man in white t-shirt and brown pants riding skateboard on brown sand during daytime

Intrigue In Action

Following up on last week’s post, my friend (and storytelling/marketing expert) Andy Goodman sent me this spot and the message “Get a tissue before you watch.”  It’s powerful, emotional and beautifully done.

It’s also a brilliant model for creating intrigue.  The film pulls viewers in by getting us to play two different guessing games as we watch.

The first game is “What am I seeing?” We’re shown a face that intrigues us, but we don’t know who it is.  We wonder, trying to make sense of each headline as the video gives us more clues– and then, finally tells us who we’re looking at.

The second game is “What is the whole piece telling me?”  By drawing us into game 1, the filmmakers intrigue us enough to play game 2. Now the succession of faces, identities and unrealized futures ignite our imaginations and raise another question: what do the faces have in common?  Why are the filmmakers asking me to imagine this?

At the end, the video answers our questions.  But by raising questions instead of telling us everything up front, we’ve been intrigued from the very start.  To really understand the power of intrigue, think how much weaker this piece would be if it presented it’s final message in the first frame:  “The Anti-Defamation League says we should hate less.”  Duh.

But by brilliantly intriguing us, by making our brains work and feel real emotion, the filmmakers have involved us in a video we won’t easily forget.


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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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