Promo / Aftermovie visual thinking workshop

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When you can tell your story visually, everyone understands you


Not everyone can think visually. At least, that’s what we have learned ever since we went to school. Curious Piyuesh doesn’t agree with that. He even says drawing is a basic need, just like sex!
With his workshop he teaches everyone to think visually. And visualise their thoughts. As a videographer I also think visually. When an entrepreneur wants to tell their story, I make it possible for them to show it.

Drawing is just like sex

I don’t believe drawing is a basic need. What I do believe, however - and I believe that is what Piyuesh also meant ánd proved with his workshop - is that visualising is crucial. And that we as Homo Sapiens might not have had existed still if we didn’t do that. The stories that were told in the Stone Age and long after that, were recorded as murals. And knowledge is power.

When you finish the Visuals at your Work workshop, you receive a Visual Communication certificate. Which was interesting to me (and a little bit awkward), because about 10 years ago I started a four-year study called Visual Communications (later renamed Art, Communication & Design) at the Academy for Arts.
Of course the certificate and my diploma are in no way comparable. But there were some interesting similarities. The most important one? Visualising.

Piyuesh started his story with the advise: “If you want to say: ‘You’re beautiful’, then you don’t have to draw a beautiful lady. But maybe you can draw a rose.” That’s how you visualise your story through symbols, and the message will be even stronger than when you had drawn a beautiful lady. Because whether a woman is pretty, is subjective. But in symbolism it has been universally decided that roses are beautiful.

Symbols to tell stories

Symbols have been used for all of human memory. Moreover, before there was text, “we” told everything through images. Think about the ‘script’ of the Greeks and Romans, and the murals of the Neanderthals. This symbolism has aroused my interest in Catholic art. When at first I thought it was boring old, dusty art, later on I realised that the random fish on the table was symbolic for Jesus and the famous white dove meant peace. I also discovered how I could recognise the holy trinity and the importance of the number three (among which the triptych). I even have a little book on symbolism in ancient art. And in the Boijmans van Beuningen museum in Rotterdam I love to walk through the rooms with art from the sixteenth century.

Even in my branding and promo videos I use this symbolism to help the viewer understand what the entrepreneur wants to tell. A smile stands for passion, a colourful sunset for joy. Details (of for example jewellery or a cake) symbolises expertise and light surroundings stand for a fresh view on things.
And music gives an extra dimension to that symbolism. It helps me enhance contrasts or enhance a certain emotion. Without even having to say a word.

Words as symbols

Talking about words, I do use them in my ‘stories’! Sometimes by interview, sometimes I record the stories the entrepreneur tells during recording. I film an entrepreneur like Kaylee during her training on purpose, so that I can show her brand (who she is when she shares her knowledge) extra well. In Piyuesh’ case my goal wasn’t necessarily to show how great his workshops are, but how inspiring the TINT events (who was my actual client) are. For this event TINT chose Piyuesh, and for the other event they used other ways to do so (speakers, inspiring food and music). These ‘symbols’ will be the things that are highlighted in that specific film.

As I stated earlier it can also be the case that you or I prefer to use interview techniques to tell your story in your film. We also use symbols, only not visually. How and why you would or would not use interviews for your film, I share here.

If I had to chose 3 symbols which tell my story, I would search for symbols for spirituality (being in nature), being yourself (making jokes / making people laugh) and my love for music. I don’t know yet how I would symbolise the last one though. I don’t listen to records, but Spotify; I love to sing, but I couldn’t carry a tune if my life was at stake; and if I’d rap, that would probably symbolise something entirely different. So that’s one I’m going to have to think about for a little while longer.

And what about you? If you had to pick 3 symbols which represent your brand, which would you use to tell your story?

Arantja Rosalina