Saturday, June 23, 2007

Podcasters Across Borders: Storytelling for Podcasts

Podcasters Across Borders
Kingston, June 23, 2007

Storytelling for Podcasts
Sonya Buyting -
This is Storytelling 101

From Neil Everton school of training - came from BBC, has trained CBC, BBC, CNN producers.
When the story is not obvious and chronological, where to put your emphasis. Can be used for anything: reporting, country songs, video.

e.g. Will Gad put footage together about climbing an iceberg - he sent his footage in to Discovery channel. Producer had to put it together into a story.

  • Need main character - e.g. Will Gad
  • figure out focus statement - one sentence - angle that will help you figure out the focus, the big picture - what is this guy's quest? - e.g. Will is climbing an iceberg because he gets off on the thrill.
  • determine the forces going for and against a character - e.g. pros - he is adventurous, he is knowledgeable (wrote a book), experienced (won medals), has a good team behind him, has good equipment, is able to access structural integrity of ice just by the sound; cons - obviously a dangerous hobby, people think he is kind of crazy, icebergs are extremely unstable, temperature differential
diagram - graph shaped like a whale (small hump, then big hump) -

1. the hook - takes you just after the peak of the first hump - you want people to pay attention to your story, to not change the channel or skip your podcast - use your strongest sound, your strongest video for the hook - don't give away the ending; make them want to watch - "Will Gad's done some crazy things, and today he is going to climb an iceberg" - put in a statement of enticement, where the character states what is ahead.

2. dips a bit - the context - too short and people won't understand the rest of the story - too long and people will lose the story - keep it short and sweet, get on with the good stuff in the story

3. story unfolding - divide into as many sections as you want to. Includes the obstacles the person is facing. Raising the drama of the story until you get to the very top.

4. climax - top of the peak - yay! our main character has triumphed!

5. wrap-up or denoument - recap of what the hook was, or forward thinking of what is coming next, or just conclude what you are saying.

All of this can be incorporated into what Tod Maffin has to say in the storytelling sessions he teaches.

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