Saturday, 7 June 2014

Remembering with stories

Storytelling is a very strong tool to remember our history.
Yesterday it was 70 years ago the Allied Forces landed on the beaches of Normandy, France. To start the liberation of Europe.

When you see the age of the veterans, and the few there are left. Storytelling becomes very important. Because the people who were there, who lived through that hell, they soon won't be around anymore to share their story. Capturing their story now is very important, so it can be preserved for generations to come, to retell and remember what happened.

Because
From Huffingtonpost
it is hard to remember when you are there now a days, what happened there 70 years ago. Although it is such an important part of our history.

Listen to the stories of the heroes of those days, and retell their story. Those stories must never be lost.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Your story

Austin Kleon is a writer, blogger, artist from the United States. I got familiar with his work at SXSW 2014, where he was one of the key-notes. I bought his books "Steal like an Artist" and "Show your work". 

In "Steal like an Artist" Austin tells you how he looks at the world of an aspiring artist, how to get your work out into the world. 
And how to handle whenever you get stuck.

And his main advice is: Steal! Steal the ideas from the greatest minds in the world, but than transform them into your own ideas. So not simply copying, but adding to them, making them into your own story, your own idea. 

I came across one comment from him in the book that I particularly loved, especially in regards to storytelling:
"The best advice is not to write what you know, it's to write what you like. Write the kind of story you like best - write the story you want to read. The same principle applies to your life and your carreer: Whenever you're at a loss for what move to make next, just ask yourself, "What would make a better story?" "

So let's start working on that. What you don't like, don't blame somebody else, but start writing your own version of it, and try to live that way, so you can make that story come true.

Picture from: http://relique-memoirs.tumblr.com/





Wednesday, 14 May 2014

What movie did you see?? - Framing

I already spoke about framing a while back (here).

I now came across a wonderful example how the way you talk about a story will put in a completely different frame.

This is it:

A very different idea of the movie I watch with my four year old nephew.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Eurovision Song Contest 2014

This is the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest 2014, Conchita Wurst from Austria. And yes, you are seeing it correctly, that is a bearded lady. Well, actually it is a man, in an awesome gown, with a beard. And he just won the Eurovision Song Contest.

It wasn't a bad song he had. It is a very strong song and a pretty tough song to sing, and he managed it very well (a lot better than other contestants with their songs). 
The song that came second was the better song (a wee bit chauvinism here, but The Calm after the Storm is a great song).

Conchita won, because (s)he had a great story to tell. He is a boy, bullied in his youth because he was more girlish than other boys and later because he is gay and a transvestite. The song, Rise like a Phoenix, is about overcoming your troubles and coming out stronger. Something he did with dressing like a woman, but leaving a beard as well. 

A story of being who you are and equality for all made him win the Eurovision Song Contest.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Immersive Storytelling - HobbitCon

Being part of the story, one of the characters or one of the essential components in a story. That is what immersive storytelling is.

You have campaigns that try to get people so invested in them, they become part of the story. You also have people who want to be part of a story and seek all opportunities to become part of it.

I'm one of those people.
I love everything Lord of the Rings / The Hobbit / J.R.R. Tolkien. So when an opportunity occurs where I can meet fellow fans, cast-members, people from behind the scenes of the movies or otherwise connected to my passion, I try to be there.

That is why I love to go to conventions. Actors who can tell you the fun stories about what happened on set, the interesting stories of how they got into character, what they had to do to find that character inside themselves. The experts who know so much on topics related to Tolkien. Other fans who are likely invested in the entire happening. Who dress up as their favourite character, in amazing costumes. And who become friends, through this shared story.

During the past Easter weekend it was Hobbit-Con in Bonn, Germany. A true gem when it comes to conventions. Where true fans of the books/movies are, dressed in wonderful costumes, where the actors feel free to move around, mingle with the fans, sit in the audience when their fellow actors are on stage.

And at the convention, we had the pleasure of welcoming Ken Stott, who portrays Balin in The Hobbit Trilogy, to his very first convention. At the end, of his last panel, he was asked, why didn't you want to come to conventions first, when you seem to like it now.
He gave this wonderful reply:
"Why would you need conventions? It is a book? It is a movie? What else should there be. But here, it becomes hope, joy, it becomes reality."
A very good description of immersive storytelling, and the reason why I love going to conventions.

