For Those Who Want To Tell Better Stories #6 | Painting, Hearings & Sampling

A few chosen narrative examples, to uncover forms, inspire the soul and stir the creative spirits.

This ninety minute video is both short stories of experience from a specific art school whilst also creating a hyper-realistic portion of an oil painting. It’s an odd but compelling and complimentary way . Scott’s candor and humility is evident as he navigates the boundaries of truth and compassion to those he’s sharing stories about, as well as his insane talent as he casually build out a portion of his painting.

Full of emotion and measured sentiment, situated in a political arena and specific to a cause, this is immense. It’s a poignantly delivered demonstration of how to both ask for something (health coverage for the first responders of the 9/11 attack) in a way which also illustrates the incredulous system for health care in the US (the bill did finally get passed for the workers to access to the coverage they needed).

A visual illustration of how the electronic duo Daft Punk snips samples from other songs to make up their own tunes. Offered without narration, this is another example of how showing rather than telling works so much better. It will also make you smile at how some of those well known tunes came into being. Clever stuff from Tracklib, an online record store for sampling.


All offered up to inspire, teach and make you smile / think.

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For Those Who Want To Tell Better Stories #5 | Macbeth, Climate Change & Poetry

A few chosen narrative examples, to uncover forms, inspire the soul and stir the creative spirits.

For some reason the YouTube video won’t embed so please click the above image to view.

Deconstructing other peoples work is a way of extending the relevance of the piece. Revealing complexity through performative understanding in this case, reveals all the nuances of written text which is intended to be acted, by the actor themself (in this case Sir Ian McKellen). Even though the above is specific to a well known soliloquy / scene / text from Shakespeare it can stand as an example and be applied to any element of any sector / industry. A master, holding class (BONUS: watch till end to see the lesson put into action).

This in-browser investigative news story integrates graphics and motion in a wonderfully creative way, the outcome of which enables takes the viewer / reader on a visual feast of a journey through the narrative. Again, you can imagine this as an example which could be ported to other uses like an annual report of a company, an investors pitch online, an organisations future strategic commitments etc.

What a wonderfully produced, simple and effective 14 minute exploration of such a broad topic: How Poetry Works. In their delivery, Paul Tran ignites the watchers interest with simple technology use, mastery of language and superb emotional projection. Using just one poem, we’re introduced to the elements, structure and strategies (some obvious, some hidden) a poet can draw upon to convey meaning (ANOTHER BONUS: watch till end to see the lesson put into action).


All offered up to inspire, teach and make you smile / think.

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For Those Who Want To Tell Better Stories #4 | Amadeus, All The Jedi & Leadership

A few chosen narrative examples, to uncover forms, inspire the soul and stir the creative spirits.

An augmentation of a scene from the film, Amadeus, wonderfully revealing the musical literacies of two artists working on what will become Confutatis. By adding these new visual aspects to an already existing work it reveals the hidden brilliance of the story and the characters impact. Bravo!

A further example of when new layers add more impact to an existing story narrative (the above is extended from the previous version). Another demonstration of how you can amplify an existing storyline with references of previous lore which serves the fandom deeply. Goosebumps.

As slightly different but with the same approach to augmenting a scene with additional content is the above. Speaking over a peculiar short piece of shaky footage from a musical festival, Derek Sivers adds a compendium of leadership insights in such a short space of time. So simple yet so effective.


All offered up to inspire, teach and make you smile / think.

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For Those Who Want To Tell Better Stories #3 | Eulogies, One-Buttock-Playing & Peacemaking

A few chosen narrative examples, to uncover forms, inspire the soul and stir the creative spirits.

Touching. Funny. Poignant. Eulogies are an odd but if you think about it, obvious platforms for stories. I mean if there’s ever a second best time to express emotion and insights for loved ones it’s when others are gathered to pay that respect. David Grohl’s weaves a lovely journey of one mans little impact of his friend Lemmy Kilmister.

*first best time is now.

A classic. High energy and sigh-inducing. A teacher in flow. Illustrating everything he says with the aligned energy and practical demonstrations whilst also literally connecting to the audience with no consideration for usual etiquette. Sublime and an example I come back to often to show exuberant oratory.

It’s really hard to write text to sound flowing and spontaneous. It’s harder still to read a script with the energy and intonation of natural speech. This is a perfect example of both. A highly charged topic delivered with grace and sincerity, humanised through individual experience and gravitas. A peace-making call to arms in a troubled time.


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For Those Who Want To Tell Better Stories #2 | Wood Block Carving, Intimation & Family Secrets

A few chosen narrative examples, to uncover forms, inspire the soul and stir the creative spirits.

Even if you don’t carve Japanese wood blocks for printing, this is a delightful experience. Softly delivered with barrels of enthusiastic knowledge regarding one persons learning journey. A 30mins piece-to-camera with very little deviation (I only counted one cut), no script, just chapters of a thread regarding a teacher and their impact on an eager student with a wonderful piece towards the end of the manifest artistry alluded to throughout the video.

One of my favourite shorts. Dripping in suggestive narratives and tenderly framed, the sparse dialogue focuses attention whilst the actions conveys the emotional depth of the situation. Subtle and monumental all in one.

An example of how oratory can be performative. Complimented by musical overtones plus amplified through a slick and calculated delivery, an illustration of the power of humanising lived and generational experiences.


All offered up to inspire, teach and make you smile / think.

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For Those Who Want To Tell Better Stories #1 | Death, Poetry & Puppets

A few chosen narrative examples, to uncover forms, inspire the soul and stir the creative spirits.

The closing talk of the 2015 event flaws me every time (was lucky to experience it in real-time at TEDActive). A challenging topic delivered with poise and flowing humility, weaved around a set of lived experience and humanising adventures of those at the end of their life. A gentle approach with surprisingly uplifting insights.

A stunning mash-up of words from Rilke, real-life footage and animation, over-layed with wonderful sound design to form a mix which entices and arrests. A revealing vignette of our current climate state with also a poetic call to action for involvement along with creating a poignant sense of hope. Marvelous.

Captivating. Hilarious. An emotional ride of a story. Delivered with an array of pacing and continued narrative arcs. Even though our storyteller is a puppet, recognise and track range of feelings which heightens the rhetorical journey. What an end as well where we’re all challenged by our roles as story-listeners to consider some big questions of validity, superb!


What did you learn from the above offerings?

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