Steal Hollywood’s Storytelling Secrets for Massive Engagement

Steal Hollywood’s Storytelling Secrets for Massive Engagement


– Hollywood has gotten really good at [Man] telling engaging stories. In fact, every time they do so, someone makes a million dollars. (cash register chime) And today, I want to share with you guys some of the same principles that they use to tell really engaging stories that’ll help you get more views, more subscribers, more watch time, more brands wanting to
reach out and work with you. These principles are totally reproducible, repeatable, and every time you go to a movie theater you see all of these things happening, and we wanna take it and
apply it to your video. But first, a little story. (electronic music) (child talking) (classic rock drumming music) Today is a special day, because why? – It’s my birthday! – [Man] And how old are you today? – Six! – (Man laughs) She’s excited. (classic rock drumming music) – What do you really want?
– I want candy! – [Man] You know what you
need to get the candy? – Mm-mm.
– [Man] What do you think? – Money? – [Man] Money, yup. Think you need to put some quarters, they’re
each 25 cents, right? Do you have any quarters? Oh, how are you gonna get the candy? (bright drumming music) I think I have a solution for you. I have money, I have quarters. But, first of all, before
you can get the money, you have to make a deal with me. What kind of deal do
you wanna make with me? (laughs) I like that deal, thank you! All right. Okay. Okay. Now, how many quarters are there? – Eight! – Okay, there’s eight quarters, but there’s another problem. You have to share them with
all your brothers and sisters. You decide how many
quarters you’re gonna give to each of your brothers and sisters, and how many you’re
gonna keep for yourself. – Zeke. Toby. – [Man] So what are you doing? – I’m giving one to everybody. – Okay. – Hannah. Karis, you can have one. – [Man] Now, Hallie, how many quarters do you have left for yourself? – Three. – Cool! Careful when it opens. – Come on, candy. – [Man] Hallie, where’s your quarters? – I don’t know. – [Man] You don’t have your quarters? Did you lose them? Are they on the floor? – [Hallie] Over here maybe? (bright pop music) – These are mine! – [Man] You found them! (bright pop music) – I got special one! (ding) Thank you daddy! – You’re welcome, I love you! Thank you! Wow, those are big kisses! So that was a very basic story that’s probably more likely to connect with a child
than an adult, I guess. But let’s walk through
the structure there, and then at the end we’ll connect it to a story that I think
you and I will probably connect to on a better level. – [Man] There’s three
parts to every story. It starts about a character
who wants something, overcomes conflict to get it, and is transformed by the process. So let’s dig into it. Act number one is about a
character who wants something. Now, in a YouTube video,
the very first thing you need to do is establish
who this character is. That can be done simply
by showing them visually on-screen who it is, maybe using some establishing shots, or giving some context can help as well. But second, you must very quickly get to the inciting incident in the story. Now, the inciting incident is the thing that happened that really makes the character want something
and desire something. The stronger is is, the
stronger the desire, the better. From this moment on, the
rest of the story is about “Will the character get
the thing that they want?” – I want candy! – If you look for this
inciting incident moment on television and on TV,
they can usually take a few minutes to ramp up to that, but on YouTube we don’t have that luxury. We need to hook that audience’s attention right away, quickly prompt that question in their mind, maybe even with the title on the thumbnail that
they already clicked on, and then really keep them watching because there’s a lot of
competition on YouTube for their eyeballs to
watch something else. And this brings us to Act Two,
which is all about conflict. This is where the character
faces the conflict and they have plenty of obstacles they need to overcome, and each obstacle gets more and more
difficult, the stakes get higher and higher in each
obstacle, and conflict is more insurmountable, and it just causes the viewer to really want to cheer for the character, like “Yes,
you can do it, get there!” but also raises the stakes each time, and we’re building towards
this thing that’s like, “Will they get this thing
that they want or not?” A series- – [Siri] I’m here. – Go away, Siri. (chuckles) – [Siri] What did I do to deserve that? – A series of conflicts
then leads to a crisis. This is the point where
it feels like all is lost, there is absolutely no way
to overcome this obstacle. My daughter, she had the money, she distributed it, and then she lost it and Dad doesn’t have any more quarters. And everything is in vain, everything that worked up to this moment is gone. Act Three now begins and this
is all about transformation. The character is there at
the climax of this story. This is the moment, are they gonna get it, or are they not gonna get it? And this is where
everything is on the line, and the conflict that we have been watching this person go
through this entire story this is where it all culminates. And spoiler alert, yes,
they overcome the conflict, they win, they get to the top, they get to that point, and the whole- everything that the story
was building towards finally makes sense, and this is when the girl gets that guy, this is when the superhero defeats the villain, this is when Santa actually gets the gifts delivered once again. This is when someone finds their way home again, and is finally there. Or, in the case of YouTube,
this is when that kid finally gets that toy un-boxed, or this is when that DIY
project is finally finished, or this is when the
cooking/food show channel makes the food, and at the
end it just looks delicious, this is when that family vlog, where the family has been trying for so long to adopt a child finally adopts the child
and gets to bring them home. But, the point of any good story is not actually about
overcoming obstacles. The point of any good story is actually about transformation. It’s about how are they different? What was it about the conflict in that whole process
they had to go through that really changed them and turned them into a different character
at the end of the story than they were at the
beginning of the story. This is the part that causes us to have those warm, fuzzy feelings
at the end of a movie. This is what takes us
from just liking a story to really loving a story. On YouTube, the point isn’t actually that the boy un-boxed a toy. It’s actually about feeling that sense of excitement, and knowing that he’s not gonna be experiencing boredom again anytime soon. The DIY project, this is
actually about giving us a sense of satisfaction
and pride in something that we’ve created. And in my case, it’s not
actually about a girl getting candy, it’s about the relationship between a father and a daughter, and their relationship is
strengthened in some way. The point of any good story is about transformation. On YouTube, it’s often very appropriate that after that climax
ends, just end the video, give people the end screen, get them to click and watch another one. Throughout the next few weeks and months we’re actually gonna be talking a lot more about really practical ideas for how to best integrate storytelling
into your videos, especially those of you
who have educational-type of channels, and you’re like
“I’m not telling stories, I don’t have narrative content, how do I do education on that?” Well that’s coming, subscribe
to get those videos. But in the meantime, I
have an assignment for you. I want you to click this video you see on your screen right here, this is the video by Peter McKinnon. I want you to watch
this video, and look for each of these elements of storytelling that we’ve discussed here today, and find that story arc in that video. Check it out, he does a really good job at raising the stakes
the whole way through, so check that video, there’s also a link to it in the description below, and I’ll see you guys
over in the next one.