The actors and experts on stage during the opening ceremony of HobbitCon 2014

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Koriente

Businesses that tell a true story, I love them. 
I came across one in Austin (TX), Koriente.

They have this painted next to their door:
(Sorry, the picture is taken at night and a bit wobbly)
It reads:
My mom started this restaurant because she hates to cook.
She loved going out to eat (make someone else do the work) but found it tough to find healthy, msg free, lowkal, balanced meals with prices within daily reach. She felt guilty for feeding us crap & felt sick of being a housewife, so she said:
“why not open a restaurant for people like me.”

What a fun story to tell around your business!

And, if you are in Austin and looking for a great place to eat, go there. Amazing food, absolutely fresh and delicious, and very affordable.


Monday, 14 April 2014

Storytelling by Omega

I came across this wonderful example of storytelling in the following commercial by Omega.
It is visually stunning and it tells a story. A story of a world revolving, going on, using mechanics. And this world, you can hold, in your watch. 


Sunday, 30 March 2014

Inspirational speakers

Being able to tell a good story, to make it captivating for the listener. Being able to get your story across in such a way your audience takes it with them and use it. That is a gift, a great gift.

Some people have that ability. At SXSW I was present at the key-note speech of Neil deGrasse Tyson. Before I had never heard of him. I wasn't even sure I was going to attend the speech. It was about space and technology. And I'm not very interested in space. But he was the key-note and I was told you should always attend the key-note, for they give great speeches.

And wow, were they right. That man can tell a story! A great voice, a great presence. An amazing storyteller, both funny and interesting.

He is currently the presenter of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey on the National Geographic Channel. In The Netherlands it is broadcasted on Sunday evening. And I have my DVR set for it. Very interesting, even if you are, like me, not that interested in space, it is about our history and our future. From the tiniest microbes to the unimaginable huge galaxy we are all part of.

So if you want to see a great storyteller in action, go have a look at it.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Tolkien reading day

Yes, we have another special day today. It is Tolkien Reading Day. So grab your favourite Tolkien book and share your favourite quote or moment.

Mine is towards the end of Lord of the Rings. Sam just got Frodo out of the hands of the orcs. And both little hobbits are struggling on their way to reach mount Doom. The rest for the evening. And than Tolkien writes this:

Frodo sighed and was asleep almost before the words were spoken. Sam struggled with his own weariness, and he took Frodo's hand; and there he sat silent till deep night fell. Then at last, to keep himself awake, he crawled from the hiding-place and looked out. The land seemed full of creaking and cracking and sly noises, but there was no sound of voice or of foot. Far above the Ephel Dúath in the West the night-sky was still dim and pale. There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach. His song in the Tower had been defiance rather than hope; for then he was thinking to himself. Now, for a moment, his own fate, and even his master's, ceased to trouble him. He crawled back into the brambles and laid himself by Frodo's side, and putting away all fear he cast himself into a deep untroubled sleep.


And why is this my favourite part of the story? First of all the description of it. I think that anybody wherever in the world has seen this scene. The clouds breaking in the night and that one bright star twinkling there. And besides that, it is such a strong scene. Surrounded by ugliness and despair, in a land where there is no hope, no beauty. And the one ruling that land is trying to destroy all that you believe in and see as beauty. But in that land, when all hope is gone, there is that one moment, showing there is still beauty, there is still reason to hope. Giving Sam the courage to take a rest, so he will be strong enough to help Frodo with that hopeless task of destroying the ring. A little spark that will turn evil into good, the eucathastrophy, as Tolkien himself described it.

So now it is to you, what is your favourite part of Tolkiens writing? 

Monday, 24 March 2014

Happiness

Storytelling is the art of telling a story around what you want to say. To make absolutely clear what it is you want to say, without actually saying it directly.

This is an example on how to use it. 


(Click here for a bigger version of it)

Monday, 10 March 2014

Math and storytelling

I was so bad at math at school. So not my cup of tea. But at SXSW Education I saw a movie on how they are trying to give math a different twist and make it better fitted into the world of the students. By using storytelling.

