Healthcare – Telling Stories
It can be said that a story told without the use of storytelling fundamentals is not really a “story” at all. Our work with a leading telemedicine company within the NHS has shown that storytelling has a place in a healthcare. The services offered by v-connect have a far-reaching impact for patients, healthcare professionals and for everyone else in between. They provide secure video communication services that are designed to improve the quality of healthcare. This case study highlights how the short films can deliver offer powerful messages with impact, emotion and story.
The strategy of telling a great story
Healthcare like many other industries has many different threads of interest from many different parties, all working together like an orchestra with the overall goal of caring for people who need it. When you are present amongst healthcare professionals it quickly becomes clear how deeply they care for their patients. Any story in this environment needs to capture their view of the valuable work that they do. The patients whom they care for are incredible and they often live with chronic vulnerabilities. Yet their strength is profound in every way! There is no other way of capturing these moments without storytelling being at the heart of it. Many of the films that we produce are not made public, however, we often hear feedback of how people are affected emotionally. This is the power of “story”. To most people the word “story” is unremarkable, but to a storyteller, the word “story” affects every aspect of the video production.
Our strong focus on storytelling means that every video production is planned. They are planned to the point that we have a very clear idea of the messages that need to be captured. We worked with v-connect during the shoot day and this made the production a working collaboration. On occasion, the shoot required a crew to capture as much as we could get. And depending on the story, we occasionally travelled and interviewed the patient’s in their own homes.
Where possible, we treat locations as if they were characters within the story. It reveals a lot more than one might think. Seeing a patient in their own home has an emotional value that places the viewer right into their living room. Hearing a patient talk about their illness has a significant value which is not to be underestimated. Their words have a profound impact on how the viewer reacts to them. A renal patient who requires regular dialysis is an aspect of life that thankfully most of us never have to deal with. Seeing an extraordinary patient at home with a dialysis machine in the background of their living room has a deep emotional connection. The story pulls the viewer into the patient’s world of normality. And this is one of the reasons why ‘story’ is so important in communicating these types of messages.
Sometimes a video production doesn’t allow for the required travelling to a possible story relevant location. We embrace these situations too and make the most of what we have. We once had to interview some healthcare professionals in the back supply room of a leisure centre. Even under these seemingly impossible conditions, we found a space and used a lighting strategy to make the interview appear as if it was conducted in a hospital. This example highlights how we use storytelling in solving potential issues whilst out on-location.
Editing is also a huge part of the storytelling process. It’s where the real story comes together. There are far too many details of the technical aspects of processing the video footage to cover here, but suffice to say that colour correction, colour grading, sound quality are elements that are all extremely important. All our editing choices are also made with ‘story’ in mind.
A few words from v-connect
"We have been working with Still River Films for several years. When trying to convey the complex world of care it is necessary to incorporate many stakeholder points of view. In order to be engaging this has to be through story. Gwyn’s background and attention to detail with regard to the messages being conveyed is critical to making content that is both engaging and impactful."
Adam Hoare, Managing Director Red Embedded Systems Ltd. provider of the v-connect service.
Other films we’ve produced for v-connect
Renal patients describe how video communication using telemedicine has dramatically changed their lives:
A film which highlights the need for a simplified video interface for people with cognitive impairment:
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