Words are interesting, pictures are indelible. I maintain that the highest form of communication is pictures. Words are nice, but with one image I can speak more than a thousand words; many pictures can leave a crowd speechless. When I was in seventh grade, it was finally that time we could take elective classes and I eventually wound up in a graphic arts class; mostly because it was the only class left. It was there I fell in love with images and photography. I begged my father to buy me a used Minolta SRT101 and several lenses. From that point, I took pictures of everything; cute girls, plants, animals, sunsets – all the things first timers photography. And, having my eye glued to the viewfinder I began pretending that I was making movies. Eventually, I began taking pictures and combining them in a collage to tell a story. After spending years interviewing some of the world’s leading artists, musicians and writers I was taken with how many of them thought in pictures. Today, particularly, thinking in images to tell your stories is critical. Even if you are writing, you must create in a visual language. 1+1 = 1000 Sergei Eisenstein in his book Film Form written about 100 years ago, describes Chinese writing and character. While one letter may mean one thing, combined two letters can convey a concept that is rich and deeply meaningful. Pictures do the same. In film storytelling, we see the same concept when several images are edited together in sequence a new and more exciting story can emerge that is not well communicated by just one image or scene. Having a person interviewed on camera as a business testimonial may have interest, but showing their story unfold in a short documentary is much more powerful.
(Three Graphical Examples – See if you can find Battleship Potempkin)
Chose stories or ideas that can visually communicate your idea. I do still keep that camera I purchased in seventh grade. After college I was a professional photographer creating images for advertising at a major company. I used that camera while getting my next degree in cinema and working my way through college. It required film, processing the film and printing the film. Images were different. Each time you pressed the shutter release it cost money and you were careful to create a story in the picture frame. Take a step back and do the same with your stories, take the time to paint a deliberate picture that moves your audience. Carl Hartman is a former executive with a major American television network, reality television producer and co-founder of Brand.gineering. His best-selling book Brand.gineering: A 14-Step Powerful & Profitable Brand Development Blueprint for the Digital Marketing Age, is available exclusively on Amazon.