What a wonderful way to combine the world of stories and math. And why not, we use stories to explain something all the time, so why not math. I really hope the project will become ven more succesful.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Tell a Fairy Tale Day

A very happy Tell a Fairy Tale Day to all of you!

Yes, there is a day for telling Fairy Tales. And it is today!

I already wrote about the importance of reading to children and the history of Fairy Tales.

Fairy Tales come in all forms and sizes.
From the old tales by Grimm or Andersen.

To the newer once retold by Disney.

I'm currently looking forward to going to see Winter's Tale in the cinema.
A tale of love through the ages. With all the elements of a fairy tale: a hero, the villain and something magical happening.

When I was small I loved the story of Cinderella, even when your life isn't that great, you can still meet your Prince. And there is a Czech/German version of it; Drei Haselnüsse für Aschenbrödel (Three haselnuts for Cinderella). One of my favourite movies that is broadcasted a lot around Christmas time (probably because it has a lot of snow in it).

What is your favourite Fairy Tale, old or new, please do tell me?

Friday, 21 February 2014

Emoji

Uhm, Emoji, what?
I was thinking the same.
It are those cute emoticons you can use on Twitter or chats.
To enhance your story or to say something you can't say with words.

Here an example on how you can even put entire movie quotes or titles into Emoji.

And if you want to practice a bit.
A very famous book title:


You can find more of these here at Mashable.

As said before, an image can say more than a thousand words. Well, I guess an emoticon can do the same.


Tuesday, 11 February 2014

A story on

This article from TheOneRing.net just caught my attention.

A flute with the story of The Hobbit on it.

Music is of course very important in the various works of Tolkien. Remember the Misty Mountain Song from An Unexpected Journey. Or the Road goes ever On from The Fellowship of the Ring. 
So putting The Hobbit on a flute is very fitting.

And it looks amazing. 
I'm going to share one picture with you:


Just look at the detail. And those keys are about the size of your fingertip!
Here you see the three trolls. The road the company of Thorin Oakenshield has to take. A couple of the dwarves. And the good morning moment between Gandalf and Bilbo.

What an amazing way, to combine music with a story!

Friday, 7 February 2014

Every day references

Do you have those every day references that come from stories?

Today I have one.
Because it is a Blustery Day!



The wind is howling around the building, I hear the roof creaking.
But in my head, I'm humming the Blustery Day song from Pooh!

Now let's hope tonight the Heffalumps and Woozles stay calm.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Don't tell

Sometimes you want a story to be told, sometimes you don't.

In this song, a bit of a drastic way to make sure your "rumour" isn't told.
The ladies of The Pierces will make sure their secret won't be told around.


Don't be afraid, I won't be so drastic if you share this story...

Friday, 31 January 2014

Paper by Facebook

Facebook is going to introduce a new app: Paper.
An app in which you can organise your stories. The once you get from friends or official news outlets, but you can also put your own stories in it and share those.


In this short video they explain how it works
And the explain the wonderful world of storytelling. From the various shapes and sizes stories come in, like text, letters or pictures. To the importance of sharing.

The launch is February 3rd. First only in the US.
So US-friends could you please share your story about Paper with me?

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

How one little stories turns into something big

A couple of weeks back I posted about how where you live tells a story about you.

In this post I told you also about my amazing neighbourhood with the fun streetname signs after the characters of Tolkiens books.



Those pictures I took for a school assignment, showing what is so amazing about the place you live in.
When I posted those on Facebook one of my Brazilian friends from the Brazilian Tolkien Society read it and thought it much fun. They asked me a couple of questions over Facebook and posted a story on the internet with my story of my neighbourhood and my pictures.

Beginning of January a Google map images of my neighbourhood turned up on 9GAG. "An entire neighborhood named after Tolkien's characters in the Netherlands."

And yesterday The Huffington Post picked up the story: "Every street in this Dutch neighborhood has a Lord of the Rings name, which is awesome."



Which today got the attention of the local newspaper and even nationwide Dutch news.

Can I claim all this attention happened because of my pictures and the story of my neighbourhood? No, I can't. But it is a very big coincidence it is all happening now, just after those pictures.

Just showing, how one small story, can turn into something really big.... (me creating world news?!?).

