1. Know your aim. Define an information aim and an emotional aim. This is what the viewer should know after the film. This is what he should feel.
2. Content is king. A person who has nothing to say, doesn’t make good films. Tell the viewer what surprised you, baffled you or shook you up. To be able do that you will have to collect loads of information on the spot.
3. Emotion before information. Don´t write a doctoral thesis, just show a little extract from reality in which people play the main role. Experiencing not explaining is the motto.
4. Beginning, middle, end. Make sure you create a strong opening and a strong end. The beginning leads the viewer into the story, the final conclusion is what stays with him. In between the story has to develop and build up tension.
5. Clear structure. Divide the story into clear thematic sections, which constitute visual as well as textual units. These so-called “miniatures” also need a clear beginning, middle and end.
6. People, objectives, obstacles. A journalist is always looking for conflicts. Wherever something is difficult, not working, or whenever there are obstacles, things get exiting. Watch out for these kind of situations or create them yourself.
7. Breach of expectations. The audience will always develop ideas about what might happen. Surprise them with your pictures, an extraordinary info, a sound bite that gives the story a completely different turn.
8. Humour and oddities. Watch out for absurd situations, strange events, little mishaps. They enliven the story and bring the viewer closer to the events. Make sure the story has at least one funny moment.
9. Choose your narrative perspective carefully. Are you the neutral, matter-of-fact newscaster or the reporter who discovers something or experiences it himself. Narrative figures like an animal, an object or a robot that talks work only in exceptional cases. Always stick with the same narrative point of view.