Meant to Be Seen Interviews Caitlin Burns

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It’s easy to assume that when you watch a movie like Avatar or Tron Legacy, there is a central story to follow, and that’s it.  Is there more to this storytelling than meets the eye?  Please elaborate.

The story is key. It’s fairly simple to understand, the strongest narratives for this kind of work have broad story worlds, so not only is there the story you see for 90 minutes onscreen, there is a past, present and future in this world. There is a richness to the narrative that understands that when someone is out of the audience’s field of vision, they have stories of their own. There are a variety of places where these characters have been before a player picks up a controller and guides them through a story.

These are all fairly comprehensible concepts. They have to be or else they wouldn’t be enjoyable. Telling a story well in a specific medium is an incredible feat, it’s what makes a movie or a game or a novel fantastic, it’s why we want to watch or play or read them to begin with. Once you add those things together and add more and more creative artists into the mix, the storyworlds get very complex very quickly, so you need someone like a transmedia producer to have their eye on the Canon – the core truth, the themes, the messages, the meaning of this story world– so that everyone working in the story world understands what it’s about at its core, and can hear what everyone else is working on and how they can create stories in that framework.”

Read the full two-part interview with Caitlin Burns at Meant To be Seen