Knowing the difference between video production and sorytelling is critically important if you want your key messages heard within your video content. Yet everyday I see examples online which fail when it comes to delivering impactful messaging which resonates with key audiences. Let me explain in more detail.

As video technology has improved over time, it is becoming easier to create high quality video content. As an example, anyone can find impressive social media based content right now shot on an I-Phone. There are even broadcast commercials now proudly labeled as “entirely shot on the new Apple I-Phone!”, touting just how far new technology has come in the video realm.

While “pretty” video can certainly be created on a smart phone many are ignoring the more important factor-will the content be consumed? And will the content inspire the audience to take some form of action? Today’s content rich platforms are exploding with great looking video shot by content creators, influencers, You Tubers and many others entirely on their phones. But many fall flat, failing to connect with the audience, failing to inspire and failing to motivate because the content failed to make a connection. Why? In my experience, video content creators rely too much on enthusiasm and excitement fueled by a new camera and other gadgets and instead lose focus on the very basics of great storytelling.

So what are the ingredients of great visual storytelling? People. Audiences are inspired by other people overcoming the odds to accomplish something great. They are inspired by the stories of triumph over tragedy. They are inspired by real stories driven by real emotion. So, at the heart of great storytelling are powerful interviews with real people made comfortable enough to share their stories on-camera.

Case in point, a video example we like to call our “million dollar video”. Not because the client budget was a million dollars. Far from it, in fact. This “million dollar video” raised one million dollars in one night at a fundraising gala because it inspired people through storytelling.

Yes, this video was shot professionally in 4K with a high resolution camera. Yes, we used professional lighting and audio and a skilled editor did her magic. But this content did not rely on tech or gadgets, crazy drone footage or stabilized handheld cameras. And we did not go crazy in post production with over the top editing.

The focus of this “million dollar video” is on the people and their stories. And it worked.

Rich Dubek is a two time Emmy winning journalist and the President of the Dubek Media Group in Tempe, Arizona. DMG specializes in full service video production and media training.