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“Um, that’s not my story!”

By Adam Bush on April 12, 2018

I think what helps make The Story Guide unique is those of us who’ve created it ALL CURRENTLY WORK WITHIN THE LOCAL CHURCH. Myself and Chris at Church on the Move in Tulsa, OK. Gary serves at Generations in Denver, CO. So, that means the majority of our blogs come from a place of having walked through the topic, in a very real way. Today’s is included in that. Allow me to set up a scenario.

Let’s say you shot “Tim’s” story two weeks ago. You spent a week editing it, went back for the b-roll on a separate trip and you’ve got it all colored, mastered and finalized. So, the Thursday before the weekend it’s to air you invite Tim to your office for a viewing. He and his family come, they watch it and at the end, instead of saying he loves it, his response is:

“UM, THAT’S NOT MY STORY!”

It happens. It has happened. Whether you feel like you actually portrayed the person’s story or not, they (Tim in this case) doesn’t feel like it’s a true account of what he went through. So, what do you do? It’s airing in two days! The band has practiced their set AROUND the story! What’s the protocol?

And THAT QUESTION is the reason I wrote this blog. Unlike you, no one ever asked this question of me BEFORE this moment happened. I could go on to write about how I handled the situation, how I called my supervisor as quickly as I could, had a very honest conversation with my story lead and ultimately became open to the possibility that we weren’t going to have a story to share and ultimately it was my fault. I could talk about all that (which I guess I just did), but what’s most important is right now you begin having this conversation with your team – or at the least with your supervisor. Ask questions like:

What do we do if this happens?
What can we do to AVOID this happening?
Who should be part of this conversation?

That’s it and that’s all. Before you’re even close to this being an issue, have the conversations and make sure you’re prepared for a worst-case scenario. Remember the old adage: If it can go wrong, it probably will. Happy storytelling.

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