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Telling Small Stories with Video, Part 1

What is a Small Story Video

A while back I wrote something I called “The Small Story Manifesto”.

It got some attention. People seemed to like it.

But a lot of folks had questions about it.

So I made this video that helps clarify some stuff.

The above embedded video is the first video in the series. Members can watch for more videos on this topic in the future.

By the way, since I originally started talking about making “Small Story” videos, some interesting things have happened.

For example, a high school teacher recently told me he requires that each of his students make one Small Story video every quarter.

And now he’s training other teachers in the district to do the same thing. It’s fun to watch this stuff spread. :)

Post Updated June 8, 2017

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Small Story: Artist, Bill Zaner

This Small Story submission comes from Pat Whitty. It features a painter named Bill Zaner. Take a look…

Here are some of the strengths I noticed from Pat’s video:

  • It contains a variety of shots: inside the RV, outside the RV, landscapes, sunrise, interview shots.
  • Related to the above note — It uses several cut-away shots to give us a sense of time and place.
  • Pat uses interview footage directly, and he also uses the audio from the interview as effective voice-overs during B-roll cutaways.

Overall, this is another nice example of a Small Story video.

Side note — Not sure what a Small Story is? Check out my Small Stories Manifesto.

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Small Story: Liberation of Dachau

This Small Story submission is from Richard Beaugh.

It has a different tone from some of the other Small Stories I’ve shared. It’s a more serious tone, but you’ll see the Small Story concept still works.

  • It’s under two minutes.
  • It’s the simple story of a World War II soldier taking photos the day he helped liberate Dachau.
  • It uses documentary-style storytelling techniques such as interviews and B-roll (cutaway photos in this case).

I think Richard did a nice job with this which is why I’m sharing it with you here.

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Small Story: For the Love of Dragons

This Small Story submission comes from Mark DiNatale.

He shot it in about 30 minutes and spent about an hour editing.

I think it fits the spirit of the Small Story concept well.

  • It tells a story in under two minutes.
  • It uses documentary-style storytelling techniques.
  • The piece isn’t trying to be a polished, professional piece. It’s simply a way to practice telling stories.

As you watch it, do you get a sense that you could do it too? I hope so… One of the main reasons I’m sharing all these Small Story examples is so you’ll get inspired and give it a try.