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Set Yourself Apart With The One Thing Your Competitors Can't Copy – Your Story.

  • Writer's pictureRobert Bean

5 Reasons Why Architectural Videography Is Not Storytelling

Storytelling is a tool that, when used correctly, will radically transform a business and its impact, amplifying its message in a way its competitors simply cannot copy.

However, in the realm of upscale architectural and design firms, a puzzling reality exists - a sea of visual sameness that blurs lines between innovators and imitators.

Why is it that many upscale architectural and design firms' websites and social feeds look and sound the same as their competitors?


Why do films from publications such as Est Living look similar to those from The Local Project, while also looking rather similar to Architecture Hunter's curated films?





The choice to use video often leads to an unexpected sameness, where videographers, albeit skilled, tend to echo the visual style captured by photographers, resulting in a missed opportunity for differentiation.


This effort by firms, publications and creatives alike seems a little... unremarkable - a word that doesn't often grace the upscale design sector.


In our observation, this trend stems from a hesitance to delve into the uncharted territories within the sector of real storytelling i.e. the telling of stories.


The journey from dream to realization, with challenges and triumphs, is filled with untold stories waiting to be shared. It’s these narratives that show the soul of a firm or a space and offer an authentic glimpse into the heart of design and architecture.


Firms ready to embrace this paradigm shift, to explore the wide range of stories beyond the confines of traditional architectural videography, stand at the edge of a revolution.

A revolution that redefines not just how we see but how we feel about the spaces around us.


Architectural Videography:


A lot of publications and firms use the word 'storytelling' when discussing a new video.


Architectural videography might capture the essence of space and structure, much like architectural photography, offering a visual narrative through film that many mistake for storytelling.


However, true storytelling transcends visual quality, rooting itself in transformation, emotion, and human connection.


Here's how we see architectural videography falling short of the mark in a world where the consumer demands more depth and authenticity:


  1. Lack of Emotional Journey: Architectural videography often showcases the end result without delving into the emotional impact on those who interact with the space. True storytelling shows transformation and personal connection, aspects often absent in traditional architectural videography.

  2. Missing a Narrative Arc: A story typically follows a beginning, middle, and end, but more importantly - a narrative arc that involves conflict, a journey and a resolution. Architectural videography usually presents a static view, missing this dynamic progression that characterizes engaging stories.

  3. Surface-Level Engagement: While architectural videography can awe viewers with stunning visuals, it rarely invites them to dig deeper into the why and how behind a project. Storytelling invites audience participation (even if it's subconscious participation through the science of story structure), engaging them on a journey that explores deeper meanings and insights.

  4. Absence of Characters: Every story needs a protagonist with a strong desire. In the context of architecture, this could be the architect, the designer, the client, or the community. Videography that focuses solely on the building or the 'what' often omits these key players and their journeys, leaving the experience feeling hollow.

  5. No Transformation or Growth: Our brains are wired to seek out change for us to understand the world around us and our place within it. Stories are about change — a shift in understanding, perception, or physical space that occurs over time. Traditional videography showcases the beauty of architecture but often neglects the transformative process that led to its creation.



Architectural Storytelling:


Recognizing these gaps, we've set out into this sector to offer a new approach rooted in timeless storytelling, capturing the heart and soul of upscale design projects.


Our films do not just show; they tell, inviting viewers into the world of architecture in a way that enlightens, inspires, and moves people emotionally.

  1. The Journey: Storytelling shows the path from initial concept to completed structure, weaving together the values of companies, the passions of employees, and the experiences of clients. It emphasizes the profound impact these projects have on individuals and communities.

  2. Narrative Arcs: By employing techniques like StoryFinding, Character Development, and the exploration of Plot Points, storytelling uncovers the through-lines that connect human challenges, innovations, and achievements, showcasing the depth and complexity of the design world.

  3. Exploring Motivations: Delving deep into the 'why' behind architectural designs, storytelling reveals the dreams, intentions, and visions that fuel the creative process. This approach moves past superficial aesthetic appreciation, engaging audiences on a level that fosters a deeper connection with the people and world around them.

  4. Characters-Driven Narrative: At the heart of every story is a character filled with desire and purpose. By focusing on these remarkable creators, users, and dreamers, storytelling ensures that the narrative is focused on personal journeys and transformative experiences.

  5. Celebrating Transformation: The essence of storytelling lies in its ability to showcase transformation - not just of spaces but of communities, individuals, and lives. Architectural storytelling highlights the lasting impact designs have on the world around them.





In a world filled full of wonderful creativity and intentionality, this is a call for videographers and creative directors within the space to be more intentional about their content.


Consider the human through-line in each story, amplifying the film further versus simply following the rules of good visual framing.


Good design connects people, and so does good storytelling.

Choosing to focus on storytelling rather than just surface appeal allows us to delve deeper into what connects us as humans. This, in turn, opens up opportunities for more meaningful and connected designs.



For architects, designers, and those in the built environment seeking to set themselves apart, IMPACT offers storytelling that elevates your work from mere structures to meaningful narratives.


We're exceptionally selective about our collaborations. Schedule a consultation today to explore how we might work together.

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