The Story Lab – Week 1

After our first week of Story Lab classes, we were introduced to Dan and what the rest of the semester held in store for us. We explored what story means to us – what we thought a story needed and considered the possibility of a story without these elements. We watched a Ted Talk from Andrew Stanton, who works at Pixar on such films as Toy Story, Finding Nemo and Wall-E, who spoke about the ‘rules’ of storytelling – and the importance of breaking those rules. There were a couple of things, which I really liked which he spoke about in the video. I really liked the 2+2 approach – which suggests that instead of giving the audience 4, give them 2+2 and make them work to put the story together. He explains it better – it’s at 7:15 in the video – which can be found here I am a big fan of making the audience work for a story when creating narrative – I think it makes for a much for engaging and interactive narrative.

In our second class this week, we explored different ways of telling stories – through the examples of Orson Welles radio performance of War of the Worlds (1938) and the original Frankenstein (1931). While I heard a lot about War of the Worlds and spoken about it in relation to media theories in the past, I had never sat down and listened to the piece. I really enjoyed how many different ways the story was told – through news stories and interviews. I was pleasantly surprised at how funny the story was – the use of silence was incredibly powerful, as well the music, which was interwoven through the piece. I liked how well the piece played with form – through a medium the audience was incredibly literate in (i.e. radio), they used different forms to telling a story which was incredibly engaging.

Overall I really enjoyed my first week of The Story Lab, I think it’s going to be an incredibly engaging subject this semester.

Things to Remember

  • The 2+2 rule
  • Write what you know
  • What does a story need – and does it?
  • Play with form

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