100 thoughts on “Steal Hollywood’s Storytelling Secrets for Massive Engagement

  • Definitely wanna experiment this with my videos. This applies to so much. If you think about it, most comedians use story telling to keep their audience enhanced as well. Thanks for this great content! Also, super cool to see your family! Really heart warming. 🤙🏾

  • Great way to explain telling a story Tim! Something I need to work on. I tend to post my video and then think of the actual story or adding to it.

  • Great idea! I was just thinking this morning about making a video where I tell the story about the time a basketball hoop smashed my finger tip off while I was a kid at the ymca. I might choose a different story though…

  • I totally agree that as an educational channel, it can be tough to create a story around the content when our audience wants a "how-to" video. Thanks for sharing this excellent example of how to provide an audience with a great story.

  • Great Job Tim!!!! I even saved this video for me to watch over and over again in the future….LOVE IT AND THANK YOU!!!

    KNOW WHAT MOM KNOWS
    Shelly Cole
    aka "MOM" 😉

    I am a MAKER/WOODWORKER/CHEF
    A Giver of my Time to help the Hopeless, Helpless and Homeless with the things we all say, do & make!!

  • I love adding narrative elements and skits to my review videos. Although every once in a while someone comes a long to complain "Just get to the point!"

  • Maybe some would like to see a story in a DIY video but not me. I want the content for my purpose straight on , not to be entertained. I am not against this practice, it is just "I" do not prefer it. I think you presented how to do story telling in a video very well though. Great job. : )

  • After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world

  • Thank you for this video, I'm really trying to work on story telling in my videos but it's sometimes hard to find something interesting and relivent to talk about while doing my restoration videos. Might work better for my road trip vlogs. Great content and I'm also enjoying your 30 days book. Here is to a great 2019!

  • Awesome content! I finally found what I was looking for at your channel: how to apply storytelling to YouTube. I'm reading the book you've recommended (long story short) great book by the way! I also watched Peter McKinnon video at the end. How amazing is that? He could build a very good story around a photograph and hold my attention for 23 minutes. I just had to come back here to say you're a lifesaver! Thanks a lot for posting this type of content 🙂

  • Yes! I’ve been trying to figure out how to better implement storytelling for my educational channel. Can’t wait to see what’s next. Thanks, Tim! -Akeiva

  • So in my business/YouTube, my design projects is the characters. The inciting part is how horrible it looks and is in need of renovation. etc. Ok I buy that.

