P A T R I C K M O R E A US T O R YT H ES T O R YO F
T H ES T O R YO FS T O R YB YP A T R I C KM O R E A UT H EB E G I N N I N GIt shouldn’t come as a shock to hearthat story is a powerful thing.Marketers laud the power of story toconnect people to what you’re selling.Take, for example, Seth Godin’s best-selling book, All Marketers Are Liars, inwhich he suggests that the singlebiggest thing a brand could do is tell apowerful story.Business owners are increasinglygobbling up storytelling training andtrying to incorporate these practicesinto their leadership. One of the leadingauthors on story, Annette Simmons,says so much with the title of one of herrecent books, Whoever Tells The BestStory Wins. In our day-to-day lives, we’re constantlytaking in, sharing, and spitting outstories. As Jonathan Gottschall puts it inThe Storytelling Animal, we’re hardwiredfor story. It’s in our DNA.And for filmmakers, regardless of howmuch we’re able to follow through, it’sour widespread intent to do all we canto express story in our work.Okay, so story is this irresistiblestructure. That’s certainly not agroundbreaking revelation.But here’s the thing so few of us talkabout—whyis story as effective as itis? Why do we lean in at the meremention of story? Why do we yearnfor them? And why are they so damneffective at connecting people tothings?P A G E1
T H ES T O R YO FS T O R YWell, we’ll share what our research hasrevealed on this important question.But before we do, let’s go one leveldeeper. Why does this why even matter?Everything we’re sharing here iscritically important so that you reallyunderstand the implications of story.Avoid the urge to jump to the end—it’llbe worth the wait. Promise.THE BACKSTORYAs creatives, we want to tell stories. Wewant others to click play and become soimmersed that they can’t help but watchto the very last frame. And when they’redone, we want them to think differently,tell their friends, or watch it all overagain. Story is what inspires ouraudience to consider, feel, andremember what we’ve shared.But, and this is one big-assdisclaimer, somewhere between thebeginning and the ending of a projectthe focus on story starts to erode.Perhaps it’s the commercial clientthat would rather you focus on theattribute that makes their widgetamazing (and we can’t forget theincredible price too!). Or it’s thedocumentary client that wants you tofocus more on the issue and the facts—the purpose behind it all.And sometimes the erosion is moreinnocuous. It’s the client asking, in apretty determined way, that a certainperson be in the film.Or a location that MUST be used. We doit to ourselves too. We get seduced bythe glitter and tell ourselves that thedrone shot that’s all the rage is reallywhat we need in our film.