Showing posts with label Story Theory. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Story Theory. Show all posts

What Makes a Good Story Great

Stories play big part in our lives. They inundate our culture in more ways than we can count. The most obvious would be TV and movies. Both are big business and most of us would agree that we couldn't live without the two. If not TV and movies, then comic books, music, novels and fairy tales. Stories have been around for a long time. They're part of being human. But for something that has been around for ages, you think we would understand how stories work. What makes a good story great? It's not that hard to figure out when you think about it.

When D.A.R.P.A. Discovered Stories

D.A.R.P.A. is the defense department in the States responsible for some of the craziest Cold War experiments. Some of them became worldwide successes such as the Internet and GPS while others failed miserably like Project Orion, the attempt to land men and women on Jupiter. Not every project was hi-tech. Some involved the use and dissemination of propaganda. Hence, the research on stories and how they work on the human brain.

Canada: The Story of Us (As Told by Canadian Celebrities)

CBC TV has recently begun airing a new documentary called Canada: The Story of Us. It starts out with a medium close-up of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's face talking about co-operation and acceptance, again, followed by majestic forests and CGI geese flying north. There's a lot of water, mountains and trees - many, many trees. Then, something odd happens. One doesn't expect anything but the official line here, especially since the film was introduced by the PM himself, so we're thinking this doc isn't going to be controversial. Fine. Then it happens, a medium close-up of Sook-Yin Lee appears, dark eyes, nice smile, and she talks about Canada. Then, it hits me: Why is Sook-Yin Lee telling me this? She has no personal connection to the information at all. Essentially, a celebrity is teaching me history?  A Story about Us as Told by Celebrities. Not cool at all.

Story Influence Theory by Kendall Haven (DARPA)

The Story Influence Theory says a lot about humanity's struggle with the truth. We evolved from prehistoric hominids living in caves to contemporary humans boasting an Anthropocene Age. Yet, we've done it with a brain that's more prehistoric than contemporary. As tool-making animals, we've learned many skills necessary for our survival, but it is the ability to influence people that is probably one of the most sought out skills in life and business.

Scooby-Doo on the Next Star Trek Show?

Who Can't Love
this Guy?
Ever since Disney Corporation took over Star Wars and Star Trek, we've stood at the precipice of a mega-corp take over on a planetary scale. To be honest, it's a harsh reality, but something most geeks are happy to endure as reboots tickle their fancy enough despite many of them being far worse than their not-so-distant awful cousin, the 80s sequel. Lucas referred to mega-corp Disney as "the white slave traders" but it didn't stop him from selling out to them either. We might as well associate the good times with Mickey Mouse - and by the way, Mickey eat your heart out! Literally, please. Not only will you never go public domain, we can look forward to seeing you on the starship Enterprise too. You'll be commanding, under Minny of course, because the mega-corp will try to be politically correct to keep sales going. But don't fret. In that age, even Hanna-Barbera will sell out too. Which is why Scooby's appearance will seem both entertaining and appropriate. Ugh.

Star Wars, Revisited.
The Call for a Public Domain Insurgency.

Star Wars owned by the Empire
On October 30th, 2012, George Lucas, billionaire and Star Wars creator, sold his franchise to the "white slave traders" a.k.a. Walk Disney Corporation. The Empire. The "trader" analogy was soon followed by an apology alongside a muted jeer for Bob Iger's leadership via a personal statement. To say this sale was bittersweet would be an understatement. Lucas struggled with the release of Star Wars: Force Awakens, and although many loved the film (this blogger excluded), one couldn't help but think that Stars Wars was taken over by the executives Lucas fought so hard during his tenure as filmmaker. But was it really necessary? There was another option. George Lucas could have earned a place in history as the patron saint of public domain rather than the dejected Star Wars creator living in obscurity. Yes. George Lucas could have been the first billionaire filmmaker to give away his entire franchise to public domain.