It’s Still About Story and Character

by Barry AnderssonLeave a Comment

If you spent any time studying the origins of the film industry you know just how much vaudeville influenced much of early films.  Storytelling has been passed from genre to genre since the beginning of time. We cannot really understand what works best on audiences without seeing what has stood the test of time.  Storytelling techniques that have worked for hundreds or thousands of years are worth understanding for todays audiences.

If you think about it the art of storytelling it runs through all mediums and all genres of entertainment. Stories around the campfire transitioned into folktales with transitioned into live theater and so on.

So what captures peoples attention? Usually it comes down to either the story and or the characters that resonate with most people. A common misconception is that people tend to think that they need to create a brilliant story as the main way to attract an audience.  A great story is always a goal you should strive for but don't forget that creating a compelling character can be a stronger draw than a good story.

Think I am wrong? Think about the following examples:

– James Bond.
Seriously do you think many (or any) of the Bond movies are brilliant stories? Or rather is it the character of Bond what draws you in movie after movie?

– Saturday Night Live.
Do you tune in to find the “perfect” skit or rather do you tune in to see your favorite “character” do something new.

– Superman!
I know I am opening a can of worms. Comic book fans will respond with endless story lines that make Superman awesome. My use here is the masses at large that know maybe the basic storyline. What drives the popularity of characters like Superman is the character itself rather than the story. We will wade through a weak story after weak story starring our favorite character vs a decent story with no character we love.

Wonder why I am having this whole discussion?  Check out this killer video. There is no real story but there is am amazing “character” that you respond to right away.  I love that an old school art form of operating a Marionette is being introduced to people via modern via.  All while marrying with the real world of New York with street performing. What a mashup of creativity.  See how a wide variety of people respond to “Sticks.” Why are we drawn to this particular “character?” Well let us know what you are responding to.

I know myself wish I was in New York so I could go visit “Sticks” for a day. Love this little guy. Do you?

Happy Shooting!

a Marionette in Manhattan

Via Vimeo Description:

Check out the amazing puppetry of Ricky Syers! He can be found on most nice days performing in New York City's Washington Square Park.

And check out his website and facebook page where he's got all sorts of info about his puppets and locations he'll be performing in

(cover photo credit: snap from the video)

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