I'm not a video guy, but I think the things that Brian Storm, the founder of MediaStorm, an NYC-based production company he founded in 2005, said about storytelling were important and spot-on.
"Focus on the characters," Storm said.
Storm spoke about not letting the weight of any story overtake the emotions and personalities of the characters who tell it. One chapter of Driftless: Stories from Iowa focuses on Harry and Helen, a married elderly couple who have spent their life together as farmers in small-town Iowa. The story focuses on the struggles that family farmers face in competing with modern corporate farms.
Throughout his two-hour speech, Storm reemphasized the importance of using the emotions and voices of the characters in the story. In the case of Driftless, Storm could have used the facts and statistics of corporate farming to explain how many family farmers are being put out of business, but instead, he let the characters show how the corporate farms were ending their way of life. In the video, Harry says that he literally believes that the food of corporate farms is what caused his wife to get Alzheimer's.
As a text journalist, it is easy to get caught up in the numbers and statistics of a story. While these are important and certainly have their place, it is important never to lose that "human face."
In 2006 MediaStorm published Undesired, a project by Walter Astrada and made for the Alexia Foundation.
One can see that while statistics are at times used, MediaStorm primarily relies on the voice of characters to progress the story.
As a side note, I'd like to say that MediaStorm has an interesting business model. The production company seems to cater to all publishers and clients - news organizations, for-profit corporations and non-profits alike. I think it's economically progressive and smart for them to label themselves as story tellers rather than journalists, advertisers, or documentary film-makers.
Check out MediaStorm's website to see more of their films.