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Intrigue is the Currency of Modern Entertainment

Intrigue is the currency of modern entertainment.  It’s the art of making people want to find out more.

Skillful storytellers don’t get you to turn page after page by telling you what happens next.  They get you to turn the page by making you wonder what happens next.  That act of wondering– of needing to know– is intrigue. It’s what makes you stay with the story. Your curiosity drives you to turn the page.

And so it is with video.  Intrigue keeps you tuned in.  This is obviously true for video that tells stories (movies tend not to start with “…and he dies at the end”*) But it’s also true for marketing video. If I open my video about, say, my really cool book with a 2 minute explanation of why you should buy it, you’ll be gone in 10 seconds.  But if tell you that I can help you shoot better video, then I show you a tip you can actually use right now– and THEN tell you it’s the first of five in the video– you’ll be intrigued enough to stick around. You’ll come to your own conclusions about the book’s worth once you are pulled into wondering what comes next.

Or check out this Anchor Brewing Company video, a marketing video that very much tells a story. The whole “plot” is intrigue– you have no idea what the characters are doing until the very end.  That intrigue keeps you wondering…and learning about Anchor Small Beer.

How can you raise questions and add intrigue to your next video?

*For an exception that proves the rule, check out Billy Wilder’s classic, must-see Sunset Boulevard. But in that case the intrigue is all around WHY does this guy end up dead at the end? Also intriguing: the dead guy narrates the film.

Want a great way to teach people video at your school or workplace?  Download a free copy of my Video Bootcamp for Teachers and Trainers!  Did I mention it was free? It is. Free.

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How To Shoot Video That Doesn't Suck: The Video Course

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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.

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