Blog Post 6: Visual Storytelling

The video “The Obamacare provision that saved thousands from bankruptcy” incorporates storytelling elements that push the narrative to make an impact. A narrative arc is the flow of a story. Typically, the story will begin at the beginning and end at the end. For the most part, this story follows that path. This video additionally is focused around a central compelling character, Timmy, that allows the viewer to connect emotionally with the story. A compelling character allows a complex subject like health care tangibility by connecting it to a human element. Conflict and tension are packed in the story. Conflict and tension give the story energy and reason for being. We do not know what will happen in Congress with the Affordable Care Act. We never know if Timmy will be fine or not. Sarah Kliff, reporter, uses data and expert opinion throughout the video. She breaks down the complexity of the Affordable Care Act and includes numbers and data to support her thesis. She incorporates viewpoints from the family members and congress officials. This creates tension throughout the story as well.


Even though the story runs long, the viewers are engaged the entire time. The viewer wants to know if it will work out, if we have a happy ending. The tension of the story keeps them hooked. My biggest critic of this story, however, is the videographer never gets on Timmy’s level. Most of the story, we are looking down on Timmy. Getting on Timmy’s level would create a more intimate moment between the viewer and Timmy. My second critic is there was a spot with a bad jump cut. Kliff wanted to use two different sound bites from the mom back-to-back, but failed to put any broll over the dialogue. The result, is you have a clip with Timmy and his mom in the shot, and then another clip with just Timmy’s mom.


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