Wednesday, June 13, 2012

mr eddies story - lessons on story telling

A couple months ago (see first post here) I took a solo trip to New York City to shoot a video for InterVarsity.  I was privileged to meet Mr. Jones and Mr. Eddie, the coordinator and cook for the NYC Love Kitchen.

Many times when we tell stories, we include the many little events and milestones that have brought us to where we are now.  While that is important and interesting when sitting down for coffee, it is actually really hard for a film to convey (let alone a 3 minute video that i usually do.) Taking a look at some of my favorite stories (Finding Nemo, Wall-E, Darjeeling Limited, Moulin Rouge) you may get a glimpse into what happened before the film starts but the film is more about a short period of this persons grand story.  Talking with a friend who teaches high school English, Christian stated, "A story is about a character, in a setting, in a moment."

This made me rethink the normal way I tell a story through video.

So I started think more about what I should NOT include in the video.  I no not need to include all the back story of how we got to now...but I can let is influence the conflict of the current story if it is relevant.

Another added element came when I took a story telling seminar by Nate Clarke (Film maker.) We were talking about visuals in a story when he said, "Don't think of it as B-Role, think of it as part of the story."  I started to wonder what would it would be like if there were actually 2 story arks, one visual, one thoughtful narration, that when combined are better than one trying to do both.

In aplication for Mr. Eddies story, I asked myself, "what would it look like to ask him about what hunger is instead of how he became homeless?"  Below is one of the videos that emerged from this trip, a promotional video for InterVarsity’s Urban Project Ministry.

Urban Project promo - Mr Eddie from InterVarsity twentyonehundred on Vimeo.

We are now planning more stories like this for Urbana 12, this character driven story telling has been dubbed, the Mr Eddie Style.  I think I am ok with that.

1 comment:

Barney said...

matt - this was amazing. thanks.