  • Old like to add a tip; live stream. I have been live streaming for a month and have a couple stream only series with good stories the viewers participate in.of. course it won't work all the time. Not sure the game Cities; Skylines' can have a story or other games like it.🤔

  • Tim, I have an educational channel (giving creative people the tools to level up their creative ambitions) but I have struggled to weave story into my content in a consistent way. Jeff, over at Story Greenlight talks a lot about story… I'm a subscriber over there and to your channel as well but I haven't quite been able to get my arms (or brain) around the techniques yet, so I'm definitely looking forward to what you'll have to say for those of us in an educational niche! Thanks for all you do!

  • Hi Tim, thank you so much for this amazing video, looking forward your next storytelling videos and happy belated birthday for your daughter.

  • Excellent master class on storytelling, and you use the sweetest example story possible.

    I may just run this video for clients instead of spending an hour or more waking them through how each of their sales situations is a story itself as well as being dependent on their storytelling about. Peter's video is definitely gold, I'll have to hit your link and watch that again. Thanks!

  • I’m a 19 year old boy and even I was hooked on that story 😂😂😂 I was like “oh no she lost her quarters” 😂😂😂

  • This is a great video. I love how you explain in detail the story line. I’ve been really trying to add a story to each one of my recipe videos. TFS

  • So much value in this video! I was actually hooked into the message when our daughter screamed "that's us"!! Thanks for adding us to the b-roll, totally unexpected!

  • you are awesome! Your family is adorable and you explained a sometimes complex idea very well. yay for birthdays and hugs.

  • Hey Tim we just went live with our first vlog today. Shares many similarities with this videos topic! Would love the feedback as your videos have been a huge part in helping me set up this channel. Thanks and I wish you all the best! -Jeff

  • That’s a great story model Tim. I had a movie actor / wirector / writer tell me about a book Save The Cat It will share the steps to writing a great movie and story line. It’s an awesome read. If you share this little tip, how about a shoutout 👍😁 have a great weekend brother

  • WE have followed this concept throughout Series 1 of Improv 4 Players. . . . slowly the message is getting through with views up, watch time and subscriptions gradually increasing.

  • Total Awesomeness! Really excited about learning how to use this for educational / how to content where it's not vlogging style. Thanks Tim!

  • Great content Tim. I met you at Vid Con in 2017 and you were as real and honest/down to earth as you were in your videos !! This is useful advice for any niche.

  • Great video! I really enjoyed it. I would have to agree that Peter McKinnon's video was so good! I've already watched it and I was rooting for him to get that shot through the whole video!

  • Loved it! Does this apply to in depth technical training? Conflict “my pointer to storage is lost,what shall I do?” Transformation “I forgot to dereference a value in the previous line, fixed it and now I have found my pointer with the aid of the debugger. My hero I’m saved!” Waiting breathlessly for the next installment😊

  • Thank you. This video and the two you linked have been the most helpful I've ever seen on how to make a good video

  • Your channel is really great. I always turn to it when I need encouragement and solid info on how to grow my channel. Seeing your family was like the cherry on top!! I've seen the PM video- it's great! Thanks again Tim!

  • Love your videos Tim!! I have learned so much from you over the years and now I'm ready to put that knowledge to practice 💪

  • Great video as always Tim. It's no suprise that storytelling can engage your audience. If I said Noah's Ark, Star Wars, Game of Thrones or Robin Hood.. a lot of folks would know what I'm on about nearly immediately because telling stories is a deeply ingrained thing in us.

  • This is so, incredibly helpful as a new vlogger, Tim! I feel like I’m being set up for success whenever I watch your videos and look forward to learning more!

  • Thanks so much for your advice. I watched Peter's movie. Awesome! Just starting on YouTube and now plan to plan!

  • Thank you Tim, We will definitely work at putting together our videos with story telling!!!

  • Very well done! I’m in film/cinematography school right now and this video summaries what 2-3 of my classes so far have been about. Super valuable information here.

  • this is some great economics haha!

    1 coin for everyone, and 3 for the entrepreneur who made it all possible :3

  • OMG! She’s so cute.. just new on your channel.. I just started doing my channel with my little one too.. I’ll get attached to you 🤗🤗🤗

  • I am trying to answer the 7 questions that you mention for upcoming videos I am planning. And am wondering if it is usually better to have fewer answers to the questions? I'm noticing that for #2 what does the main character want? I often have a lot of answers… Thanks, I have been watching a lot of your videos since I discovered you in your collab with video influencers a couple days ago.

  • Thanks a lot Tim Schmoyer. I have been following your channel ever since I started with my channel and I have learned so many things from you. After watching this video a question came into my mind which is does this storytelling technique is appropriate for my gaming channel. For some cases like playing a particular mission how can I introduce stroy telling to my audience ?

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