Pain & Peril: Explainer Videos Explained

I get it. You want a video because you want to talk about your thing. And, naturally, you want to start talking about your thing as soon as possible. So why not just open with, “Here’s our awesome thing, and it’s awesome.”? Here’s why.

No one cares. At least… not yet.

There is one way to get them to care: help them understand how your thing takes away something painful and avoids something perilous. And to do that you have to talk about pain and peril. And you have to talk about it a lot. Like, for maybe even half of your video.

Hollywood understands this all too well. Pain and peril gets people invested in a story. That’s why movies spend 99% of their screen time portraying frustration, tension, and hardship. It’s only at the end — the very end — that the resolution comes.

Pain and peril seems to be working for Hollywood. Maybe it could work for you, too.


[blog_consultation_block bgcolor="#1f1f1f" background_img="" title="Don't Simply Explain" text="Sometimes, an explainer video–if it's just explanation–isn't enough to get people to CARE about your thing. So, what is your thing?"]


(Side note: the video accompanying this post is called an "animatic." This is a rough draft we deliver to our clients instead of a script during the creation process. Combining the spoken text with the visuals helps both of us understand the storytelling as a whole, and reveals spots we need to adapt. It also helps our animation team understand the timing and the position.)