Finding A Story On and In Your Location

Imagine this: a friend comes up to you and asks if you’ve seen the latest summer blockbuster. Could you explain the movie to them without telling your friend where it was set? You could probably tell them a little bit about the plot and characters, but something would be missing from your explanation. A crucial part of storytelling is defining a sense of place and location for your viewer, listener, or reader. Take the latest Star Wars movie, for example. Outer space is just as much of a character as Chewy, Rey, and Kylo Ren are.  Now, unlike Star Wars, we don’t necessarily have the assets to pack our gear and go shoot in outer space… yet. But we do believe that shooting on location is important to the narratives we tell. If that sounds like home to you, read on.

Everyone comes from somewhere.

In previous posts, we have explained that stories are made up of different elements. They consist of plot lines, dialogue, images, and characters. All of these different elements are brought together to form a cohesive narrative that, if executed properly, can convey a message and evoke a series of emotions in a viewer. On our trip to Ethiopia to support Eleventh Candle Co., we were struck by how we could not convey Eleventh Candle Co.’s mission without firmly showing Ethiopia and it’s people. This way, when you see Amber Runyan on screen, you realize how revolutionary her work is. Onscreen characters act as avatars for your viewer. The more connected a watcher feels to the person they are seeing on screen, the more transported they are into the material that is being shown to them. This concept is called narrative transportation. By establishing a firm sense of narrative transportation, you are also establishing your viewer in a place, and inspiring them to keep watching.

 Local Ethiopian woman at a popular tea and coffee shop.

Local Ethiopian woman at a popular tea and coffee shop.

Places have meaning.

When you visit the same places everyday, sometimes it is easy to forget that each place has a meaning. If you visit the same coffee shop every morning, that coffee shop becomes a part of your personal narrative. You attach a special sense of gravitas to each visit, even if it feels like the most mundane part of your daily routine. Businesses, in the same way, have a firm sense of place, even if you work from home. When you use on-location videos as marketing tools for your business, you are giving your consumer a behind the scenes look at the work you do everyday. This will make them feel like they have a relationship with your business and more of an interest in using or buying your product or service.

 Behind the scenes image of our recent shoot at the Columbus School for Girls.

Behind the scenes image of our recent shoot at the Columbus School for Girls.

You business, your home.

Much of the time we spend more of our waking hours at work than we do at home. It’s more likely than not that your general consumer feels the same way about their work as you do about your own. Even with the frustrating parts of ‘going to the office,’ everyday, people still take a lot of pride in what they do. By offering them an inside look at your business, you are showing your intended audience how relatable your business is. This can go a long way in building brand loyalty.

Shooting on location means showing respect.

We are often asked to shoot videos for hospitals, schools, and other businesses that deal with sensitive, personal information. When we work with these establishments, we do our best to treat them with the amount of respect they deserve. We feel that the best stories often come out of places that deal with daily human interactions on such a deep, relational level. Take a look at this story about Heather, a nurse at the Carolinas Healthcare network in Charlotte, North Carolina. As you watch her and her team go through their everyday hospital activities, you are offered a rare glimpse in what it’s like to work in the healthcare field. The viewer isn’t just watching a video about a nurse, they are literally transported into the halls of the hospital with their friend Heather. Which is a powerful thing.

Places are powerful and important. At Rooted Content, we want to convey the meaningful nature of the locations where we are so lucky to shoot. For more of our on-site work, click here.