selective focus photography of boy wearing black Batman cape

Every Video Needs a Hero

When somebody asks you what a movie is about, you probably say something like this:  “It’s about a guy who decides to say ‘Yes’ to everything he’s asked to do” or “it’s about a girl who gets flown to another world in a tornado.”

Great movies are about someone.  So are great videos.  The person your video is about is your hero.  By hero I don’t mean that they have to kill bad guys or become a vampire—rather, they’re simply the focus of your video.  They’re the person who does something, or that something happens to.

Why are you shooting your daughter’s fifth birthday party?  To remember her at age 5.  She’s the hero.  Instead of random birthday party shots, make the video about your daughter and how she experiences her party.  Stay physically close to her.  Shoot from her eye-level instead of yours.  Shoot her greeting her guests, opening her gifts, talking on the phone to grandpa, spilling cake on her dress.  In a series of short, focused shots, you’ll have a lot to remember.

Instead of pointing the camera at the soccer field and rolling, make all your shots about your son’s experience of the game.  A music video should probably be about the lead singer.  A sales video might be about a particular customer’s experience, or it might be about the sales manager training the team.  A stunt video is about the stunt performer.

Whenever you pick up your camera, just before you roll, ask yourself:  Who is this shot about?  The focus of choosing a hero for your video will make it much stronger– almost by magic.

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About The Author

Steve Stockman

Steve Stockman, president of LA-based Custom Productions, Inc., is a prolific producer, writer, and director, known for over 200 diverse media projects. He is also the author of the best-selling book "How to Shoot Video that Doesn’t Suck," taught globally from middle school to graduate level, and available in 9 languages.

One Comment

  • AdamG says:

    Thank you for simplifying this for me I am serious my pride can cause me to try and overwork and get "the other stuff that is cool" when it is about as you say The Hero.

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