The Grammar of Video

The power is in your hands.

We are bombarded with visual images in magazines, television, videos, movies and the web. These images are designed to inform, convince, or in some way engage our emotions. In short, they are designed to communicate messages. Video images can be composed and combined in specific ways to convey a desired message, much like words can be combined into sentences, paragraphs and stories. There is a "visual grammar" that has its own set of rules, most of which were discovered in the early days of motion pictures. They form the foundation upon which all films and videos are based today. Knowing the rules, and knowing when to use them or break them, gives you the power to tell your stories visually. When you combine that knowledge with the production tools widely available to individuals and schools today, you have the makings of a video revolution. Power to the people!

Tell the story you want to tell.

Make no mistake about it, however your edited video turns out, it will communicate something. The trick is to communicate what you set out to communicate. You'd like the response from your audience to be something other than what was that supposed to be? Effective storytelling with video is something that you learn, like you learn to compose stories with words. The difference is that making videos is more fun!

Helpful Links

Use the links to find term definitions and see video examples.

Terms are green
Video examples are blue

Quick Description

The Video Storytelling Guide is a concise yet comprehensive guide to telling stories with video. It will teach you solid production techniques that can greatly improve the quality and effectiveness of your video stories.

The Guide includes helpful links throughout the text that provide instant access to term definitions. Links will also take you to each of the 75 video examples that illustrate the major concepts presented.

Atomic Learning subscribers may download the entire text of the Video Storytelling Guide in PDF format, as well as a wealth of resources for teaching video production (Word or AppleWorks formats).