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Instagram Stories is not „storytelling“ [rant]


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STILL everyone keeps talking about storytelling without having a single clue about what constitutes a story. Especially now that everyone and their aunt is using „Instagram Stories“ they think they’re storytelling. If that’s you, let me tell you: You’re not!

Instagram Stories is like playing with play-doh!

Don’t get me wrong: I love Instagram Stories – it’s like playing with play-doh. You literally use your hands and fingers to draw, you move around capturing visuals, you talk to yourself, you show it to your friends and get instant gratification. It’s marvellous.

But story doesn’t just record events, it structures them, it gives them meaning, it frames them in a way we can learn from them. And, most importantly, a story only begins when there is something at stake.

The flamingo image from my recent IG Takeover for Danone is almost a story! It introduces two characters using visual cues and  touches on the fear of being rejected (the question mark). Still, it is not a story! Why do they want to be friends? What stands in their way? How might they overcome that obstacle? We learn nothing of this. What it is, is the first sentence of one.

Storytelling is the very specific craft and it’s now how you hold your camera.

Now watch this video spot I created for the MA 48 (Vienna’s municipal department charged with keeping the city clean):

Storytelling is the very specific craft and it’s now how you hold your camera or what information you convey. It’s in the moments you don’t notice. Re-Watch how, after meeting her prince again, Cinderella looks down before the camera cuts to her feet. That’s the craft, that’s the logic we create. Everyone can hold a camera or talk about how they did something. But it requires craft to create logic.

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