Telling a Story Through Video

What do you do when a hummingbird builds a new nest on your clothesline?

Well, if you're an ordinary Joe with a camcorder, you take some shaky hand-held footage of it and post it to YouTube. But if you're a video creator, you make a movie out of it, complete with DVD that you can sell online. That's just what happened with Noriko and Don Carroll.

I once had a journalism teacher say a good story-teller can write a story about anything and make it interesting. He held up an ordinary common yellow pencil and said "I can write a story about the process involved in the making of this pencil so entertaining that you will remember it forever." I don't know about that pencil, but I do remember that statement.

We video producers are all story-tellers, we have that urge to share our passions our interests and our visions with others. Those of us who are good story-tellers, can make a story on any subject entertaining enough that people will watch it, buy it and share it.

Such is what's been happening with Carroll's little story about the birth and first flight of the tiniest of subjects: a hummingbird.

Following the discovery of the tiny nest on his clothesline, Carroll went on a 3-year journey to capture and edit the footage for his story, "First Flight, a Mother Hummingbird's Story." He built a website where he sells DVDs of his beautifully photographed video.

As the line in the Rod Stewart song goes, every picture tells a story, don't it and Carroll's happenstance encounter with a nesting mother hummer turned his interest into a paycheck.

Like our recent posts on one man's passion to save the vanishing Asian elephants, Don Carroll's video should inspire others to find their video passion, and go forth and tell that story. Unlike the elephants, Carroll proves that you don't have to go across the world to find your muse, sometimes it's as close as your own backyard.

So… here's a challenge: Where's YOUR muse taking you this summer? Reports due September 1st! http://www.hummingbirdstory.com/

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Jennifer O’Rourke is an Emmy award-winning videographer & editor.

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