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Creating memories

Memories are a very powerful story. Something happened to you and it was so profound, it stuck with you for a very long time.

If a company can make it happen something so amazing happens to you, you want to tell it to all your friends and you will tell it for a very long time. That is a very powerful marketingtool and a very powerful story.

Visiting a Disney park is of course already a big event for children. Having fun the entire day. Getting to meet your favourite cartoon characters.
When you are allowed to walk around the entire day in your favourite prince or princess costume. That will make it even more special.
But if then, somebody who is clearly from the park, comes to you to ask for an autograph, because he believes you are really a princess. Wow, that makes an impact. 

Making a story you will tell for a very long time!

Friday, 24 January 2014

Busy, busy, busy

Yes, the story of my life at the moment.

It is all fun to do, organising a VR Symposium.
But working a fulltime job, trying to manage a study (luckily that one is quiet for two weeks), it is a wee bit busy. Besides that all I somehow also seem to have a social life. Hello friends, I'm still alive, although you haven't heard from me in a while.

And keeping a blog. Oops. Somehow managed to not write something yesterday and lacking a story to tell for today.

But, welcome to the story of my life. Yes, I'm busy.
Hopefully after next week Thursday I'll be able to breath again.

Until then, when inspiration flows, you will get a new story from me (or it will be a little quiet over here).

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Nespresso; from George to Ethiopia

We all have seen the commercials from Nespresso with George Clooney enjoying one of the coffees from them in a fancy coffeeshop. Telling the brand's story about luxury, indulgence and exclusivity

Yesterday Nespresso introduced their new campaign. Shifting the focus from the luxury of coffee to the origin of their coffee. The first coffee is Bukeela ka Ethiopia. Using the words of Maureen Baas, marketing director of Nespresso Europe. "People are used to the images of George and the luxury espresso bars. But we thought it time to show Nespresso has more stories to tell. We know so much about coffee and have such wonderful stories to tell about the place of origin of the coffee. But we never told those stories.

The images sure look very beautiful. Take a look at the new story of Nespresso.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Storytelling with sand

Words, images, signs, I have seen a lot of ways to tell stories.

But using sand. Yes it is possible.

Watch the next video. It tells the history of the Ukrain with sand!


Monday, 20 January 2014

Recycled orchestra

Not a story in music, but music in a story. A story worth retelling.
These children make the most beautiful music on instruments made out of garbage.

Take a look and a listen!


Sunday, 19 January 2014

Retelling Sherlock

Some stories are so good, you just keep on telling them.
But sometimes a story does get a bit dated, because of time. And they need a bit of updating to be retold in the current time.

One of them is Sherlock Holmes. Written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Absolutely wonderful stories about a brilliant detective who is solving crimes in London around the 1880s. 
1880 London is of course not 2014 London. Carriages have been replaced by cars. Telegrams by Whatsapp. Letters by e-mail.
So what if you want to retell the story to the kids of these days?
You retell by putting this "high-functioning sociopath" (as he describes himself these days) into London 2014. Where he can use cellphones, cars, computers and more.

And luckily the BBC has made "Sherlock" as brilliant as the books.
With Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock and Martin Freeman as Dr. Watson (yes together, again!).

It is very fast paced. With dialogues that are so smart you actually have to listen to them a couple of times to get all the information. Small clues on how it is done everywhere, that you won't see on a first watching. All the use of modern day technology. Rushing through London 2014 on cars, cabs, motors. With an array of wonderful characters to support the story.

And because of these days internet, they get a huge fanbase from all over the world. Who are puzzling along to find out, who has done it.

The BBC broadcasted the last of season three last week. The US starts off with season three this week.
This is the trailer of the first in season three.



Enjoy watching! But also read the books, to see where they originally came from. The stories are great, the craftsmanship to put them to modern times is amazing!

Saturday, 18 January 2014

When words become images

and tell you their stories:






There are more of these amazing words/images. Check them out here.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Hidden stories in books

They say; "Don't judge a book by its cover". I think I found why.

In really old books people painted illustrations on the edge of the book. An illustration you can only see when you slightly fan the pages of the book. Because when the book is closed you can't see any of it.

Take a look at this website with some images and videos showing them to you.

