Zoom Stories: A Digital Web Series
Updated: Apr 30
Connecting People Through Stories Amidst Stay-At-Home Orders
As the world shifted from the outbreak of the novel COVID-19, our lives have dramatically changed. Drives to the office every morning have been replaced by team Zoom calls, desks replaced with kitchen tables, evening outings with friends replaced by virtual group hangouts. But one thing still stands, that we humans still crave human connection. Possibly more now than ever.
As people grow more and more distant from others during this quarantine, we found it important to help people stay in touch with one another. And what better way to do this than through story?
To that end, we at humanstory launched a lighthearted, digital web series titled, “Zoom Stories”. The purpose of Zoom Stories is simple. Our videos are not intended to be flashy or have a high production value, but rather to tell short, meaningful stories that bring some light into peoples’ daily lives.
3 Things Our Web Series Set Out To Do:
1. Connect People Through Simple Stories
Story is about a simple moment of discovery in the storyteller's life. Each of these videos are not meant to tell larger-than-life stories, but rather to capture a small moment in time. Stories don’t need to be groundbreaking to resonate with people. For example, our Zoom Stories Series will tell simple stories like -- a young woman breaking her wrist during a time of financial strain, an uncertain young man who chose dance as his career path, an ambitious young woman describing her first time songwriting with a group of people, and so on.
By zoning in on 1 subject, limiting the video length to 2-3 mins, and keeping the content lighthearted and entertaining, every story will be one that someone can relate to.
Julia Boyd, humanstory producer, interviewing Ira White on his decision to pursue dance as his profession.
2. Personal Meaning to Us
While this is an important series for us to share with others, it’s also an important series to us personally. At humanstory, we are grateful to find our typical production work special and meaningful. It is rare, however, that we have the chance to create original content and share stories that closely align with our personal passions and interests.
With this series, each person featured along with their story was hand selected by a producer on our team because they relate on some level. Will Gaff, humanstory’s Founder and CEO, for example, connected with and interviewed a colleague of his that started her own company as well. To him, this was an important story to be shared because as a small business owner himself, he can relate to the hardships of starting a business while balancing your personal life. It is our goal with this series to not only tell great stories, but to inform our audience on why these stories are also meaningful to us personally.
Will Gaff, humanstory Founder, and Rachel Eisaman connecting over a Zoom video call meeting.
3. Creative Guidelines - Zoom only!
To bring this series to life, we of course had limitations given the current health environment, such as the fact that we are unable to interview people in person. So the #1 creative restriction with this series is that our only source for filming and recording is ZOOM! With each subject, our producers virtually work one-on-one with the individual to find a good interview location, natural lighting, and test audio. Once that is set, the camera (Zoom Recording) starts rolling!
In addition to the footage captured over Zoom, the producers can feature archive photos or videos sent by the interviewee and utilize limited stock footage from artgrid.io. The guidelines we put in place are to show our audience that it is indeed possible to craft and tell powerful stories that people connect with, without the high-end production value.