Lizzie Everard Design Blog

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

_what to do when people are watching




Everybody wants to feel inspired. 

We do. We're all out here searching for ideas and connections, and it matters to most of us that we communicate in a way that gives us a sense of belonging, and of being understood. 

Honestly, I would be lying to you if I said my journey was a straight highway with no roadblocks (cue soundtrack) and I like finding stories online that help me be brave, take courage, clamber over obstacles, win battles, solve problems, get rich, escape the baddy and fall in love. (Replace 'I' with 'we', and I'm guessing this still chimes.)

How intimidating though, if you're at all in the business of creating content for web. How will you communicate your message so as to captivate people and inspire them to come along with you on the journey? Your crowd of onlookers wants to be engaged, and if they are not caught quickly, they’ll pass by. Well, are you sitting comfortably? It’s all about story-telling. 

Story-telling is a great way to captivate and inspire, and film is a fantastic medium with which to tell stories, to roll out great narratives that capture imagination. 
Narrative keeps people with you in their wondering. 

This week I went to see Cloud Atlas, and for 3 inexplicably long hours it held my attention, even though I felt deeply confused trying to follow the mashed-up plot. Something kept me in my seat and watching to the end. Perhaps incredible production values and brilliant prosthetics had something to do with it. Most of all, I think it simply boils down to the power of a time-based narrative:

Simply, we're built to hold out for a good resolution through all sorts of unbelievable twists and turns in life. The more outrageous, the more we want our happy ending, and we'll keep watching for it.

The power of moving image and animated words with a lilting soundtrack can give delivery of your message big emotion. A popping or exploding visual with just a couple of words can convey the essence of a whole typed paragraph, or in the following instance, a whole book: 

Sonja and Sharon at Valuable Content recently got me on board to help them tell the story in their new book, Valuable Content Marketing, by making a film based on their own message. Sharon scripted the message and I made suggestions about how to apply this in moving image, then got to work. We played the 3 minute animation at their book launch party for all gathered friends and colleagues. As Sharon says:

“Lizzie’s film was a highlight of the book launch. We wanted a film that would capture the message of the book, make it visual and compelling, and that we could share online. Lizzie’s film told the book’s story vividly, and quickly. The combination of short text, animated images and music made the concepts come alive. The audience responded really positively, and it lifted the occasion to another level.”

Our true journey becomes the story people really want to know in a new era of content creation - sharing our experiences, how we identified and solved problems, and triumphed. If you tell your story beautifully, and people chime with the way you tell it, you may find yourself with new collaborators.


  • So, what’s your story?
  • If you have a message you'd like to animate, drop me a line with your film idea – I'd love to help you bring it to life. 



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