Saturday, 21 December 2013

Winter Tale

The Christmas time brings Christmas commercials.

And I love the one Cartier is using this year, Winter Tale.

I wouldn't mind if that cute leopard would bring along one of the delivery guys to bring me such a little red box.

Friday, 20 December 2013

Fairy tales

Once upon a time, in a kingdom far far away, there lived a beautiful princess.

Fairy tales, one of the first stories we get familiar with in our lives. I remember my dad reading them to me and my brother. From these big books with beautiful pictures in them, so I could see what my father was reading to us. Tales from Hans Christian Andersen, the brothers Grimm or Mother Goose.

Although nowadays fairy tales are mostly associated with stories for children. They used to be told to adults. Because when you want to tell somebody something important, you best wrap it in a very good story. That way the message will be remembered. And if the story is exceptionally good, even be told along. (Remember my post about rumour?)

Fairy tales are very old. Once they were told and carried around the world by mouth. Around 1725 the Brothers Grimm started collecting all the tales they heard in their homeland Germany. To preserve them for future generations. 

Little Red Riding Hood is known to have been around a long time before 1500. And tales somewhat similar are known around the entire world. But that is of course because the message from that tale "Listen to your mother" is a world wide message.

What makes a fairy tale? The way a fairy tale is told is normally the same. The unlikely person to be the hero (a girl with a little red hood, the poor daughter, the beggar) gets some help (from a hunter, a fairy god-mother or a prince) to become the hero of the story. But first, there has to go something wrong (eaten by a wolf, losing a glass slipper, being caught in the castle). It will always end on a happy note. And a fairy tale is usually set in a world where magic still is around. Where witches, leprechauns, fairies and magical animals live.

Current written fairy tales are now labelled Fantasy. But The Hobbit, Harry Potter, Narnia and the Disc World-series are of course also fairy tales.

There is a lot to be told about fairy tales. But I'm off to my real world, try to get everything fixed with my magic wand to make sure ...

... all lived happily ever after.

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Six word stories

Can you tell a story in just six words?

Ernest Hemingway claims his best story is:

"For sale: baby shoes, never worn."

I have to say, a very sad story. Never worn baby shoes, which probably means there never was a baby. Dreadful to think about.
And what an impact, with just six words!

What would be a good six word story when thinking about storytelling and my blog?

- And they lived happily..., did they?

- Have you heard the latest news?

- What is your story for today?

- There's a story for every day!

- In a hole in the ground.

Can you tell me your story in six words? Please do!

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Seasons greetings

Once every year, you tell your story to your friends and family.
When writing your Christmas cards.

Sending your best wishes around the world. Maybe mentioning something exciting that has happened during the past year, or something that both of you are looking forward to in the next year.

This week I have been writing my cards.
The ones to friends from far away are already in the mail. The ones for friends and family in The Netherlands will go in the mail this week. So hopefully all will be in time for Christmas.

Did you tell your story to all your loved ones? Otherwise, you still have a week before it is Christmas!

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

De Efteling

You have corporate storytelling.
But what if you make storytelling to be your corporate business?

Here in The Netherlands we have The Efteling. Founded in 1933 with a Fairy Tale Forest started in 1952, now a World of Wonders.

It is a large forest where the various characters from beloved fairy tales have taken their residence. Sleeping Beauty sleeps here in her castle, with the other inhabitants of the castle fast a sleep, except for one.... the witch is spinning her wool. Little Red Riding Hood is at the door of grandmothers cottage (where, when you peek through the window, you actually see she is not in her bed, but the big bad wolf is). The dwarfs are mourning Snow White who they carefully put in her glass coffin, surrounded by the animals from the woods. And Rapunzel is letting her hair down, but who is climbing up, yes, the witch. 

All fairy tales come together here, displayed in their various homes in a luscious green forest. Where a narrator tells you the story and at some places you can even read the story in a big book.

Everything in the park is themed around various stories, thrill rides, restaurants, shops, even the bathrooms and the waste bins. 

If you want to experience a bit of what I'm talking about. Look here.

Surrounded by stories, you feel like you are walking in a storybook come to life. A childhood dream, that will take everybody back to the wonderful world of fairy tales.

Monday, 16 December 2013

Clouds - for Zach

I can't tell the story any better than Adam Mordecai from Upworthy can. So I'm just going to redirect you to their site. Read it all and watch the video.

Clouds - for Zach

To have your story told, even when you have left this world! How wonderful!

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Book to movie adaptations - The Hobbit

Nothing harder than turning a book into a movie. One type of storytelling turning into another. But such different ways of storytelling.

In a book you can explain, tell what people think, how they feel. In a movie you have to show. You can let the person say it out loud, but it still is different than somebody reading about it.

And when reading people use their own imagination, what they know about live, what they have experienced, how they see the world, to complete the story. A movie shows the vision of the director and screenwriter on the story.

With a beloved book like The Hobbit it is even harder. The book has been around since 1937, millions of people have read it. Know it almost by heart and have their favourite characters. But the movie is showing what Peter Jackson thinks the characters looks like.

I'm going to use The Hobbit - The Desolation of Smaug to explain.

Beorn, "He is a skin-changer. He changes his skin: sometimes he is a huge black bear, sometimes he is a great strong black-haired man with huge arms and a great beard."
From this I have always seen a big, broad man. Not a giant, but a muscular, black haired man. Very large, both tall and wide To use an image, more like Hagrid from Harry Potter, only stronger, more muscles.
And what does Beorn looks like according to Peter Jackson 
It does fit in the movie, although I see more a cat than a bear in him.

Another part is spot on with what I had figured:
"Before his huge doors of stone a river ran out of the heights of the forest"
This is what it looks like in the movie:

But maybe somebody living in a different part of the world and having seen rivers of a very different kind their entire life, will have a completely different vision.

What do you think? Have you ever seen a movie that was spot on with what you had read in the book? Or something that was completely different? Please, do tell.