Thursday, July 28, 2011

Story tech

There are those of face faced with the desire or the need to get something across to an audience. We want or must tell a story. In this regard genre and theme are of no importance...

Pop soap opera (my own favourite)
Political activism (the revolution digitized)
'Volksporn' (pretend ignorance if you must)
Documentary reportage ('Pr├Ądikat wertvoll')
Reality series (not to be confused with documentaries)
Environmental sustainablity (tomorrow's world)
Factual entertainment (serving niche interests)  
Experimental drama (pushing the envelope)
Humanitarian aid (noblest intentions)

Yes, a wide range of genres and thematic emphases but it they all involve storytelling. And the fashioning of a narrative as well as a story's dissemination and reception are changing radically as a wide range of disruptive technolgies evolve, in particular impacting the medium of television.

In a series of three lengthy conversations Henry Jenkins spoke with Brian David Johnson of Intel... although he prefaces the transcript with these words...

"After years of teaching at MIT, I am often skeptical of work on media which starts from a technologist's perspective since they rarely factor in the social and cultural dimensions of media. Johnson is a notable exception... a deep thinker who groks the interface between technology and culture, who may work for industry but also understands the consumer perspective on why we love television and what we want to get out of watching our favorite series."

In a way what I read here was no surprise. The picture evolving was hinted at back in the day by Marshall MacLuhan and by Neil Postman. And it adds up to a Future Shock for storytellers which Alvin Toffler implied between the lines of the book he wrote in 1970.

The links are here... Part 1... Part 2... Part 3.

This is stuff which is hard to digest and may require a second reading! I've got a few more goodies in my 'starred' Google Reader items which I will in due course inflict upon you all unless your comments demand that I shut up.

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