Overcoming Obstacles

Overcoming Obstacles

One of the main concerns I hear from people considering a marketing video is that they feel like their company won’t look good on video. One issue may be because their company is too regulated to share any real details. Or the most common excuse I hear is that people feel their company is just not that interesting and their video will be boring. While these are real and legitimate concerns, StoryCatchers Media can help you with this. We do much more than just create marketing videos. We actually help you find your company’s interesting message and though video bring it to life.

What is Video Storytelling?

What is Video Storytelling?

What is video storytelling? Our name is StoryCatchers media because we believe in good storytelling, it is what we do best and why we are not your average Video Production company.

IMG_1201So what is it? First it is what it sounds like, putting videos together with a clear and compelling story. A beginning, a middle and end. People who you get to know, they are characters in the story who can draw you in and make you understand through their eyes. It is hearing, seeing and feeling through details and emotion. The best way to feel a story is to share someone’s perspective and know why they do things and why something matters. Capturing natural moments is essential, that is what life is about and how the viewer will connect with the characters. I have talked about the importance of truth before in our productions and I think it is crucial to a great story. When the story is genuine the viewer connects with the message, that is the best marketing, a true story. When your customers watch a compelling video that tells a story, they get more than just your message, they connect with you and they remember your message. A good story has that power and delivers more than just a simple video can.

Anyone can make a basic video and try to get a message out, but what makes our work different is finding the story beyond that. Sara and I come from the world of Television News and know that journalism is a starting point and a key to knowing more, but does not make compelling television on it’s own. What we tried to do every time we went to cover the news was craft a story from it. I can tell you that our stories were always at the mercy of time and deadlines, but that was also our great daily challenge.  Just like in any profession, there was wide variations in quality and some people took the easy way out and would call it “good enough.” That was never my standard. Part of that standard was to always tell a story not just trow up video. No matter how rushed I was I always tried to compose my shots, capture natural sound, make edits that advanced the story like an opening and close, and work in personal details that helped you know who people were. This is how I practiced my craft for 17 years in TV news and I still use now. I believe no matter how rushed you are there is always time to tell a good story.

IMG_1229How does Storytelling come into play when for example we are doing a video profiling a company that may seem dry at first glance? We simply try to get to know who that business is, who are the people and why do they do what they do? I always used to say in News that the why was my favorite part of the who, what, where, when and why formula of journalism. That was the part that made you understand, feel and connect with people. A good story is more why than what, anyone can do the basics but that deeper understanding comes from a good story. It also makes a video more compelling when you can know why people do what they do.

A business is more than just a building or spread sheets, it is people and a mission. We go beyond and we tell your story and that means knowing more than the basics and then telling that. We know what makes a great story and we will help you find yours.

Sara’s Perspective About Our Work With Cancer Survivors

Sara’s Perspective About Our Work With Cancer Survivors

Working as a journalist, and Director of Content for StoryCatchers Media, I have encountered hundreds of people with remarkable stories. But, it’s the stories of survival, especially beating cancer, which remind me of the strength of the human spirit and how we can conquer overwhelming obstacles when we put our mind to it.

Over this past year, it has been wonderful to meet so many cancer survivors and hear how they have fought this terrible disease and persevered.  It is inspiring to witness their strength and passion for life and it’s something that continues to keep me motivated. I feel honored to be able to produce these incredible stories of triumph.

However, storytelling is not just a job, but also a passion of mine. It’s not always easy to get someone to tell you their story or to capture years of someone’s life in just two minutes, but this is a challenge that I enjoy, especially if I can help others in the process.

One of the main differences between my storytelling with StoryCatchers Media and other journalists is that I work to not only tell a person’s story, but I also want to capture their emotions and personality to make the story memorable. In the video production world, we call this capturing a moment. You never know when there will be a ‘moment’, but when it happens it is truly amazing.

StoryCatchers MediaOne of my favorite moments is when I met Linda Wortman. She’s a beautiful 63-year-old woman, who has an infectious laugh and the strength of an ox. She not only survived lung cancer, but also now lives without the upper lobe of her left lung. You would think after an ordeal like this, Linda would shy away from doing anything that would put stress on her lungs, but I found she’s completely the reverse.

Instead of taking it easy, Linda went running. It’s something that she had never done, even when she had two lungs. But she did it, without running shoes.

