For a long time, I wanted to be a film director. I wanted to lead other creative individuals on a project—direct actors, design shots, and ultimately feel the accomplishment of finishing a film.
But what I want has changed. I do not just want to be a director—I want to be a storyteller as well. Stories in film have the ability to forge strong connections with audiences. A good film can make audiences laugh and cry in the same two hours. They can make you feel anger and love and joy. People stay up late to see a new or favorite film at midnight, dressed as the story’s characters and creatures. Stories in film are powerful.
To become a director, all you have to do is direct a film. To become a storyteller, you must master the art of telling a story, understand the range of human emotions, and produce a work that will want to be heard or seen again and again.
Storytelling is timeless—it will never die. Books may become obsolete (hope not) and films may change to become 4D virtual experiences. What will not change is the importance of story. Think about it: What do most of your conversations at lunch consist of? What do you entertain your friends with? What do your friends have to tell you? I feel that I’m either hearing or telling a story a lot of the time. Stories are a part of everyday life. I think joke-telling is the simplest form of storytelling. There’s the introduction, the set-up, the rising action, and the expectation/reality (which makes the joke funny). Telling a joke is telling a story.
Stories will outlive you and I. I’m still trying to figure out why we delight so much in telling or hearing a story. What makes them so important to us?
Do you know?