The Journey of Story
By Lon Parker
hile storytelling reaches back to the very birth of language, it is a rather new phenomenon for story, more pointedly, the content that tells the story, to become an indispensable tool for the marketer. It had been primarily a two-sided dynamic between the message and the medium. More recently however social media has created a third dimension to the medium and the message by including the community that develops in reaction to the message. The community that likes, friends, forwards, tweets and re-tweets.
This is a community that actively responds to a good story, to compelling content. A community well versed in multi-platforms and the visual language that surrounds us; subsequently prepared for an intimate connection to information. In essence they are prepared to take ownership, to nurture, to give life beyond the medium, to take it viral. A good story is then an extremely fertile opportunity to build loyalty to your brand, business or lifestyle. So then, what is a good story and where do we find it?
In our time story is told in motion, in a sequence of events captured by film or video and portrayed on the side of buildings or the smallest smart phone.
A good story thrives within the environment that exists when the heart and mind are jointly engaged. It creates a connection between our lives and the world the storyteller has so carefully constructed. A good story indulges us to consider concepts of fate or fortune, campaign or philosophy, idea or product. With good story we can believe in kings as beggars, see the clever as foolish and understand innocents as shrewdly wise. A good story can lead us to answer our own questions and reach into the realm of our own most intimate thoughts, to places endeared, guarded or forgotten.
Story had long been restricted to text, whether read or performed in sonnet, speech or symphony or translated from the painting of a grand master. In our time story is told in motion, in a sequence of events captured by film or video and portrayed on the side of buildings or the smallest smart phone. It is a pervasive expectation in our world for stories to be told to us in moving images, through rich media, through interactive projections and tablets and shopping mall walls of monitors. Opportunities to experience a story have never had so many facets to choose from. This is fortunate, as today visual storytellers possess at their very grasp a wealth of moving and diverse content, building blocks, with which to communicate.
These building blocks are truly crowd-sourced social media. The builders of this content, the stock producer, takes from their local perspective the visual and aural inspiration of drama, human life, fascination and a sense of the ridiculous to produce work of universal appeal. This universality is the key ingredient for content that has the power to provoke and challenge the contextual ideas of the storyteller but it is within the frames of a video, the bars of a musical score or the layers of an illustration, that lays the true windfall. These many assets, malleable and responsive, provide the raw color for a visual author’s palette. They hold the potential to be altered, either enhanced or muted and blended with strokes of genius. They can be reimagined and repurposed to become the basis of plot and sub-plot, climax and denouement. Whether in motion, heard or framed in a still they contain the many facets of story. This is where story embarks on a journey.