The Church Video Series – Lesson 30
As we continue in our section on storytelling we arrive at the third component of every great story, and that is plot.
Obviously every story needs a plot of some kind, however basic. But what makes a great plot? What elements comprise a plot that will draw the audience in?
I believe there are two elements of every plot/script/timeline/sequence that will set your video up for success.
Element #1 – A Personal Story
Facts are facts.
They’re sterile and stagnant. They don’t carry emotion or personality. And while they may be useful for proving something intellectually, rarely do they persuade someone to action.
You may have heard the statement, “You’ll never argue someone into the Kingdom of God.” This statement basically means that, when you’re sharing the Gospel with someone, the wrong way to do it is to present them with empirical evidence to disprove their objections to faith.
And that’s because for most people, emotion is what drives action. And that’s why every video you make should have a personal story as part of its plot.
Share an anecdote, a story from your life, a success, or a failure, because every time you do that, you transform the person on screen from a two-dimensional talking head into a 3-D person with a past and a future into a person with vulnerabilities and hopes.
And when you do that, they become a person that your audience can connect with. This is the same as when a pastor begins his message with a funny story or personal experience. You need to be doing that in your videos.
Element #2 – Conflict
Every great story needs conflict — something the character overcame.
This is why the Bible talks on multiple occasions about the power of testimony, about sharing our overcomer stories — because each of our stories has some sort of conflict. And that’s why I love making baptism videos so much. The conflict and story is already there. All we have to do is make it come alive on screen. Even the simplest video can have conflict.
Let’s take a look at both of these elements — story and conflict — at work in a very simple video.
This video was written by Marshall Davis Jones and filmed by Stillmotion. It’s called Spelling Father.
You’ll notice that the cinematography itself is very simple. There is only one location and only a couple of different angles shot throughout the entire video.
The focus of this video is the content, the plot.
Marshall Davis Jones starts by sharing a personal story, a dream that he had. And this is what draws you into the video. You care about him, you’re interested in him, and once he has your attention, he starts in on the conflict.
His conflict is over the proper spelling of the word ‘Father.’
And once his conflict is overcome, he hits us with his point, his purpose, the thesis of his video.
And that’s what our final lesson in this section of The Church Video Series is focused on: the thesis. What is the purpose of your video? And why should people care?
I’ll see you in the next lesson.