Crafting An Emotional Story For Video: 2013 Raleigh Roundup

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Storytelling is our way as humans to understand life’s dramatic positive and negative changes. It all begins when something throws life out of balance, and the stories heart comes from the discovery of life’s truth we find in the efforts to restore that balance.

Three Post was approached by the Red Sword Guild to produce a video for their Raleigh Roundup fundraiser. The video would tell the story of how a cancer diagnosis changes more than just the patient, but affects whole families — and that change can last forever.

The Raleigh Roundup is a volunteer-driven event supported by some of the area’s largest corporate and medical organizations. The Raleigh Roundup is a special fundraising event hosted by the Red Sword Guild to benefit the American Cancer Society’s Raleigh Community Office.

The first step was to actually sit down with everyone and get them to discuss how cancer had impacted their families. This early in the process we didn’t quite have our story crafted yet — so we just sat down, spoke with people and let the cameras roll. We were confident that if we could get people to open up the story would present itself. This resulted in about eight hours of interview footage.

After digging through footage and transcripts we started to see the story take shape. It was all about plans change. How life can seem predetermined and predictable — and how a cancer diagnosis can throw those plans out the window.

But it wasn’t just about how plans had changed for those diagnosed, it was how cancer had caused a “ripple effect” through their families too. The concept of the “ripple effect” helped to establish empathy. It was hard not to see yourself or your family being affected in a similar way.

Once we had found our story, the challenge then came when trimming down the video’s content down to under five minutes. It meant cutting a lot of video footage — a lot of good footage. One of the toughest aspects of editing is having to make the decision of what stays and what goes — even when what you’re taking out is still solid content.

Eventually we were able to develop three separate teaser videos which brought the story down to its most elemental level.



The final edit of the story allowed us to build off of what we had done with the teasers, but also allowed us more time to establish the connection between these interviews — and unveil the bigger, overarching story.


We were honored to have been given the opportunity to take part in this project that helps to raise money and awareness for such a good cause.

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