Vimeo Video School: Stillmotion Teaches You the 4 Essential ‘P’s’ of Storytelling [VIDEO]

Vimeo Video School brings independent content creators from all over the world to teach users the best practices for their videos. Sure, investing in better production quality and a good camera will get you more views for your channel, but what really drives your content is the storyline.

The guys at Stillmotion, a production company based in Portland, Oregon, are taking roles as professors at Vimeo Video School and teaching aspiring filmmakers the art of storytelling over the next few weeks through their video series “Storytelling the Stillmotion Way.”

In the introduction to part one released this week, Patrick Moreau stated their purpose: “Our goal is to push you and transform the way you tell stories. In fact, at the end of the series, we’re going to issue you a specific challenge we want you to go out and film.”

The first lesson emphasizes the four “P’s” of storytelling — people, place, plot and purpose — and Stillmotion breaks those points down as follows:

People: Who are your characters?

Building believable characters is important for your audience because you want them to relate and invest in your story. Stillmotion said in their blog post: “You’ll want your audience to root for your protagonists and against your antagonists.”

Place: Location, location, location drives the story.

When it comes to finding a location for your story, Stillmotion suggests a location that relates to the characters, where the characters feel comfortable and where it’s easy to shoot for your crew. They stated: “Location can add depth and intrigue to your characters and story, and can visually communicate a great amount of information in a short period of time.”

Plot: Conflict drives the narrative.

Stillmotion emphasizes that having conflicts in your story helps drive the narrative, but you don’t need to have a villain in order to create conflict. It could be a story of a guy overcoming a challenge in his life such as memorizing his wedding vows or trying to accomplish a project.

Purpose: Why should they watch your video?

If you want people to watch your video, Stillmotion says you need to remind your viewers and yourselves why you’ve made your story in the first place — “know what you need to say before you speak.”

Watch their video above for their lesson on the four “P’s.”

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