This week we have gathered together our favorites and reverse engineered them.

Today, we will brainstorm what makes them great.

Before we get started, let’s review why stories matter:


Percentage of what people remember using statistics vs. using a story:


In a recent study, people who were given $5 and then asked if they wanted to donate to a world hunger cause.  Those who heard statistics donated $1.17 on average.  Those who heard a specific story donated $2.83.


What are the key parts of a story?

These parts resonate with the basic human condition:


Our Inspirations and what they Teach Us:

The Gap / Dramatic Tension / Conflict

A Mystery / Surprise / Something Unique and Interesting


High Stakes:


Relatable Heroes & Character Development


Strong Theme:


Revealing Our Actual Reality:


Immersion in a Place – Physically and Emotionally


Plot: Tension in Action


Timing and Rhythm


Pacing & Rhythm





Up Next: The Boring Room Challenge

Practice these Elements of Great Storytelling

The Rules:

  • Work alone (except for actors)
  • Final results are not as important as what you learn from the process
  • Therefore, you must engage in a process that allows you to practice the key elements outlined today.
    • Compose a story that allows you to practice as many of our ideas as possible
    • Shoot your film, practicing as many of our ideas possible
    • Edit your film, practicing as many of our ideas as possible
  • Post to YouTube (unlisted if you like) submit your URL to the Canvas discussion board along with a bullet-point list of what you learned.
  • Due Monday by midnight.


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