We all know that great storytelling is an art form. It requires insightful, attention-grabbing creative, impeccable timing, strong human connection, and a key moment of revelation that brings the full narrative together. At other times, storytelling takes a more direct, news-driven approach that aims to accomplish one thing – make sense of a situation and distill down the most relevant or interesting points around a topic.
As any regular visitor to this blog knows, I’m a photography and storytelling fanatic. As such, I’m constantly looking for new subjects to shoot and creative avenues to extend my photog skills. Good friend Chris Sewell (@mydeadlyballoon)shares my passion for uncovering what we all see on the surface day in and day out. Chris also happens to be an audio buff with a knack for drawing anyone into an interview.
A few weeks back, Chris and I decided to gather our tools of the trade and head down to Westlake Center in Seattle to do a bit of content gathering around the Occupy Seattle activity. Admittedly, neither of us had done much homework at that point on the Occupy Wall Street movement. We decided that going in blind would actually be a better approach for our attempt to make sense of the ongoing protest.
Over the course of about three hours, we interviewed a LOT of people. Some made fair points but most could not seem to piece together a logical message (outside of what distilled down to wanting to feel a sense of community) about why they were present. As a communications pro, I was most confused by the fact that there was no central messaging pillar physically present at the protest location. For what has evolved as a decently well organized movement, I spent three hours attempting to piece together the main messaging behind the various signs, chanting and individual reasoning we witnessed. To be frank, I believe that the chief event organizers could have tripled the effect and impact of their efforts if they simply had a giant sign in the middle stating the movement’s three main messages/call to action (obviously, the movement’s demands are a bit more complicated but you get my point – why make it a challenge for the public/media to interpret?).
Alas, we took what we could and distilled it down to the video below to provide a brief glimpse into the gathering. Stay tuned, we’re planning for plenty more similar storytelling efforts of this nature down the line.
p.s. fellow storytelling fans may also enjoy checking out the Third Coast International Audio Festival.