Writers and Editors (Pat McNees's blog)
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Video as a powerful device for storytelling

May 12, 2009

Tags: video tributes, narrative, multimedia

Take a look at Media Storm,a powerful site for online multimedia narrative journalism. Animated video is also effective for both telling a story and getting a message across, as you can see in Annie Leonard's The Story of Stuff, a clever and effective 20-minute video about trash and the effects of human consumption.

As one who spends a lot of time writing (or helping others write) their memoirs or organizational histories, I am a convert to video tributes (often mini-biographies) and have provided a link to several good examples on one of my websites.
Click here to check out several video tributes that capture people's words, voices, and expressions in ways prose alone can't always do. These are great for celebrations and memorials, among other occasions.

By all means check out One in 8 Million, a wonderful series of brief black-and-white video mini-biographies of New York characters that the Regions edition of the New York Times is running. I enjoyed spending time with Henry Reininger (the all-night accountant, an orthodox Jew who escaped the Nazis and works in an East Village storefront with his wife and daughter);
Alexandra Elman (the "blind wine chick"); Elizabeth Cousins (a teenage mother); and Jim Romano (http://www.nytimes.com/packages/html/nyregion/1-in-8-million/index.html#/jim_romano).

Click here to listen to selections from oral history collections, which capture audio only. Video may be even better but the one thing print media can't capture is voice, and these oral histories are invaluable for capturing that. And audio is something you can listen to while doing something else. You aren't glued to a screen.