Makes me totally wonder why to put so much effort into something that people might not even see. Or would it be that it was custom back in those days to look at the book if it had a nice picture there instead of on the cover? Not judging the book by its cover, but by the edging?

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Rules of Storytelling

Yes, even to storytelling there are rules (or better, guidelines).

Previously I wrote about the people of Pixar. How Andrew Stanton gave his ideas about great storytelling (read it here).

Somebody else at Pixar: Emma Coats, also told the world what she thought the rules to great storytelling are. She tweeted a list of "22 rules of Storytelling" a while back.
And thanks to the big world of internet, they are now put to images from Pixar movies. Making them into inspirational posters for storytellers around the world.

These are two I found very fitting for my blogging.


This one is very true. Put your idea down. Even when it is just the tiniest idea. It might grow into something bigger that is worth telling to the world.

Also a very good one for me. I'm writing a lot of concepts for this blog. Some have been in concept for a very long time now. Others grow into a blog very soon. Some find a friend later on and the two of them go onto my blog to tell the story.

For a complete slide show of all the images and rules: check this website.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Home is where our story begins

I came across this sign the other weekend when I went shopping with my mother.

It reminded me of my blog and of my home, so I bought it, and it is now decorating my front door.



Your home of course tells a lot about you.
How you have decorated it.
What kind of rooms you have (a baby room or a home office).
How your garden looks.
How long you have lived there.
Or maybe how long it has been in the family.

But where you live also tells something about you.
In my case, it tells a lot. Since I live in the best neighbourhood in the world, when you are a Tolkien fan like me. All the streets are named after the characters from the works of Tolkien. I had to do a class assignment a few weeks ago, showing what is best about the city you live in. So take a look here for all the pictures.

You can understand, whenever I have to fill out my address and somebody is a Tolkien-fan. I have a story to tell.



Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Suspended coffee

What kind of coffee, I hear you wonder?

I came accross this wonderful story a while back, but was reminded of it today when I saw it again at a Facebook page of a friend.

Suspended Coffee, an amazing initiative. You buy a coffee, or something else to drink or eat at a local coffeestore. But you don't buy one, you buy two or even more. One for you, and one suspended. The coffeestore gives this coffee or food to somebody in need who comes to that same store to ask for help. 
That way they have something warm to drink, and it only costs you one cup of coffee. And the plus side to it, you know your donated money is actually being used for food and not drugs. And you support a local coffeestore, who sells an extra cup of coffee.

Take a look at the website, to see which coffeestore in your neighbourhood participates. (edit: Suspended coffee informed me they have a new website, check it out here.)

And when you are on the website, read the story on How it Started. Makes you think on how small a thing you can do to change somebodies story.

Share this story! And when you can, buy a suspended coffee to make somebodies story a little better.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Flight of the bumblebee

I have written about stories in music the last few weeks.

And mostly it was referring to lyrics in the songs, not as much the sound of the music.

But music itself can tell a very clear story.

Just listen to the next piece of music:


Flight of the Bumblebee by Rimsky-Korsakov.
You can see the bumbleblee flying through the air. And that just with the sound of music.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Power of words, the original

In one of my first blogs I posted a video showing the power of words.

And I'm currently seeing it reposted on Facebook by a lot of friends.

But my teacher told me, that's not the original.

The original is so good, it won prices and got a copy cat, the previous one.

It is in Spanish, but does have subtitles.
It is so much stronger than the original. Especially since in this one, it really is a beautiful day and not a rainy day in England.




Words, they are powerful!

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Cold?

Some stories have such a powerful quote, you can't help but play with it.



With the current story of the cold in the US and the catchy quote: "Winter is coming" (from Game of Thrones). This was bound to happen. 

Friday, 10 January 2014

1001 stories

The famous stories of 1001 nights.
Told by Scheherazade.

Her own story goes as follows.

A Persian King was very angry, because his wife had been unfaithful to him. To relief his anger he married a different virgin every night, and beheaded her the next morning. 

Scheherazade heard of this madness and wanted to stop it. So she asked her father to marry her to the king. He didn't want to, but she had a plan. 

