Adam Westbrook can make well-known stories fascinating using only found video footage and voice over. He talks a lot about storytelling techniques and last month published a post on Medium where he described the storytellers ‘art’ as simply a vehicle for ‘dispensing units of information from one mind to another’ and the storyteller’s ‘job’ to be choosing what information units are dispensed and when.
If you’ve spent years honing your word-craft, you might find this highly mechanistic take on storytelling a little depressing, but Adam uses it to build Hitchcock-like suspense around even most familiar stories… and make everyone forget that they already know the ending.
He explains that by getting away from the traditional inverted pyramid and releasing story detail carefully, the storyteller can keep the reader guessing, even around a subject as well known as the atomic bombing of Japan. He that story by through the narrative of the ‘unluckiest man in history‘, bizarrely caught in the bombing of both Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Finding fresh perspectives and breaking stories down to release detail step-by-step is a great technique for introducing magazine archive packages. Invite readers to figure out what important event is being referenced by focusing on an intriguing detail. Avoiding baldly stating the facts, and intrigue readers into spending time with an old tale that you’ve made fresh again using a new narrative.