This post is an experiment in a different writing style which I call Heart Over Brain. It basically involves just writing without thinking too much about what you are writing. This technique, in my opinion, does work in bringing out feelings and ideas that I would have otherwise not been able to put on paper if I was thinking about what to write. When I used the thinking method I typed around 2000 characters (with spaces) only, but with the Heart Over Brain method I managed to put down around 6,000 characters (with spaces) about this topic. So, I think it works for the ideas that you really feel, but you don’t really think about.
There’s nothing more awesome than experiencing a good story. How do you experience a story? Well, for me at least, I don’t just listen to a story, I don’t just watch a movie and I don’t just read a book. Whenever I encounter something new, I immediately turn on my Imagination Switch and dive into that thing. If it’s a book, I imagine myself in that world, at that time. If it’s the trailer for a movie, I imagine what the actual movie would be like. If it’s an actual movie, my emotions are already a part of that movie. I’m like a skateboarder tailing off a speeding car on the freeway when I watch a movie, experiencing so many emotions at the same time. And when I imagine, I use all of my senses, at least I try to. I imagine the weather, how things taste, how things smell, what does it LOOK like. That’s experiencing a story, and only stories can do that, nothing else can, no matter how hard you try.
Stories have been with us since the Dawn of Man. I can imagine our ancestors, those Neanderthals and Homo Sapiens, squiggling cave paintings on the walls of their dwelling or on huge leaves with pieces of charcoal and clay. Why do you think we found cave paintings in the first place? Story. Story existed in every civilization, and history tells us that. In fact, history is a story too, most of us experience the wrong kind of History class where we have to memorize dates of wars, births and deaths of kings and historical events. Every time I go to one of my friends and say, “Let me tell you a story”, I have their full attention, because Story intrigues and entices everybody. No one is adverse to Story, everyone welcomes it, however good or bad. Story has the power to change us, excite us, empower us, challenge us, open new doors for us, manipulate our emotions and believe in fictional people. That’s what Story does, it could be the most potent thing we ever have. And Story isn’t just limited to actual stories; we have stories in advertising, business, politics, medicine, science and even architecture. Stories are literally everywhere, we just don’t see it.
Stories also matter because of its characters. Nothing beat a kick ass character, who feels so real you could actually meet this person in real life. What that character does, says, feels, can be uncanny if you connect with that character. Great stories have great characters, because people experiencing the story can easily embody that character in their mind and use their friends’ personalities as other characters, if they are deeply connected with the Story. Stories can show us different sides of the world, different ideas, different people, different lives. Stories can transport us to different worlds in seconds. Stories can twist and turn and are malleable and can bend and can explode and come back together, stories aren’t limited to a specific shape and size. Stories are organic, you can’t just write a great story immediately; you have to find it. And the greatest of stories stand the test of time, they’re universal and people who wrote them didn’t think about it scientifically. It’s all instinctive, intuitive. Billy Marshall Stoneking talks about the connecting with your tribe’s stories when you write because stories connect generations and its imprinted within your creative DNA. Stories can change who we are because we see different perspectives. We can learn from these perspectives and apply it to our own lives, because it would be like real people telling us true stories if the story deeply connected with any person.
This is why I want to tell stories of my own. I want to take an audience and take them for a wild ride over which they have no control at all. I want them to experience different emotions in a short span of time because those are the kind of movies that are emotionally draining and that actually matter. The most shallow stories are written without any understanding of what Story is actually about and I myself don’t know that right now. I want to feel Story in my veins, immerse in it and soak in it. Story can be told in many, many ways, but I have my eyes set on one medium: Cinema.
Cinema is the best way of telling a great Story: it combines both aural and visual sensations and instantly connects with people from the very first frame. Great movies have great stories behind them and movies are extremely popular all over the world. In this day and age especially, where books and written text is not as exposed to this generation, it is with movies that the biggest cultural impact and change will occur and I want to be a part of that change. Amazing movies give me adrenaline rushes and instill a feeling of awe about them that’s so indescribable. When there’s a perfect combination of sound and image, it is truly magical. But before I actually make movies, I want to get settled the ballpark of what kind of Stories I want to tell. There are infinite stories that I could tell, but intuitively I know there’s only a specific range of story material that I would want to convey through cinema because it would matter to me. Stories that don’t matter to me would result in stories that people don’t identify with because it would be so fake. So I want to take the time to explore ideas, themes and people to get an understanding of what type of ideas, themes and people affect me the most as a Storyteller and only then will I take the next step of learning, technically of how to make a good and watchable film. When I mean what kind of Stories, let me give you an example. Joss Whedon, when he went to Wesleyan University for his Undergraduate Degree, said he felt lost about what kind of movies he wanted to make. In his time at Wesleyan, he figured out that Feminism and Women Empowerment were themes that were important to him, but he previously DID NOT KNOW! Storytellers need to find those themes that they want to tackle, otherwise they will not be satisfied with any story they tell. Whedon subsequently wrote Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, which changed the TV landscape with a strong female lead and in every project that he tackles (including Firefly and The Avengers), there is always a strong female character, lead or supporting, in the mix of the story, because that’s what matters to him. Now, in time, my themes might change, but I need to find them first to tell a good story. This is why I don’t want to go to film school immediately.
In conclusion, Story matters to me the most and I want to tell stories. The End.