After the wedding she started telling the king a story. When dawn broke, she stopped without finishing the story. Because she knew she had to be beheaded. But the king wanted to hear the ending of the story. So he asked her to finish her story the next night. She finished it, but went straight to the next, even more exciting story. And again, she stopped at dawn, without the story being finished. And again, the king granted her another night. This went on for 1001 nights. When finally the king was over his anger and had fallen in love with Scheherazade, marrying her.

Her stories have given us many wonderful Persian stories about flying carpets, magic lamps, thieves in caves, pirates at sea and travelers hot wide deserts. What a wonderful storyteller she must have been.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Stories without words

You come across them every day.

Just look at the sky, you know what the weather will be, without one word being exchanged.

The sound of dripping rain will notify you to bring along your umbrella.

The traffic light on your way to work. No doubt you will stop at red and keep going at green. No one tells you: stop or go.

The smell of fresh baked bread during lunchtime, they almost seem to yell at you "eat us", but they don't, but you surely do like to eat them.

And even people tell stories without saying anything.
When I come skipping into work in the morning, all dressed in bright colours, with a big smile on my face. You know I'm having a good day, even when I haven't said a word. 
When I come in dragging my feet, not matching clothes, bags under my eyes and my hair going all places, yes, I didn't sleep too well. And you know even without asking (and you will probably keep out of my way, just to be safe).

The fancy word for it is non-verbal communications. And we all do it, almost all the time, even without thinking about it. We keep on telling stories even without words.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

The Bodyshop

The Bodyshop, started in 1976 with one store in the UK, now has world wide over 2.500 stores.

They work and communicate from a very strong believe: 
"The business of business should not just be about money, it should be about responsibility. It should be about public good, not private greed." Dame Anita Roddick. Human Rights Activist. Founder of The Body Shop.

They sell beauty products, but those do not make their core story. Their values as they state on their website are: Support Community Fair Trade, Defend Human Rights, Against Animal Testing, Activate Self-Esteem and Protect Our Planet.
These beliefs come forth in everything they do. Commercials aren't about the products, they are about the silliness of skinny models, when no normal woman is that skinny. Or making sure all beauty products are cruelty free.
And they show this with everything they do. The website is green, the logo has green colours in it. Even the stores have lots of green in them with wooden displays.
They have a very powerful story to tell, and they live to it, since the day they started.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Humans of New York

A blog to be jealous of.
With thousands of followers.
And a book published from it.

In 2010 Brandon Stanton took to the streets of New York City (one of my favourite cities in the world) to take pictures of the people of the city. To capture New Yorkers and their stories.

This results in a blog with pictures of all kinds of people. With quotes they give him about them.

Check it out!

Humans of New York

Monday, 6 January 2014

Take your time girl

Stories in Music, I have already shared a few with you over the last few weeks. The next one is from a Dutch singer-songwriter, but I truly want to share it with all my friends.

Take your time girl. By Niels Geusebroek.

First the song is so sweet. I absolutely love it. The first time I heard it on the radio I thought it had to be from a singer from the UK or the US. Because Dutch songs aren't usually that good. But it is that good!

And second, the story behind it. The beat that you hear in the beginning of the song and that is carried through the entire song is the heartbeat from an unborn baby. 

The song was composed at the request of a couple of Dutch radio DJ's. A colleague of theirs, Hannelore, the news anchor, had showed them the ultrasound of her baby girl. And they thought it so special, they asked for the song.

When you look at the video, the woman you see is Hannelore.



And the little heartbeat has now started her own story. Olivia was born on January 1st 2014! (So we share our birthdays!)

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Inception

Dreaming is where you mind tells you again the stories of all that has happened to you during the day. They show you what you want or what you are afraid of. All in the form of stories. And as I have already shown, stories come in many forms. As is true for dreams. Magical, scary, adventurous, exciting. From nightmares to the dreams you hope will come true.

In the movie Inception (2010) the main characters have found a way in which they can enter a persons dream and change it.
They have to be a sleep and linked to the other person by a system. The two persons will meet in the dream. And as in dreams, you have so many more abilities, to fly, to create, to be the person you want to be. But what if the person who is with you has a different meaning to why they are there? What if they want something from you? In the dream, they can try to alter your way of looking at them. With this they put the idea in your dream. This idea becomes real to you in your every day life. And your story changes.

