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Video has consumed my life lately.

What works? How do you tug at the hearts of viewers without overwhelming them? What are good ways to engage an audience? How do you interview subjects about sensitive topics? What are the best ways to avoid clich├ęs?

I’m still improving my technical skills, but I’ve found it easier to envision the stories I want to tell and how I want to tell them. One video, “Penny’s Heart,” serves as an excellent example to draw from. I originally saw the video on NPR’s website last year and was deeply touched by it.

In a sense, the producers framed the story almost like a PSA. They drew attention to a serious issue, put a face to a statistic and led the viewer to action (organ donation).

Despite its literal call to action, there’s more to it.

Maybe it’s a call to live life more fully. Or a chance to view one person’s disaster as another’s miracle. Either way, it makes you think. It makes you feel.

Grab the tissues.

Penny’s Heart was produced by Lukas Korver.


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About Me

Marianne is a science communicator working in Madison, Wis.

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