Fluffy the Dog

Lesson Details

Subject: Storytelling

Title: Fluffy the Dog


Ever watch an online video and dump out of it before it was over? We all have. Ever grab the cursor and speed through the video until you get to the ‘good part’? From here on in, every video you make is going to be 100% ‘good part’. And I am going to show you how to grab and hold your viewer’s attention – no matter what the subject matter.


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So now you’ve gone out and you've assembled your raw material. You've shot in the five shot way. You’ve got very disciplined, very beautiful shots. How do you put this together in a compelling story to make a compelling story? We’re here in the videojournalist.com screening room right now and we’re going to be looking at some stuff that you made. And when you bring your stuff in here, which we hope you will one day, you’re going to want to put something on the screen that everybody wants to watch.

A great story, not just great shooting. How do you do that? How do you make a great story? Let's pretend that instead of going to the restaurant, which we talked about the five thing. Let’s pretend that instead you took your camera and you went to a dog and cat hospital. These are actually pretty good places to go for beginners because who doesn't like dog and cats in particular if they've been hurt a little bit, very compelling. So let's say you took your a camera and you went to a dog and cat hospital to shoot a little one-minute video about that place and while you were there with you little camera the door opened up and a little girl came in with the Fluffy the Puppy.

She’s a little five-year-old girl, she's cradling her injured puppy Fluffy. You got your video camera and start to roll and the little girl comes in crying and little Fluffy has been hit by a car, and she comes up to the veterinarian cradling her little dog and she says “Please Mister can you save my dog? And the veterinarian looks at Fluffy and says “We have to act immediately”. The veterinarian takes Fluffy and puts Fluffy down on the table right there in front of you. Now you remember in the last set of lessons on how to shoot, I said you have to be aggressive.

You can't stand across the room and zoom in. You’re going to come in with your camera you’re going to jam the camera between the veterinarian and little Fluffy, fighting for his life. You’re going to get that camera right on top of little Fluffy. And there’s little Fluffy, the big eyes, the little girl crying, little Fluffy fighting for his life. Just the same thing the veterinarian sees, close upon the face, in this case Fluffy’s face. Well luckily for you and the viewers the veterinarian saves Fluffy’s life and you shot the whole thing. You shot it the way I told you. Close-up on the hands, close-up on the face. Over the shoulder, side-shot. You have a great story here, a great story to tell. Is this going to make a great film? That depends upon what you do with it. And that's our next lesson.

© Michael Rosenblum & Lisa Lambden 2015