How to Tell Personal Stories in Film

By March 2, 2018Best Charity Videos

Making the most of case study videos

At Magneto we believe using real people’s stories is one of the best ways to create impact.

Case study films are popular amongst charities and are great for sharing personal stories that may be inspiring, touching or just plain helpful.

But just following someone’s journey isn’t always enough, so here are 3 ways that you can add value to your case study videos.

Top Tips

1) Create a connection

Creating a human connection is key to engaging with an audience. You want people to instantly feel like they can relate to who is on screen. Showing people in their homes or doing something meaningful to them for example immediately creates an intimate setting for the film.

2) Leave the viewer with valuable information

If people can take useful tips away from your film then they’re far more likely to remember and revisit your film in the future.

3) Honesty

People relate to honest stories. It’s unrealistic to always expect films to be optimistic because it’s not the reality for a lot of people. Letting them share their true experiences is important and, if you want people to sit up and listen, sharing an honest experience with them is probably going to be more engaging.

So without further ado, get a pen and paper handy, because here are three films that craft clever and effective films using case studies.

Parkinson’s UK

Honesty is key

This film is nothing but a frank and honest insight into how a mum with Parkinson’s lives her everyday life.

What I love about this is that it feels more like a conversation than an interview; as a viewer you feel involved. And these types of films can be made on a very low budget. It’s not about how expensive your filming equipment is, it’s about capturing honest experiences.

This is one of a six-part series, I recommend giving the rest a watch!

The Charity for Civil Servants

Connecting with an audience

Deidre’s story is one of our own case study films we made for The Charity for Civil Servants.

Going back to the key points from before, you can see how all three play out here. We open up with Deidre and her son on a bike ride, instantly you’ve created a human connection. Deidre goes on to share her experience and talk about how the charity have helped her.

Throughout the film her openness and vulnerability is not only an honest portrayal of her experience, it’s engaging and an emotional watch for the viewer too. At the same time we learn about the charity and how it can help anyone in times of need. 

Alzheimer’s Society

Take away tips

This is a very visually focused film. When Wendy is explaining the things she does to make her home dementia-friendly we’re shown examples on screen to demonstrate this.

Visually this is more exciting, but it’s also a way for people like Wendy who have dementia, or the carers of people with dementia, to learn from her advice and use these methods themselves. Overall it’s a really nice way of taking one person’s experience, sharing that story and using it to help others at the same time.

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imogen gower magneto producerImogen Gower in an assistant producer at Magneto Films. She recently graduated from King’s College London with a degree in English Language & Linguistics. Imogen has joined the team at Magneto and is training in film production.

Magneto Films Logo London video producersMagneto Films is an award winning production company that specialises in working with brands, technology and the charity and public sectors. We specialise in telling real stories, working with case studies and real people to make films that move people to action. More about Magneto Films

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