a group of people standing on top of a sandy beach

What in the Hell is Unity? (p. 114)

From How to Shoot Video that Doesn’t Suck, Page 114:

Aristotle was the first to note that great drama has three unities—of time, of place, or of action. Unity is another way to suggest a pure focus on one thing. A play might take place over one day (unity of time), or in single house (unity of place), or around a single event (unity of action). Unities keep the audience (and the writer/director) clear on what story they’re telling, making those stories more focused and powerful.

You may think we’re getting a little highbrow in our analysis here, quoting Aristotle and all. But there’s a lot you can do with the idea of Unity in your video. For proof, play “Spot the Unities” in this multi-million hit video, “Where the Hell is Matt?”:

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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.


  • Matt is not an average guy. Nor is he dancing with people who just happen to be around. For me, the video completely lacks spontaneity. It's flat, predictable and therefore boring. YMMV

  • William Schatte says:

    For anyone watching this, I highly recommend watching the 2006 video first, then the 2008, and finally the 2012 video. The evolution is AMAZING! Also, I'm curious…am I the only one that had tears in their eyes after watching this (and not from laughing so hard, although it's really funny..:-) Something about this video is so…powerful to me. Thank you, Steve, for sharing this video and your wisdom in your book. I use it to help teach the filmmakers of the future in my Advanced Media Technologies class. Bravo!

    • Rochelle says:

      I’m teary eyed too. Very powerful video. It’s the joy of dancing no matter where you live around the world. This video not only represents the unity video concept, but also the unity of human beings. In this time of hatred and division, it’s important to remember we are all part of one human race. The video is just awesome!

  • Jaime Perez says:

    I remember when this video came out and it still makes me smile!

  • Truely amazing video, thanks for sharing! So much can be learned from something so simple and powerful!

  • Wow, that video was simple. yet so powerful, and the way the music climaxes with the images (the giant wave knocking him down) to the music was very powerful to watch. LOVE IT! I really enjoyed reading the book, Im a pro Master Portrait Photographer, who just purchased the Canon 7D and have been interested in doing some interesting videos for either my own interests or for potential clients. And also to make better videos for my family, etc. The book is great, the website is awesome too. Thanks Steve!

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