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Wilderness Traverse 2015 Mini-Documentary

Developing the Storytelling Craft

Storytelling, like any, is craft that takes time to master. I’ve run a magazine for years (Breathe Magazine), started a video production company (A.W. Media Inc.), and organized speaker events, all with the express interest of telling the stories of others. It’s something I find immensely rewarding. Yet even with the release of our newest documentary (Wilderness Traverse), I can firmly, and happily say, that I am still learning.


One aspect of storytelling that I am constantly reminded of is that, before you can become a storyteller you need to be a listener first. No, this isn’t something that I stumbled upon through Googling a how-to, or figured out through metrics or analytics. It’s something common to all great interviewers, evidenced through their work. Have a look at some of the cutting edge journalism that is happening right now, in magazines like Wired (yes, that is currently one of my favourites). The stories that their feature reporters tell do not come from people coughing up words on a page, after one topical interview. They come from insight that can only be cultured through an active listening relationship. That means that you’re also listening to the “how” and “why” behind what the interviewees are saying, and then responding.


Part of the fun in storytelling through video is letting the viewer find some of the “how’s” and “why’s” themselves. In doing this, the viewer becomes part of that relationship, and the story then becomes more personal. It takes them on a journey.


For the storyteller, engaging in bigger projects, one’s slightly outside of the typical also initiates a journey. For myself it was a journey in learning, helping to develop my craft, and I’m thankful for that. Because when you stop learning, things start to get boring.


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