Lumina Blog Post

Story of a bullet point

#marketing #storytelling #corporate

We are in the business of telling stories. Everyone can pick up a camera these days and shoot a video, not everyone is able to tell a story.


Storytelling is at the core of every message. It doesn’t matter if you’re talking about shares and dividends or mining and construction: it has to be entertaining. Otherwise, you know what’s going to happen? Nobody will care. Nobody will listen to your message and you will have spent production money for nothing.


Whose fault is it? I am not sure and I don’t have a definite answer but I’ve been looking in the direction of PowerPoint for a while now. Brochure-ware is also in the mix.


Haven’t you seen all those funky presentations explaining Steve Jobs’ secret presentation skills? “How to present like Steve.” “Lord of the slides.” etc


Another big culprit is the ‘tick in a box’. That guy is really bad. People would do anything for him and then forget about it completely.


So what’s the story, you may ask. This is the story of a bullet point. Actually, it was many bullet points in this case.


Before we start I need to warn you that this is a true story. I will only change the names of the people involved.


Last year we were asked to film a corporate video for a global firm. The location for the shooting was Sydney. We have a great camera operator there, ‘Bill’, and he’s always keen to experiment with creative shots.


The video was about a particular construction project. We had a workshop with ‘Julia’, the marketing manager, and we were all set to go. It wasn’t our first job with this client. We filmed many other sites with their systems. But this time we wanted to do things differently.


Bill was on a particularly good day. To allow creativity to flow we left him in the room by himself to film everything there was to be filmed. After a couple of hours with no sign of him we started to get concerned. We walked in the room and Bill with a big smile told us he had an idea. This came after two hours of filming something rather industrial, so we were wondering how could he be so excited about it. However, our motto is to never stop until you are happy with the result.


We had a van full of equipment but sometimes the simplest solutions are best. Bill is a thin guy. He saw a cart and he asked me to push him around in the room. The result was great. Like a very long curved dolly shot.


After post-production and graphics, the final editing of the video was pretty cool. We presented it to Julia for review. We were proud of it. Systems like this are normally portrayed in a dry way. This one was different, and it was definitely telling a story with images, actions, lighting, editing and music.


Julia reviewed it and that’s when the ‘tick in a box’ struck. “Thanks guys, the video looks great! Just one small thing, could you please insert these bullet points throughout the video? Wherever you want, we need to show them all”.


Every time I’ve told this story people start laughing at how some marketing people do not understand the medium of video.


It’s not Julia's fault. It’s an educational process. It will take some time, but more than anything else it requires common sense and the willingness to accept that it’s about storytelling. Stories are made of emotions, not bullet points.

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