8. Don’t talk about YouTube.
  40. 40. Even better advice “An interview is a party. And you’re the host of the party. And the interviewee will do what you do. What you model is what they do too. It’s just human nature. “So if you tell a lot of funny stories, they’ll tell funny stories back. If you tell personal stories, they’ll tell personal stories back.” —Ira Glass on Alec Baldwin’s Here’s the Thing (35:49) https://www.wnyc.org/radio/#/ondemand/414988 The Poynter Institute: The Art of the Interview http://www.poynter.org/uncategorized/3344/the-art-of-the-interview/ LA Times NPR's Terry Gross: Asking the Smart Questions http://articles.latimes.com/2000/apr/15/entertainment/ca-19715
  41. 41. The Art of Sexy B-Roll & Re-thinking How We Talk About Production
  42. 42. Every video is an extension of the museum. How do you represent yourself?
  43. 43. Every video is an extension of the museum. How do you represent yourself?
  44. 44. We all shoot differently but a good (looking) story always permeates
  45. 45. Rethinking the paradigm
  46. 46. Rethinking the paradigm
  47. 47. “We’re all here because of the power of stories that need to be told.”

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