A bit of a scary idea, when I write it like that.
But I loved the movie. Exciting, visually stunning and something to think about.

In this seen the inventor of the system (Cobb, played by Leonardo DiCaprio) explains to one of his new dream-builders (Ariadne, played by Ellen Page) how the building of dreams works.

Creating dreams, creating stories.

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Storytelling by Ikea

Ikea, the world known furniture and decorations seller from Sweden. You either hate them, or you are a big fan of them. 

But they do tell a strong story, to which they stick. 

They started in Sweden and they do tell you. The design with lots of wood and light colours is Northern European. All the names of the furniture have a Swedish background. The famous meatballs in the restaurant are a Swedish tradition. Every store is very recognisable in the bright yellow and blue, the colours of the Swedish flag.

The showroom, yes that maze that you can't get out. It is a big story. They do tell you what Ikea is selling, showing you practical solutions for the problems you could encounter in such a room. Making it all look and feel cosy, as if you could live there, in that showroom. And everything on display they sell. The carpet, the painting, the cushions, the light, everything is there for you to buy.

And than there is the catalogue. Wow, just look at Wikipedia and be blown away by the numbers. In 2013 208 million copies were printed, in 62 versions for 43 countries! That's more than any book has prints in a year.

And when you tell such a powerful story, you can even take a joke:

Ikea, a strong brand with a strong story.

Friday, 3 January 2014

Framing

No, not an instruction on how to frame your art work. But a technique used in communications and also in storytelling.

But I will use the art work frame to explain framing.

Framing is telling a part of the story or certain details of a story to get your opinion told. Like holding a 10 x 10 frame in front of The Nightwatch. You will only see a part of the picture, just a face, shoes, the little dog, but not the entire picture.

All stories are of course framed. Because you can't tell everything that is happening to everybody through the entire story. So when we leave Tom Bombadil behind in The Fellowship of the Ring, we don't know what is happening to him after that. He falls out of the frame and doesn't matter to the story anymore.

Framing in other media like news can be very misleading.
I'm going to use the next image as an example.

The middle image in colour is the entire picture, a man in war time, getting some water.
The cut out on the left side is an entire different picture. A man being held under fire.
And the cut out on the right side another completely different image. A soldier giving a poor man something to drink.

One picture, but with the frame you put over it, three completely different stories.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Life of Pi

Life of Pi of course has a book and a movie.
But for this blog I'm going to use the book. Why, because it has so more depth than the movie, although the movie was visually stunning.

But the book allows you to go in your own pace to places you have never been before, walking with Pi through his fathers zoo, through the hills of India, on the big boat (Tsimtsum) and on that so very small boat and of course finally back on land. Where he talks to the two investigators from the firm the Tsimtsum was from.

The part I really liked and shows the importance of a good story with good characters is where Pi just told the two investigators the story of his amazing survival. He got off the Tsimtsum in a small lifeboat together with a zebra, an orangutan, an hyena and a tiger named Richard Parker. After a short struggle Pi and Richard Parker remain. With Richard Parker in the life boat and Pi on a small raft behind it.

The investigators don't believe him. It can't be true with all the animals, since Richard Parker has vanished when getting onto land. They want to force him to tell the "truth", give them the names of the people with whom he got of the boat. This quote follows:

'So tell me, since it makes no factual difference to you and you can't prove the question either way, which story do you prefer? Which is the better story, the story with animals or the story without animals?' Mr. Okamoto: 'That's an interesting question?' Mr. Chiabe: 'The story with animals.' Mr. Okamoto: 'Yes, The story with animals is the better story.'

Pi respond to it with that it is the same with believing in God. But I think it is the same with all stories. A good story needs characters you can relate to, emphasize with. An exciting storyline. Something the reader can take with him, to learn from and believe in. So if that is with animals or with people, indeed, as long as it is a good story, it is worth telling and hearing.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Happy New Year

Happy New Year!!!

Let's start a new year with lots of new stories to share and listen to.

And while you all start a New Year, I'm truly starting a new year.


Yes, one year older (and hopefully wiser).

I was officially due on December 28th, but since my mother told everybody that she would fire me off with the fireworks, as a good girl should, I listened. There I was, January 1st. My first story, and one I still share.

Happy New Year to you all!