Recognize and Optimize Good Storytelling Using the CSI Principle

The CSI rule for good storytelling
The formula for success

How do you recognize a good story? What is good storytelling? What is the most important thing that feature films, TV series and communication with film and video have in common? Effect!

The viewer’s emotions and level of knowledge should be different at the end of a film than they were before watching the film. Whether noble escapism for the sole purpose of entertainment (as with a feature film in the cinema or on TV), whether knowledge transfer (documentary film) or whether the driver – as with advertising film and image film – lies in the purchase intention for a company with storytelling, the image, the To influence sympathy or the awareness of a brand among customers: A film has to change and make an impact.

Our three simple tips on Storytelling in this article help as a checklist for optimizing content.

You have to know that

  • The CSI short formula helps assess the three most important factors in a story. The letter C stands for credibility, the S for stimulation of the viewer and the final I for identification.
  • The principle is based on the fact that a person is only touched by an action if it is credible. Only then does the viewer identify with the person in a video or film. And only then does a story create a reverberation with the target audience – which triggers an action.

Recognize good storytelling

What is storytelling? Storytelling should ensure effective and good commissioned films. The integration of key messages or the translation of information from marketing into one Movie concept can be checked by the client. Expert knowledge is not required for this. It is different when telling a story.

What is good storytelling ? Which examples and tips do you need to know? The problem with this is that, unlike a good storyboard, it’s not immediately clear what will work and what won’t.

Three simple questions help as a checklist for answering the question about the effectiveness of content. Mainly these are based on the theories for that Writing a script from Dancyger / Rush . But they can also be of good service for content marketing.

The three criteria for good storytelling are independent of all storytelling trends. They apply independently of genre. Nevertheless, they are a sure indicator of whether a story “works”.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s about a feature film or storytelling in an image film. Even those who have renounced the compulsion to history or who believe that the future in commissioned film lies in 360 image film, Video testimonial , Commercial or in the skillful use of Color psychology or off-voice: our three questions force you to take the viewer’s point of view. That’s why they always work.

The CSI checklist for good storytelling

No, this is not about the American TV format “Crime Scene Investigation”, also known as CSI. But the abbreviation CSI may help memorize the three key terms on the checklist for effective storytelling. These are:

  • Credibility
  • stimulation
  • Involvement

This allows actions to be evaluated in terms of good storytelling and – just as important! – then optimize.

★ Credibility

A wonderful and proven producer’s wisdom for good storytelling says: Bad stories are illogical and predictable.

Is the story told in the film and is the topic credible from the viewer’s point of view?

Good stories cannot be foreseen, but they are always logical.

★ stimulation

Recognize and optimize good storytelling with a CSI checklist
Example storytelling check with the CSI principle

Is the viewer not only touched by the story and the topics in the film (see the comments below on including the viewer), but also encouraged to think further? This is essential for good storytelling.

First, a good story triggers an echo in the audience: the film experience, and thus the content, echoes far beyond the actual experience time (the time it takes to consume the story) in terms of content and time.

Second, good storytelling stimulates the viewer to think, to think along with it and to reflect.

For the stimulation to kick in, a story can rely on authenticity. Or conversely, deliberately deny this. Or she seeks a balance between reality and fiction, between filming, filming or a cinematic staging .

★ Involvement (involvement of the viewer)

Stimulation and reverberation are only possible if the content touches the viewer.

By far the most important factor in engaging the viewer is their identification with the story.

A story that leaves the viewer indifferent only triggers something: boredom. Good storytelling looks different. Because in such a story the viewer does not see any points of contact with his real life and his feelings.

Identification is easiest when the story revolves around people. Emotions arise from identification with the content. The viewer is involved through feelings. Based on this, the stimulation grows.

Video testimonials

Video is a special case for storytelling Testimonial . They bring a person to the fore for marketing purposes. In it, people report as personally and emotionally as possible about the advantages of dealing with a product or a brand.

A testimonial is based on authenticity. This ties in directly to the CSI rule: Credibility -> Stimulation -> Call to Action (involvement).

Good storytelling: summary

Libraries can be filled with relish with guides on correct scriptwriting and storytelling and for marketing. The same goes for marketing and good storytelling. However, most books and websites on the subject are aimed almost exclusively at scriptwriters for fictional feature films.

Stories by and for companies have just as little space in it as there is no room for examples or topics relating to social media or marketing and content management with serial stories. Because of this, a one-and-a-half hour film doesn’t necessarily apply to what is important for a shorter work or social media or a CEO video.

With the question

  • after credibility ,
  • according to the extent of stimulation
  • and the scope of the Audience involvement

the potential of stories for commissioned films or storytelling videos for social media can be assessed on the basis of three simple points.

First, the quality of a story can be so with a film agency or Video production discussed on an equal footing. Whether it’s an image film, a Motivational video or a web video: the CSI formula always serves its purpose. It even works for them serial communication with video . Second, this scheme is also useful for evaluating sequentially narrated series and even comics. In all of these cases, controlling with CSI brings significant insights and added value.

The declination of the CSI formula for good storytelling can be a Expose or expose a story outline as why air. If the creative director, author and producer rise to the barricade because of the results of the CSI test, please console yourself with the lessons learned from the TV series of the same name: If you ask the right questions, you win!

This article was automatically translated into English using AI. If you would like to help us improve the quality, we would be happy to hear from you.

Gabriela Weingartner
About Gabriela Weingartner 24 Articles
Gabriela Weingartner ist überzeugt, dass der Autor Patrick Süskind recht hat, wenn er sagt: »Man muss gescheit sein, um in der dummen Sprache des Films eine Geschichte klug erzählen zu können.«

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