The audience needs to care. By getting to know the main characters - their weaknesses, wants and the obstacles they face - we identify and become invested in their success. Whether it’s a self-absorbed billionaire morphing into selfless hero (Iron Man) or a construction worker pressured to cut corners (Covered), the viewer must connect with characters on a human level, recognizing their goals and feeling their struggles.
INFORMATION meets IMAGINATION
Training films often fail because their sole purpose is a policy or teaching point. Human beings, however, are wired to understand the world through story. It may feel safe to stack a PowerPoint with data, but facts aren't memorable. Since they don’t connect with an audience’s emotions or life, they rarely change behavior. Stories capture an audience’s imagination and transmit truth about human nature and the world around us.
"A story sneaks a message into the fortified citadel of the human mind…"
AESOP. JESUS. THE BERENSTAIN BEARS.
Fables, parables and children's books have shaped values and changed behavior for centuries. People (and my children) don’t like to be told what to do and find abstract concepts hard to visualize. Stories help a person vicariously experience different behavioral choices or put flesh and bone on the gray areas of life.
OUR THREE ACT APPROACH
Beginning. Middle. End.
It’s not innovative, paradigm shifting or even synergy. It's Aristotle circa 335 BC. When training films ignore basic story structure, the message fails...and the viewer suffers. Even if it’s a one minute cartoon, a video needs a hook (beginning), some conflict (middle) and a resolution (end). Forgo the dramatic arc and you get cardboard characters with nothing at stake and audiences with no reason to care or pay attention.
Resonate Pictures turns your training into story so the ideas stick with employees. We use the three act structure. Here's how...
Hooked, the audience is along for the ride, entering the story as if it's their own. As the hero grapples with challenges, viewers enjoy the tension and suspense while actively living your intended message rather than passively sifting through lifeless information. Capturing attention also knocks down any hardened opinions or walls of defensiveness.
Cinema is the art of transformation. Characters will ultimately change by learning about themselves or how the universe works. This makes film the perfect medium for spurring personal growth or perspective shifts in employees’ beliefs, attitudes and actions. Expertly structured stories help your team internalize the “why” behind company objectives and then apply them at work.
Story guru Robert McKee states, “A story is actually a delivery system for the teller’s theme and purpose.” This truth was seen when great stories increased Navy recruits 500% (Top Gun), introduced healthy menus to fast food chains (Super Size Me) and convicted Robert Durst of murder (The Jinx). Resonate Pictures harnesses genuine storytelling power to meet your company’s objectives by moving your employees to action.
"HOW TO MAKE CORPORATE TRAINING ROCK"
We brought sitcom style training to the workplace. Dan and Chip Heath, authors of NY Times bestseller MADE TO STICK, discussed our original hit series Aggrieva in this issue of Fast Company Magazine."New episodes debuted each Monday, but employees were so ravenous for the next episode that they started tracking them down on the company's staging server where the videos were posted on the preceding Friday.
"Note: When your company's employees are madly searching for your compliance videos, you've done something right."
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Film clips to use in sparking discussions that create a healthy corporate culture of both compliance and character.