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What Is Plot?

And, why would I need it for a 30sec brand video??

· Storytelling ideas

And, wait, I just wanna have a quick brand video...

Plot is the structure of your story and it is what keeps viewers engaged.

Even if you're planning a 30s video, the 'events' you choose to include in the story, and how you arrange them, will determine your audience's engagement and if they watch until the end of the film.

One of the simplest definitions of story is: stuff happens to people. Plot is the stuff that actually happens in your story.

A strong plot is what keeps your audience engaged. 

If there’s ever been a book that you just couldn’t put down, a TV show that was so irresistible that you had to watch the whole series in one sitting, or a film that kept you glued to your seat—these are all signs of high levels of engagement.

But my subject is boring...

One of your jobs as a marketing filmmaker is to FIND the high drama stories, even in seemingly boring places. The principles remain the same though, if your challenge is as big as combating childhood slavery... or as small as wanting to find a great spot for breakfast.

And, the source of that engagement is a strong Plot.

I’ll cover how to leverage Plot to maximize your story’s engagement in another post, but for now, let’s keep it simple. When we talk about Plot, we’re talking about the stuff that happens in our story, how we structure it.

And, our goal as marketers when we develop Plot is to keep the audience engaged.

Basics of Plot

There are two, key decisions that you must make as the storyteller when developing your story's Plot:

  1. Plot Decision #1. 
    Choose which elements, or plot points, to include in your story and which elements to leave out.
     
  2. Plot Decision #2: 
    Decide how to arrange the elements from the beginning, middle, to end in a way that best maximizes your story’s impact.

In any story you tell, there will be so many different potential moments in a character's life that you could use to tell their story.

What you need to master is picking just the right moments and structuring them in a way that maximizes engagement.

REMEMBER

Plot is the structure of your story and it is what keeps viewers engaged. The events you choose to include in the story, and how you arrange them, will determine your audience's engagement and if they watch until the end of your video (or as we refer to it as film).

But to get there, we need to start with the basics. Up next, that means we need to deeply understand Plot Points, the unit with which we’ll build our Plot.

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