What’s the first film you ever remember seeing in the cinema?
Most people I’ve asked this question of come up with an answer very quickly. It’s almost always followed by a smile as they remember back to that period in their lives.
Mine was Andre…the story of an orphaned seal trying to find a home. It was an experience I’ll never forget, not just because of the film but because of the way I felt as I engaged in this narrative. The lights, the pop corn, the smell and the entire experience of being completely consumed by such a large scale story is were my passion started to form – it was a time that was laced with a magic unlike anything else. The cinema had me hooked, I was in and in for good. My imagination had suddenly been split wide open and cast across a gigantic screen, I remember feeling wildly energised at the thought of the endless stories that could be put onto film.
Like most children, I was drawn to and inherently comforted by enveloping myself in stories of all kinds when I was growing up.
Tales unfamiliar and friendly were like a pouch for me as a child, I remember escaping from my fears and into films, books and the comical yarns of my father. Like slipping into a warm bath, I found myself at home and becoming engrossed by the structures (and conversely, the fluidity) and familiarity found in the art of storytelling. Reading a book, listening to a CD/Tape or watching a film was a direct means of communication, it shone a light on an aspect of humanity I wouldn’t have otherwise known existed at that point. They inflamed my sense of imagination, they tugged at my emotional insecurities and most crucially they opened my eyes to the possibility of seeing reality through someone else’s eyes. My insatiable appetite for tales of the strange, the terrifying and the hilarious drove my curiosity for life and the infinite realities it conceives.
Storytelling is a universal means of communicating and connecting. There’s evidence throughout time that humans have always used stories to express themselves to their contemporaries and to protect and project their realities for generations to come. Stories are a bullet shot through a moment, connecting all those who encounter it. They capture the innate intricacies of human interaction and they represent our best qualities while inspiring empathy, attachment and passion.
Video is a strong representation of my love for storytelling and it’s why it’s played such a vital role in my life…and probably yours too. Video is a way of capturing moments in time, it’s a slice of a reality as seen through the eye of a camera lens. Whether it’s a home video of a child’s first step, a young mans first attempt at expressing himself through art or a well produced business video – they all represent a means of communication that can provide you with pride, nostalgia and a sense of purpose all at the same time. To this day I watch home videos my parents captured of our family and they are more precious to me than any possessions. When I watch them I’m transported back in time, to a period when I couldn’t function without my mothers affection, to when my brothers and sister were the only people that mattered and my father was literally the king of the world (in my opinion) – a simpler time that will never be again. However, such is the power of video as a storytelling portal, I can always return to these times in a tangible and visceral way.
Storytelling has always appealed to me because of it’s ability to allow a form of genuine self expression in times when I haven’t been able to release my thoughts in any other way. Whether this be through writing, creating videos or even conjuring fake scenarios by myself in the backyard to create illusions of magic and grandeur as a child – my realities have always been augmented by those stories with which i connected. A storyteller, a great storyteller, has the ability to transport their audience into their heads, they scoop you up and throw you on their back as they show you a world, or a version of a world, you would never otherwise witness. You can crawl under the skin of a character with whom you relate, you can see their actions as a the result of a cause and effect chain that resonates with you in a way that no human relationship can match. A great storyteller establishes an alternate universe that is infinitely different to yours yet it’s one that delineates itself in an entirely relatable manner – we can see ourselves in this world conceived entirely through the eyes of someone else.
A story can be as simple as a photo, as poetic as a song and as soul crushing as a documentary – they are literally everywhere. Great stories. They are being diluted in the thick plume of bubble gum content that filters across our screens all too often, unlike a 6 second vine or a meme however, a well told story is timeless. They will endear through the ages, an audience will always been there if your story is created with authenticity and respect for the people engaging in it.
Narrative driven content is the backbone of my life, it’s my business and my passion.