Creating a visual narrative

Creating a visual narrative to showcase the customer journey.

At TapeMyDay we offer a complete, turnkey solution for a wide range of clients. The camera systems we implement will be placed in tons of different locations and situations. Usually, we cover far more than just one attraction per client. With different camera positions available throughout, for instance, a theme-park, how do we define which of our recorded clips get shown, and where those clips are inserted into our end-product?

Just showing a random collection of clips, with no rhyme or reason to how they’re ordered, might get boring and confusing for the customer. Creating a visual narrative that approximates their actual journey through the park or venue is far more valuable. TapeMyDay aims to provide each customer with a great reminder of their trip, rather than a loosely connected collection of clips (something a customer often experiences when they shoot short videoclips and selfies with their smartphone).

So, how do we create a good ‘customer journey’ flow that feels engaging and enticing? We do this through a process wherein we try to define an optimal narrative structure. If we cover a selection of rides at a theme-park, we’ll look at a few key factors that give us an indication of where a recording of a ride should be placed.

  1. Actual routes through a park or venue

A great way to indicate what the average customer journey may look like, is to map out a ‘default route’ that most visitors will follow. If we can define a start, middle, and end of a single route, it makes sense to showcase the recordings of this route in this specific order, to create a sense of continuity that reflects their actual journey. We strategically place our cameras to capture the highlights of each part of the route, or each part of the attraction(s) we cover.

 

  1. Level of excitement

If you want to capture and keep the attention of an audience, a well-paced narrative is very important. We look at each ride in question and decide where it falls on a scale of excitement. We use these indicators to create a nice flow, where a very exciting and adrenaline-fueled ride (like a rollercoaster) might be followed by a slower ride, such as a nice water-ride that covers beautiful vistas. Creating an ebb-and-flow throughout the video by alternating these clips ensures that we have an eye-catching, exciting clip at steady intervals. Think about how a movie progresses – an expository intro/setup, rising action, a climax, a calmer intermission, another climactic scene and the grand finale.

  1. Length of the ride & the recordings

Each ride has a different duration. Some rollercoasters for instance will last relatively short, while a boat-ride might take a lot longer (and therefore have longer recordings). We try to alternate between shorter clips and longer clips to capture and hold the attention of our customers during each part of the video. Some rides may also have multiple cameras, whereas others may only be serviced by a single camera. The longer you spend on a ‘single’ camera angle, the quicker the shot becomes stale. When we alternate between different shots, the narrative becomes more dynamic and exciting.

 

Once we have a clear vision on the order in which our recordings are played, we create an engaging visual template, where each recording is preceded by or followed up with pre-recorded stock footage (more on that in a future article!). These segments are crafted to grab attention in a relatively short timeframe and give us the opportunity to create seamless transitions between recordings. This allows us to entice with some special effects and provides us with the option to display (for instance) some information about the park or the ride in question. The entirety of the story is then accompanied by a soundtrack that fits the theme or style of the subject matter we are covering. Of course, in today’s age a video must also be able to hold its own even without sound turned on.

In summary

In short, we aim to provide value to each individual customer by giving them the opportunity to ‘relive’ their visit, their journey, by delivering all highlights in a solid, complete and enticing narrative package. We do this by approximating the actual route a customer may take through a venue or park, by creating story-beats in the video that keep people engaged and entertained, and by making sure each segment has just the right length and spacing, interwoven with eye-catching stock-footage inserts and a fitting soundtrack.

 

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Martijn is Creative Director for TAPEMYDAY and posts a monthly column on the company website about all things related to the artistic processes and planning aspects of creating a great video.