Using This One Technique in Your Videos Will Instantly Capture and Keep Your Audience’s Attention

We like to call it “onion peeling”, “slowly unfolding”, “slow reveal” – it’s a technique used to capture the viewer’s attention.

Music videos use them all the time.

Watch the video below. If the story of the welder was not strategically cut into the shots of the musicians in the studio, his story would not have been that interesting and we would click away or change the channel.

Instead, the editor creates question after question as the progress of the video slowly reveals the answers.

The message of the song even becomes clear- pulling the story along through it’s slow and steady beat.

Cut aways are at the most opportune times to keep you glued to the video for the answers. This video is loaded with slow reveals until the final impact.

Watch and see what we mean:

Did you watch the entire video?

Let us know in the comments below.

00:08 -00:12 – Ok, who are these two young people hugging in this old film footage?

cut back to musicians in studio

00:15 – 00:22 – Old film cuts to old man welding – question answered. But the video keeps dragging us along with another question that needs to be answered.

cut back to musicians in studio

00:25 – 00:29 Back to welder on workbench. He’s now reaching over to pick up a tool. What is the tool and what is he going to do with it?

cut back to musicians in studio

00:31 – 0:34 – the welder now reaches for another tool on his workbench and in the process kicks his foot under the desk and hits something- what did he kick?

cut back to musicians in studio

00:36 – 00:39 – the welder reaches under the workbench to see what he kicked and pulls out an old, mysterious looking box..

cut back to musicians in studio

00:41 – 00:43 – the welder looks down at the box and gets ready to open it

cut back to musicians in studio

00:41 -00:43 – the welder looking down at the mysterious box a hint that he’s ready to open it

cut back to musicians in studio

00:48 – 00:51 – The welder begins to open the box with his shaky hands (which adds to the anticipation). The camera zooms in to focus on the content……reaching, reaching. He’s almost there! He’s opening the mysterious box! and….it’s almost opened! Can’t wait to see what’s inside! then suddenly….

cut back to musicians in studio

00:52 – 00:54 – the content of the box is still not revealed. Instead it shows the welder smiling wiping his hands. We still don’t know what is in this mysterious box!

cut back to musicians in studio

00:56 – 1:04 – Content of the mysterious box finally revealed – it’s an un-opened letter. A letter that has not been delivered yet. This leads to more shots that create even more mystery. Why is this letter not opened? What is with the address? I have to watch more!

cut back to musicians in studio

1:06 – 1:12 – Now where is he going with this unopened letter? Will he find the person it was addressed to?

cut back to musicians in studio

1:15 – 1:16 – Where is he driving to with this unopened letter? What does the letter say? Who is it for?

cut back to musicians in studio

1:17 – 1:18 – Ok, he arrived at the address! He’s walking up to the door to knock and…

cut back to musicians in studio

1:23 – 1:24 – close up of welder’s hand knocking on the door. The shot doesn’t reveal the door number. Is he at the right place? He then stands back to welcome the door opening…and then…

cut back to musicians in studio

1:28 – 1:35 – the welder is talking to the person who answered the door. What are they talking about? Is this the right guy? The person who answered the door is just nodding his head

cut back to musicians in studio

1:36 – 1:39 – The man who answered the door is now pointing his finger to THE REAL location of where that unopened letter is supposed to go. The welder drives off….

cut back to musicians in studio

Do we need to explain more details about this technique? Keeps you glued to the video- doesn’t it?

Use this technique in your videos to keep the viewer on the edge of their seats and deliver a powerful message at the same time and watch the attention you will get.

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  1. now that you described the trick i got caught up in that video and yes, it was watched to the very end. Excellent example. I will be using this technique in my short films to keep viewers glued and watching

  2. I actually watched this video with the sound off .. I thought the video was very engaging even with out the sound. I found it to be a very sweet and touching story.

  3. Great video. Would have been better without Amy Grant. She’s a fake and was a cheating wife with Vince Gill while singing Gospel. But I digress… The video techniques were awesome.

  4. Thanks for revealing how to create this awesome technique. I saw the video all the way through and enjoyed the way the storyline and the musicians were edited to make a very thought provoking emotional statement. Thanks I will be using this technique.

  5. Very nice video, very effective. I watched with with the sound off for three fourths of the video…Nice love story…I will use this technique!!

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