One of our goals at Advancement Creative and Hold Fast Films is to create meaningful entertainment. In other words, we strive to tell stories full of beauty and truth. We don't just want to create "engaging entertainment." We also want to engage the entertainment industry with truth and beauty. So, why are stories the best way to do that?
Storytelling Is Communal
From campfire to movie theaters, stories bring people together. Whether it be Tacitus or Harry Potter, the storyteller creates (or documents, in Tacitus' case) characters and envisions a world that draws our imaginations. We each are drawn to the work and, as a result, into community. A good tale becomes - not just the writer's story, not yours or mine - but our story.
There is a great power in narrative and with it great danger. Stories can convey truth about the world we live in (brokenness, beauty, loss, redemption) or they can give us a false view of reality (carpe diem, nihilism, false transcendence). Lord of the Rings has one view of the world, Game of Thrones has another (read this for Douglas Wilson's excellent take). Jesus used stories and parables to teach the truth of the gospel. Why?
Stories Are Memorable
I can vividly recall the story of Winnie the Pooh and the Unbouncing of Tigger that I just read my two year old daughter and four year old son. Rabbit wants to humble and sadden Tigger so he'll stop bouncing, but after getting lost in the woods Rabbit ends up the more humbled. He also ends up a better person. The story had a ring of "Whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's will save it." Rabbit felt the need to humble Tigger, but in fact Rabbit needed the humbling. Great and complex truths can be captured, shared, and retained in simple (not simplistic) narratives.
These are a few of my observations on the purposes of storytelling. Stories are powerful. Stories define our world, ourselves, our communities. As creatures and sub-creators under God, it is our task to do just that: create. We refer here only to storytelling, but this mandate to create permeates all industry. So, what other reasons might there be for storytelling? For creating? I'd love for you to join the conversation and leave a comment below.