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  • Writer's pictureStoryvine Team

Structure is freeing!

Sitting in front of the camera is intimidating for most people. They don’t know what to say -– ­where to begin, how to end, and may uncomfortably ramble on. Storyvine templates provide structure to your video by breaking it down into “story beats” via prompts. This allows the filmer (aka Storymaker) to just focus on answering questions to create a clear and concise story. This benefits both the storymaker and the audience.

Let’s take a closer look at how this works.

Benefits for Filmer (aka the Storymaker)

They’ll be more concise.

We’ve cautioned against just hitting record and talking. A structured template takes the storymaker step-by-step through their story, focusing on one part at a time, so they don’t get overwhelmed and ramble on.

The storymaker can stop between each prompt and re-film it, or just pause to collect their thoughts for the next prompt. There is no pressure to get through the entire story in one take.

They’ll be more consistent.

We’re frequently asked, “If everyone is using the same template, and therefore the same structure, won’t that be boring?” Actually, the opposite is true! Think about some of your favorite TV shows – almost all of them are built around a specific structure that is used in every episode.

For example, every Seinfeld episode is built around this structure:

  • The Teaser

  • The Trouble

  • The Muddle

  • The Triumph/Failure

  • The Kicker

Go back and watch a few episodes, and you’ll see what we mean. The same is true for procedurals, crime dramas, reality shows, etc. They all have their own structure that they stick to.

They’ll find creative freedom.

Because each Seinfeld episode (or Storyvine template!) is based around a specific structure, the storymaker doesn’t need to worry about how to tell their story, they can just follow the structure and tell it.

Genuine and heart-felt stories emerge when storymakers are freed from the how, and can focus on what they actually want to say.

Benefit for the audience

They’ll know what to expect.

Audiences are conditioned to recognize and understand basic story structures. The most obvious one is Beginning-Middle-End, which is the structure the Snooze Café in Denver, Colorado used when they demonstrated how to make a mimosa.

But the same is true using the Seinfeld example. The audience may not be able to list the beats as we did above, but they know them. Which leads us to the next point…

They won’t tune out as quickly.

When the audience recognizes a structure, they are more likely to stick around. They know that Jerry and the gang’s problem will be resolved; they continue watching to see how it happens, along with some laughs along the way. Same with Snooze’s Begin-Middle-End structure; the audience knows a mimosa is waiting at the end. But it’s the steps to get there that keep them engaged.

They will retain more.

Audiences remember a good story well told. Keep your audience engaged by being concise and real, and telling a story in a familiar way. Once you’ve found a structure that works, stay with it. Audiences don’t find that boring – they like the familiarity because they can relate to it.

The structure in Storyvine templates removes obstacles so the focus is on the message. We help our clients tell a good story, without having to worry about how to tell it.

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