She tells me she ran her first 5K in her ballet flats. And what’s even more surprising is that she won the race in her age group. Listening to Linda tell her story was inspiring, but actually watching her run at a park one day made me realize how special this moment really was. Right away, I noticed it was a struggle for Linda to breathe while running.

She made a loud wheezing sound as soon as she started, and, as she continued to make her way around the park, it got worse. I told Linda she could stop and take a rest, but instead she turned around and smiled at me and said, “this is fun, I can keep going if you need more video.”

It was that moment where we captured Linda’s true passion for living. Smiling, and at the same time gasping for air, she showed true courage and strength to do something that no one thought possible for someone with just one and a half lungs.

It was a powerful moment that continues to inspire me to go after my passions.  It’s meeting people like Linda that can remind all of us to not be intimidated or fear life, but instead embrace it and really appreciate what you have.

The next time you need a little motivation in life, I encourage you to check out one of the many stories of cancer survivors. Whether it’s having a positive attitude or going after passions in life that seem impossible, you can truly learn a lot from someone who has overcome cancer.

Everett’s Favorite Part of Shooting Video

Everett’s Favorite Part of Shooting Video

The other day one our clients ask me what was my favorite part of shooting and I thought, what a great question. It was not the first time I had been asked that of course, but it has been awhile and a lot has changed for me. I worked in TV news for nearly 20 years and at that time I had a standard answer. Now I work in video production and market, but I find that the answer is still the same.  For me it’s not about capturing a pretty shot, but it’s about meeting people and getting to know them, capturing moments, being truthful to my subjects, and telling a good story. That will never change.

On the face of it video production and journalism may not seem to have a lot in common, but the skills I learned in that world I use everyday, because telling a good story transcends all mediums and subject matter. You may have already wondered about our name StoryCatchers, we chose that name to be true to who we are and what we do. Telling stories is what separates us from our competitors and that difference is what each client gets when I turn on my camera. There are a lot of companies out there doing video these days ,but how the majority can’t tell a story. I also believe that the most powerful marketing is honesty. Your customers will always see through anything else and the best way to connect with them is through telling a compelling story that is true to you. I strive to connect with people because I believe that is how I can best do my job. Once I understand who you are, I will be true to that. I know that my news background is a strength in my work now giving me insights and understanding from all the people I was privileged to meet and connect with over the years. Everyone has a message, a story to tell, and I cherish that in my work.

The craft of how I shoot, light, and edit is all still important, for sure, but it is only the foundation of the story. The very high standard of the images and the edited finished product are part of my daily practices, but I know what makes StoryCatchers different is to go beyond that, to achieve even more.When Sara and I work with a new client we want to know more than just where and when. What really matters to us is getting your message told. The meaning of your message and why it matters to you and your business/group is at the core of turning it into a good story. We want to go beyond just repeating your message in a video, we want to capture who you are, tell your story and make it memorable. We want others to remember that message and get to know you and connect with you first. The people involved in what you do are the characters at the core of each story and when I get to know them with my camera the viewer will too. You and those around you are the most powerful marketing tool you have and if you trust us to share your story then you will connect with everyone who watches. That is our mission.

IMG_0225The client who asked me that question was at a Swedish Hospital and I had been working with them on a video about deep brain stimulation. DBS is an amazing marvel of science that restores someones control over their own body after they have lost that control due to Parkinson’s, MS, or essential tremors. That is a great subject to make a video on and rewarding to talk about the science, but what made this video so much more powerful was the patient, a woman who  loved to fly fish, but lost that ability because of Parkinson Disease. Fly fishing was her passion and something she shared with her father since she was a little girl, but now she can’t do it anymore. After going through deep brain stimulation, I had the privilege to go fly fishing with this patient for the first time.  My camera was able to capture every moment as she was able to regain control over her hands, when the doctors found that spot in the brain it was like flipping a switch, what a powerful moment! But, what was much more powerful was when I joined her a month later for an hour of fly fishing. Her hands are now rock steady and she continues to have a smile on her face. Yes we are telling a marketing message about the hospital, but I never changed anything about the story, I stayed true to who she is and her story. That is why I love doing this job, I am privileged to meet people and I am always honored to be trusted to tell their story. That is truly the best part of my job.