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"Tom Clifford is by trade a filmmaker. For most of his life, he rarely wrote anything longer than a brief comment in the margin of a script. 

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« Story. What The Heck Is It? | Main | The AGE CURVE and Corporate Video Storytelling »

People Tell Stories. Not Tools.

It’s tempting to make sure you have the right tools to capture your organization’s video story.

  • Will that brand new video camera make us look better?
  • Should we try some different editing software?
  • Which 3D program is best?

And on and on...

Tools don’t tell stories. People tell stories.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m surrounded by tools: video cameras, an audio studio, motion graphics and editing suites.

I’ll also be the first to admit I really love certain editing effects. In fact, they have become part of my own branded signature.

But these tools simply enable our stories to be created and shared.

Remember: Story first. Tools second.

What do you think?

Thanks to Seth Godin's recent post for the inspiration.

Have a super weekend.


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Reader Comments (6)


You're right - stories are what makes the difference - they're more memorable and emotional (when done with passion and authenticity). My blog is full of stories. People remember them versus "The ABC's of Success."

Whether you're using video or the written word, stories usually capture people's emotions and tug at the heart.
July 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterStephen Hopson
Hi Stephen,

True, indeed...passion and authenticity is central to a memorable story.

Thanks for cruzing by. Be great.

July 26, 2008 | Registered CommenterThomas Clifford
It just occurred to me as I read this post that "People don't just tell stories, they are stories and are in stories all the time". You hit it on the head..."people tell stories. not the tools" The human is the creator here. The tools are only leverage. Messaging, timing and content come from no tool.

Wow: Story first. Tools Second.

Can I add purpose to the mix? Clear purpose will allow us to know if the story did what we wanted it to do.

Only when we can see, hear and connect are we in the story fully. The media is the connector. The human is the creator of the message. And, the tools help the vision to come to life.

Thus the power of film. Now with the availability of broadband and video editing. The skillset will move from the mechanics of film to the actual skill of story construction and rendering.

Tom Thanks for the post. Glad to know you.
July 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Bullock
Thanks, David!
July 26, 2008 | Registered CommenterThomas Clifford
Through my experiences I've come to understand/know that e v e r y o n e has/is a story. Therefore, I couldn't agree with you more.

When to tell "it", how to tell "it", with whom to share "it" and what are the best tools and devices to communicate "it" and what to tell and not to tell within a particular context and circumstance are all considerations.

However, just think of the last time you asked someone something akin to "What's your story?" and, then, remember how they perked up, began sharing (or, somewhat "wondered around" verbally until they found their "story-telling voice") and... voila! --- there you have it.

Finally, consider the fact that there are entire cultures that continue to designate one person to be the repository of their entire living history, myths, systems of belief and more --- (using no 21st century "devices" at all - the storytellers.

What say you, please?

Dance on ...


P. S. Thanks for this insight and sharing, Thomas.
July 31, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJessan Dunn Otis
That was inspiring,

Keep up the good work,

December 9, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterbespoke software

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