Posts Tagged ‘story’

iceAt Digital Days 2015 this past weekend (an event hosted by DGC and IATSE for the BC film community), I was heartened by talk of story.

At an event focused on discovering and experimenting with cool, new tech, the wow-factor can easily become the centre of attention, yet while we were experiencing the Polar Sea in immersive-put-me-in-the-movie 3D virtual reality, the speaker (Thomas Wallner of DEEP Inc.) stressed to us how the cool new tech is – and should be – just another way to experience story. Story is the reason we watch movies.

So very true!

Tech may let us experience story in a new way, but tech – and nifty new ways to shoot a scene – should never overshadow story. The wow-factor quickly fades, but it is with story that people connect in an enduring manner.

So next time you’re amazed by new technology, ask yourself: how can it help me tell story? Because… story rules!

Cheers and a good story to you,


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1. You Can Do Almost Anything, So Long As You Sing It
How you tell a story is what’s important. Sure there are underlying messages beneath the overall framework of the story, but how you communicate the story will determine how how entertaining it will be. You’ve heard “write what you know” and when you think about what you know it may seem a little boring… OK, take the “boring” (which you know so well) and make it interesting by how you express it.

2. The Star System Makes It Happen
Even years ago when operas were first written, Stars helped to shape the final product. Take the Romeo & Juliet opera (by Charles Gounod). As I’ve heard the tale, Gounod was commissioned to write the opera for the opera house owner (who’s wife was going to be the Star). The Star didn’t like one of her solo arias and asked for it to be rewritten. Gounod was unhappy (to say the least) about having to rewrite it, so wrote a solo aria for her that was totally different in tone from the rest of the opera – a waltz. Perhaps he hoped to embarrass her with the “unfitting” aria… but what happened instead was that that waltz aria became his most famous song. How the star system helped push him to create some of his best work!

3. A Story Is Filled Arias & Recitatives
An aria is basically a melodic song, whereas a recitative is basically sung prose. You can’t string aria after aria for an entire opera – it would be too much. You can’t have only recitatives for the entire duration either – it would be too dull. You need pacing between songs and prose. That’s the journey. When it comes to movies, I see the arias as action sequnces, or comedic moments, and recitatives as deeper moments, linking moments. And yes, the right pacing makes it work.

All the best & an operatic shoot to you!


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