Can Your Company’s Video Story Change a Life?

Do you remember the exact moment you knew what you wanted to do for the rest of your life?

I do. It happened while watching a video. It took exactly seven minutes.

•    Cut to 1984.
Hot off the heels of two communication degrees, my workday was a mix of entry-level activities; pulling cables, loading gear into vans, clipping on mic’s, getting lunch for the crew, and so forth. I was a kid trying to break into an incredibly competitive field.

It’s 8:00 pm. Tuesday night. 75 aspiring filmmakers are huddled in one room for three hours to network and watch a film followed by a discussion with the director.

After networking, we watched a seven-minute fund-raising film for a non-profit hospital. I was captivated. It inspired. It educated. It dispelled myths. It featured “real people.” It was emotional. It worked.

As the show faded to black, my calling in life was handed to me. In those seven minutes, I knew I was going to inspire and educate others by producing these types of stories on video for organizations. I discovered the power of personal stories.

I was changed. Forever.

•    Cut to 2008.

It’s now been 24 years since I watched that video. I have been incredibly fortunate to produce and direct hundreds of amazing stories for remarkable organizations of every type and size. Most of the stories have one thing in common; people sharing how they see the world in ways that can help and inspire others.

It’s not about making a video. It’s about discovering and capturing your story in a way that naturally connects you to your audience.

It sounds simple. But do you know how your organization can communicate its story, brand or message through video in a way that is clear, authentic, compelling and entertaining? And solve a business issue?

That’s what we’ll tackle here. We’ll also learn how you can use video to:
•    raise brand awareness
•    help attract the right employees
•    share corporate culture and values
•    dispel long-standing myths
•    launch new initiatives
•    and lots more.

The upcoming posts will cover three highly effective video approaches:
1.    Documentary
2.    Green-screen
3.    EyeLiner

You can easily use these styles to capture your story so that it feels “real” to your audience and not contrived.

When designing your next video, perhaps you can start imagining how your story might change a life as it “fades to black.”

After all, it is possible.


Veteran filmmaker Thomas Clifford helps Fortune 100's to nonprofits who are stuck, frustrated, losing employees or market share because they can't breathe life into their brand story. He believes remarkable organizations deserve remarkable films. Check out Tom’s full bio for links to his podcasts, interviews and manifestos. Tom produces films with passion and purpose at Moving Pictures, a firm connecting companies and audiences through compelling visual communications.

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5 Comments

  • Bob Walsh

    Excellent Tom - "It’s about discovering and capturing your story in a way that naturally connects you to your audience." Bingo! Whether you're doing video, text, software or whatever, your story is what makes you different in a world where you compete/compare/contrast with everyone else a click away. Looking forward to future posts here.

  • Rob Loach

    I was 8 year old, watching someone play a video game, and the person told me that it was a University student's final project for school. Someone actually sat down, and built this video game that I was seeing on the computer screen. That was so cool... It was then when I knew that I wanted to become a developer when I grew up. Cut to 2008, and I'm a web developer. Not really building video games, but the stuff I put together definitely reaches a broader audience! Inspiration and doing what you love is, in my eyes, the most important thing in life... Great article, Tom!

  • Ken Gronbach

    "It’s about discovering and capturing your story in a way that naturally connects you to your audience."
    I hate it when other people steal my ideas-especially before I think them. This line in quotes nails it. Yea, OK, so this guy Bullock wrote about it before me. Fact is Tom Clifford has a sixth sense about video. A video that does not connect with its intended audience is a waste of time, effort and money. One that does connect is priceless. So how do you tell the difference between one that connects and one that doesn't? You just know because the "connecting" video changes things: attitudes, opinions, perspectives and minds. Change is good!

  • David Bullock

    "It’s about discovering and capturing your story in a way that naturally connects you to your audience."

    Never really thought about it that way before.

    People *are* stories. And people live *in* stories. Great point. Only a filmmaker holds that perspective.

    This is a most powerful and misunderstood concept for marketing/advertising and promotion. With broadband becoming more available, the clearing is becoming wider for communicators to get their messages directly to the people that matter. To promote across channels is becoming the new opportunity.

    Tom, thanks for sharing.

    I look forward to your upcoming posts. So that that I can better understand the types of video approaches that I can use at a business owner who is looking to communicate to the marketplace.

  • Phil Gerbyshak

    Excellent introduction to the brand we love, Director Tom. Can't wait to see what you teach us next. Behold the power of story telling!