Better Call Saul: The Devil is in the Details

There is no better show on television than AMC’s Better Call Saul, from Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould, ex of Breaking Bad. All four seasons are spectacular, but if you haven’t watched (or even if you have) it’s worth considering what makes it great.  Great writing and acting, sure, but for me the best part of Better Call Saul is that every shot, every sequence, every episode is about intrigue- built by lensing in to the details.

Season 1, Episode 1 doesn’t start with anything as obvious as an establishing shot of a shopping mall, or a freeway sign … Read the rest

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Two Videos, Same Business. But Only One Intrigues

It’s not often we get a chance to compare two videos purporting to do the same thing for the same business, but thanks to my friend Andy Goodman, we can.  Andy publishes a great bloggy-kind-of-newsletter for non-profits, and has kindly given me permission to steal some of this month’s cover story.

Lifelines for Youth is a non-profit that helps formerly-incarcerated youth. Naturally they are interested, as are all non-profits, in raising money.  They commissioned a video to help.  When it didn’t help enough, they commissioned another one.

Take a look at the videos below– you only need about … Read the rest

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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 … Read the rest

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How to Use Story to Make Great Video

 

If you weren’t in New York last week, you missed a great Video Conference and Festival thrown by Vimeo.

Lots of great seminars and workshops at the sold-out event.  I spoke on Saturday– if you couldn’t make it, here are the cliff notes– plus a whole bunch of links for further reading on story:

How to Use Story:  10 Points from Steve Stockman’s Workshop @VIMEO Festival

June 9, 2012

1.  Entertain or Die:  Nobody watches bad video.  There are too many instantly available alternatives. Remember the Entertainment Transaction:  The audience pays (with time or money) the entertainment must … Read the rest

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