Monday, November 14, 2011

How to Tell a Story Visually

For some reason, humans love stories.  It's what most entertainment is based on.  So what makes a good story?  It's not just flowery language or fancy grammar.  It's how all the elements of the story come together to make you feel and how it makes you wonder what is going to happen next.   It's about how the story is told.  I've noticed that some of my favorite stories are ones that are written simply and leave some room for me to fill in the gaps with my imagination.  What they don't say is almost as important as what they do say.  I think this is why some great books just don't translate to plays or movies.  Its hard to translate the parts you do tell and those that you don't tell across different media.  We've already seen a great example of how visual images can augument a story, but telling a complete story visually (without words) is a different challenge.  Still, just as with written stories, its not always great cinematography or dialog that makes a story entertaining.  It is the story itself and how it unfolds.

As an example, I submit the following movie made by an enterprising young fellow for his girlfriend on her birthday.  It is a story told completely visually by someone of admittedly little artistic talent, but still with a knack for storytelling.  Take a look and tell me if you agree.


Since we're on the subject of visual story telling, here's another nicely made visual story about Christmas... it's actually an advertisement, but I like it anyway.  It's very well done...