We’ll be the first to admit that we are video centric people. Heck, our name is Video Blocks. Because of that, we often overlook how powerful audio can be, and how momentous it can become when telling a story. Luckily our reintroduction to an amazing nonprofit organization called StoryCorps has helped us get back in touch with the importance of audio and how it can sometimes be the catalyst for extraordinary video.
According to its website, StoryCorps is a private, non profit group whose mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives. They’ve been around since 2003 and in that time they’ve collected and archived more than 40,000 interviews. All of those interviews are archived at the Library of Congress, and each week some of the stories are featured on NPR’s Morning Edition. They’ve also taken some of the stories and created animated shorts films out of them. They’re available on the StoryCorps website and YouTube. These shorts are beautifully produced and perfectly illustrated, but there is no mistaking that it is the voice in each of these clips that really propels its excellence.
Why Audio Matters
When we shoot video, we often leave audio as an afterthought. We’re more eager to spend money on a new lens than a new microphone. We forget to test the audio until after the entire shoot is done. We take audio for granted.
But when you hear these stories, you realize that the human voice and the audio experience is what makes them so appealing. Its the gravel in an old man’s voice, or the inquisitive pitch of a child that makes their personality come to life…not the lighting or the special effects. A pure, crisp audio recording is the greatest gift you can give a character. Its giving time for pauses and allowing words to stumble that brings out the humanity in a piece of media. Let the human voice be natural and be heard. If you still don’t see the value, listen to some of these StoryCorps videos and you’ll be convinced.
An Audio Challenge
We’re all about challenging ourselves in this new year, so let’s kick things off with an audio challenge. Record someone telling you their story, and use your skills as a video editor or videographer to make that story come to life. Whether it be a grandparent, a child or a random person on the street, take ten minutes to listen to their story and find inspiration. Then, based on the human voice, the audio, tell a visual story. Not an animator? You don’t have to be. Find shots that reflect the beauty, the fun or the sorrow of the story. Heck, you could even use stock footage from Video Blocks to string together a narrative. The whole point is audio first, video second. It may be a challenge, but in the end we promise that you’ll have a product that is as well conceived as it is rewarding.
Need to add some into and outro music to your audio project? Try this free production music track from Video Blocks. Just click the link below to download your free production music track.
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