Videos are designed just like any other visual media. Like many design messages, "story" is one of the key components. A skillful designer can communicate a great deal of story with few words in a short amount of time through visual storytelling.
In a skillfully designed video from the UK (part of a new campaign from Sussex Safer Roads Partnership), entitled Embrace Life, they powerfully advocate for the use of seat belts. Avoiding the use of blood, gore or shock tactics, Embrace Life creates an emotional response in the viewers.
The piece was created by Neil Hopkins, Communications Manager, and Director Daniel Cox to be non-language specific, so that the message wouldn’t become lost when viewed by visitors or residents for whom English might not be their first language. There is only one setting (a living room) and only about 19 editing cuts in the 1 minute 28 second piece with effective use of slow motion, zooms, pans, tracking shots and editing to the beat of the musical phrases.
Students can be challenged to create powerful visual stories that capture the viewer in 30 seconds to a minute without words or overused sensational imagery. They can demonstrate this in storyboards if there is not time or resources to shoot and edit videos. They can also learn to analyze video by looking at the editing choices used in Embracing Life. Among the slow motion shots, look for an edit that is so fast it is almost imperceptible to heighten the drama of the moment of impact.
Click on the heading above to see this powerful short video.