Telling your story in a whole new way

The cryptic and dark title scene of Coraline sets a creepy tone for the entire movie. Within the first view minutes, the viewer begins questioning the entire movie.

Everyone has a story to tell. In the past, stories were ether written or spoken, but now, writers and creators can expand on their stories by giving the audience something traditional storytelling techniques can’t: visual support.

Movies and video games are the newest forms of storytelling, allowing creators to broaden their creativity when writing. They can show immersive worlds in just a few scenes that would take a writer entire paragraphs to describe. This quicker and simple way of conveying a story also widens the audience. People who wouldn’t want to read a large book in a few days can now watch the same story in a few hours.

With a wider audience comes more money. Lazy and greedy creators can take advantage of the people by making pandering movies. These films are made just to sell tickets and usually lack any creativity. Seemingly endless amounts of squeals, spin-offs and reboots fill the theaters every year. Lazy creators know they don’t have to put in a lot of effort in filming because the movies could sell well with name recognition alone.

This greedy way of film making almost ruined an entire genre of movies: spoof flicks. Classic parodies like Airplane! and Spaceballs clearly show effort and care for the craft unlike their modern counterparts like  The Epic Movie, which most jokes in the movie are just references to other films. The Epic Movie has not aged well since most of the humor comes from popular references from 2007. Spaceballs, on the other hand, would still be funny even if the audience hasn’t seen Star Wars since the film has actual jokes that can stand alone. It doesn’t rely on pop culture references from 1987, almost making the movie timeless.

Horror is subjective, but there is a difference between actual fear and a reaction. Lazy horror films like Paranormal Activity lack a solid story and mostly rely on a quick flash on screen or a sudden loud noise for its scares, but after seeing the movie once or twice, it’s no longer scary because all of the jump-scares are expected.  An extremely good story in a horror film would be Coraline. Though the stop-motion style makes the movie seem only for kids, Coraline has a whimsical yet haunting atmosphere and creepy visual effects that can scare even adults. Fan theories are all over the internet about characters and settings, deepening the mysterious world created.

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Since video games are a more recent medium for storytelling, they don’t receive the respect they deserve. Video games have evolved way beyond Pac-Man and Donkey Kong; games now have complex stories, amazing visual effects, and immersive game-play. More and more games are being created around a solid story such as Far Cry 3, Red Dead Redemption and Grand Theft Auto V. These seemingly basic Triple-A titles dig deeper into dark and serious themes that audiences wouldn’t expect.

Video games can also have stories that are almost impossible in traditional storytelling. Players can now completely change the outcome of the story, example being the game Catherine. To summarize, Vincent Brooks is in a long-term relationship with the serious and mature Katherine McBride, with Katherine pressuring him for marriage, which is something Vincent is afraid of. At the same time, the mysterious and more flirtatious Catherine is constantly trying to romance the main character. The game frequently questions the player about moralistic ideas about relationships and commitment. Depending on the player’s responses, it will change who Brooks will stay with at the end of the game, if anyone at all. The game has a total of eight different endings that completely depend on the player. Hundreds of games now have multiple endings, letting players revisit the game more often than movies or books.