CHALLENGE: The Thing Under The Thing #TTUTTChallenge

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May 03, 2019


CHALLENGE: The Thing Under The Thing #TTUTTChallenge
CHALLENGE: The Thing Under The Thing #TTUTTChallenge thumb CHALLENGE: The Thing Under The Thing #TTUTTChallenge thumb CHALLENGE: The Thing Under The Thing #TTUTTChallenge thumb


  • - I got a challenge for you.
  • Jeff Bartsch here with Story Greenlight,
  • where we're all about helping creators like you
  • tell better stories so that you can
  • connect with your audience and make your mark in the world.
  • And, one of the best ways to do that
  • is to create content that speaks to things
  • that are deeper than just what's on the surface,
  • what I refer to as The Thing.
  • That's what everyone talks about,
  • and that's totally fine.
  • But, the way to go deeper, is to attach
  • layers of meaning to that surface stuff.
  • And, engage in the idea of what I call
  • The Thing Under the Thing.
  • Now, I talk about that a lot on the channel here.
  • I've done things like showing the difference
  • between just playing with cars,
  • and having an epic car chase.
  • Or climbing a hill to reveal a big view,
  • and attaching an alternate meaning to that view.
  • Or contrasting two different sequences
  • of me hitting a milestone birthday
  • and having completely different reactions.
  • Now, people often tell me something to the effect of,
  • "Jeff, this sounds like it's super, super powerful,
  • but I don't really know how to do it with my stuff."
  • So, I figure instead of just talking about how to do it,
  • let's put this challenge out there,
  • and let's all do it.
  • And learn from each other in the process.
  • I'll tell you how to join the challenge
  • in just a second.
  • Now before I do, I wanna give you some specific examples
  • so you can see that you really don't need
  • anything crazy to make this happen.
  • I mean, you can literally attach meaning to anything.
  • It's limited only by your imagination.
  • That's the cool thing.
  • The key is first to decide what surface thing
  • you want to work with.
  • And then, what idea you want to attach to it.
  • That is the What.
  • That means you have the What of the idea in place.
  • And that informs the How of how you shoot and how you edit.
  • Here are three examples that I shot today.
  • (dramatic music)
  • When I'm working at my day job,
  • I ride the train into the city.
  • And there are sections of the ride
  • where you can see there's all the city,
  • and buildings, and trees, and stuff in the front.
  • But then, every once in a while,
  • you can see a glimpse of the hills in the distance.
  • So, let's use that as The Thing.
  • You can talk about what that might represent,
  • what might, what ideas we can attach to that.
  • So we can talk about maybe the desire
  • to be out in the country instead of the city.
  • So, The Thing Under the Thing might be dissatisfaction.
  • You can add voiceover about
  • looking for direction in your life,
  • how you see where you wanna be in the distance.
  • And, even though things are getting in the way,
  • you still feel like you're moving forward.
  • So, in that case, The Thing Under the Thing
  • would be more of a tone of optimism.
  • (dark music)
  • On my current gig, I see this building every day.
  • And it's known within the city of Los Angeles
  • as the Black Tower.
  • This building has a lot of history.
  • It was built in 1963.
  • And it was known as the MCA Tower.
  • Which then, MCA bought Universal Studios.
  • Which was bought by NBC.
  • Which was bought by Comcast.
  • Which is why you see all those names up there.
  • Thousands upon thousands of careers
  • have been made in that building.
  • And even more have been destroyed.
  • So, there are lots of parts about The Thing,
  • about the surface stuff that we could talk about.
  • The Thing Under the Thing, I would be more tempted
  • to talk about a note of fear, or greed, or desperation.
  • That building's history is stuffed with decades of it.
  • And, now I'm depressed.
  • (cricket chirping)
  • Let's move on.
  • (calm music)
  • This is the current state of the office building
  • from my current gig.
  • Usually I go back and forth between wondering
  • if I'm in a mental institution,
  • or a Stanley Kubrick film.
  • On the surface, there is nothing here,
  • the place feels like a total dump.
  • But under the surface, The Thing Under the Thing,
  • you got all kinds of cool places you can go.
  • Because this is not tearing apart the building for destruction, this is about renovation.
  • This is about bringing new ideas.
  • This is rebuilding, reworking, coming up
  • with new ways of doing things.
  • This is about rebirth.
  • This is about hope.
  • So this challenge is your opportunity
  • to build something really cool,
  • that means something deep and important to you.
  • And then we can all compare notes
  • and see how we can all grow as communicators
  • and storytellers together.
  • So here's how it works.
  • Upload your submission to your channel
  • within two weeks of the publish date
  • on this video right here.
  • Use this hashtag in the title of your video,
  • and also in the description of your video,
  • so everyone can find each other's stuff.
  • I'm gonna do a followup to this video.
  • And I will then feature some of my favorite
  • submissions from you on my channel right here.
  • For more explanation of what The Thing Under the Thing is
  • and more examples of how it works,
  • here is a playlist with videos for you to check out.
  • And otherwise if you're cool there,
  • here's a video that YouTube thinks you might like.
  • And in the meantime, I'm looking forward
  • to seeing what you create.

Download subtitle


Here’s how to join the challenge:

1. Shoot and edit a video with a maximum length of 2 minutes that demonstrates the idea of The Thing Under the Thing.

TIP: Your video will be more likely to stand out if the underlying layers of meaning are extremely important to you personally.

2. Upload your edit to your channel within two weeks of the publish date of this video here.

3. Include the hashtag in both your video’s title AND the video description so everyone can find your piece and all learn from each other.

4. Jeff will feature some of his favorite submissions in a future video.


Instantly raise your video and story game by DOWNLOADING THIS FREE CHECKLIST: 27 Questions to Craft the Perfect Video – https://app.convertkit.com/landing_pages/356863?v=7#


For exclusive, BEHIND-THE-SCENES INSIGHTS and PRIORITY ACCESS to special events and opportunities before the general public – plus opportunities the general public never even sees – click here to join the Story Greenlight Insider email list: https://app.convertkit.com/landing_pages/454141?v=7


Videos mentioned:

Playing with cars vs. epic car chase: How to create EPIC in the ordinary /watch?v=3g5A2YPAJP0

Climbing a hill and attaching new meaning to the view: This storytelling hack blew Peter McKinnon’s mind /watch?v=8hwRBElFxXc

Hitting a milestone birthday and showing two completely different reactions: How to EDIT The Thing Under the Thing – HUGE Milestone! /watch?v=YsQRkZf69So


About the Black Tower:

Ahem. Turns out the building featured in the sequence is not the original Black Tower (even though it IS black, and it’s a tower…). The original Black Tower is just a block away on the Universal Studios lot. It’s the much smaller Building 1280 and is the one built in 1963. The building in the video is actually 10 Universal City Plaza, known as 10 UCP. It has 35 stories and was built in 1984.

Here are some notes on MCA, the enormous talent agency that bought Universal Studios back in the day. They made lots of deals, but it wasn’t pretty:




Jeff's book "Edit Better: Hollywood-Tested Strategies for Powerful Video Editing": http://amzn.to/2wHIDZb


Story Greenlight founder Jeff Bartsch edits TV full-time in Hollywood for ABC, NBC, Apple, Universal, Disney, ESPN, MTV, and many others. His commentary has been featured in the USA Today, Time Magazine, the Associated Press, and multiple textbooks.

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