Each of us has heard meaningful stories that have impacted the way we think, feel, or act. That common experience is part of the way we are wired. As children, we begin to understand the world around us through stories our loved ones recite or read from books. As students, we learn about our history through stories of the important events and impactful people who have shaped our world. Today, we live in a world where stories are told for a multitude of reasons and with a wide range of desired impacts. Often, organizations and individuals work with us at 12 Stars Media because they know that we feel very strongly about telling real, human stories in a powerful way through video.

The Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Indianapolis is the perfect example of an organization that is working to make the world a better place. We recently continued our ongoing partnership with them to craft a video for their annual Chocolate Sunday luncheon. Our passion for storytelling led us to be very deliberate in how we captured this important message.

Understanding and preparation

In order to communicate the Alzheimer’s Association’s message, we started from a place of understanding. We always begin this part of the process with a purpose statement and a defined audience.

By taking this step, we understood that this video would primarily be used to encourage our audience to financially support the work the Association does. From there, we determined that we would need to educate our audience on the Association’s impact and to connect with them on a personal level.

At that point, it was time to dig into the people, places, and things that make up the story. We had ongoing conversations with our Producers at the Association to determine whose stories we wanted to tell and then spent some time hearing directly from those people whose input helped us shape the narrative. Once we had a clear idea of the key elements of this story, we planned out how to structure the visuals and audio that would work together in order to impact the audience in the way we intended.

By the time we break out the cameras, microphones, and other production equipment, our team has a very clear understanding of the story we are capturing. It’s important that we have used this understanding to determine the style we will use. The way our message comes across on screen will communicate a world of subtext and often, simplicity is key to getting out of a story’s way.

Mary, Alzheimer’s patient, and advocate.

By understanding what we need to communicate and letting the story drive the visuals, we can be confident that our story will have our intended impact.

Results and impact

The Alzheimer’s Association isn’t the only organization that has benefitted from this storytelling approach. Another example is CICOA, an organization that oversees state and federal funds and private donations to provide information, advocacy and support services for older adults, people with disabilities, and family caregivers. They partnered with us to tell the story of Ean, a child whose life has been greatly impacted by their services.

The Indiana Blind Children’s Foundation had a similar success story recently with a video that helped them raise over $40,000 to allow the ISBVI to continue enriching the lives and education of their students through arts programs. Without funding, these organizations would not be able to continue or grow – and they all see the value in using video to tell the very real stories around them to help them do just that.

Organizations everywhere have stories just like these to tell. The key is to find a way to share those real, human stories in a way that will have an impact on the intended audience. Great storytelling through video can be an incredibly powerful tool because it has the ability to influence an audience’s understanding of a subject, the emotions they feel, and the actions they take after taking it in.