First up, watch this tutorial on how to unlock the power of Story Keywords for your next project.


Now download your worksheet to start creating your own Story Keywords.

P.S. – You'll find an example of Keywords in action for a feature length documentary below.


Here are some support materials to help you master Keywords with your team and clients.


download sample Keywords from our latest film

and here's how to explain keywords to your clients


Here's a quick recap of how to create and implement Story Keywords:

  1. CHOOSE A STORY. Each story should have its own set of Keywords (because every story has a different objective), so start by choosing the story you'll develop Keywords for.
  2. START WITH A PROMPT. Start with the first prompt "What is inspiring about this story?" and brainstorm as many single-word responses as you can. Try for at least 5 responses before you move on to the next prompt.
  3. RINSE AND REPEAT. Move on to the next prompt and brainstorm your next set of potential Keywords. Continue to try for a minimum of 5 potential Keywords before moving on. Repeat this process until you've done all five prompts.
  4. REVIEW. Before moving on to your final Keywords, take a look at all of the words you've chosen. See if anything obvious is missing. If so, add those additional Keywords in the most relevant locations.
  5. MAKE SELECTIONS. Start going through the list and choosing your final Keywords. Start with whichever prompt seems the most obvious to you, and choose the strongest Keyword. 
  6. FINALIZE. While we recommend having one Keyword from each prompt, you are, of course, welcome to deviate from the process should you feel it's necessary. Write your final 5 Keywords down at the bottom.
  7. GET SIGN-OFF. Once you have your final Keywords, share them with your client and get official sign-off. This becomes a powerful tool to push back on feedback or suggestions that aren't story relevant.
  8. PUT THE KEYWORDS TO WORK. As you move forward with your film, use your Keywords as a filter for all of your decisions. As you setup lighting, choose your camera tools, decide what to film, etc, use the Keywords as a filter for what is most relevant. 

REMINDER: Make sure to have your clients sign off on your final Keywords. This will give you a solid foundation to push back on any suggestions or feedback that don't serve the story. The download above shows you how to explain Keywords to your clients.