Thursday, 14 June 2012

Ken Burns on the Art of Storytelling

 The following quotes are from the clip below where film maker Ken Burns shares his thoughts on story.
In a common story one and one equals two but the real genuine stories are about one and one equaling three.That's what I'm interested in.

My interest is always in complicating things.

Jean Luc Goddard said cinema is truth 24 frames a second, maybe... But it is lying 24 frames a second too. All story is manipulation. Is there acceptable manipulation? You bet! People say: "Oh boy I was so moved - to tears in your film." That's a good thing. I manipulated that.

Truth is the byproduct of the best of our stories... An emotional truth is something that you have to build.
He tells a story in his film Baseball, a nineteen hour long film, about a team which got a black player Jackie Robinson. He asks what would you do if you were a fan of that team but also a racist? You could quit baseball, you can start following another team or you can change. This is the power of story to create change. This is why we need to always consider story in our acts. The audience will see story in our acts even when you never thought of it in that way. We see story even when there is none. Animation of geometric shapes is read as story. Story is everywhere and it is human. Consider your acts as stories and think which story are they telling?

"All stories are Manipulation," Ken Burns says. "All shows are manipulation," says the Illuminated Showman. Use the shows wisely and use it for good. Take time to consider your manipulations.

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