The good folks over at Utata have announced the annual BIG project: Storytellers. The theme this year centers around images that tell a story, “We want your true stories and your made-up yarns. We want to see your favorite book the way you’ve always imagined it, and we want to see what you see in your mind when you listen to your favorite song. We want to know how your favorite movie or TV show would look if you directed it. We want to see your stories exactly the way you do.”
Now, this promises to be a fun project, though a bit difficult. Stories, you see, are easy to tell. But, that’s not the challenge. No, the challenge lies in getting the right story, hitting the right combination of visual elements and narrative, so that you can make a wonderful project, a special project, a magical project. Sure, any six images can tell a story, this time though, it’s more about the craft of storytelling, about carefully blending the images with the ideas. This time out anyway, I’m going to try to setup my images with a story in mind and see how I can visually weave the elements of the story into the images.
So, I did some digging, I’ve started to come up with a few ideas, plus a few cliches, and even some things I’ve always wanted to do. For example, I’ve always wanted to do Alice in Wonderland. Yes, yes, I know, call it boring, call it done to death, call it the verboten, it’s all of that and more but, what can I say, I’ve always wanted to do it. And, it goes without saying really but, with all the tornadoes we’ve had recently, I’m seriously considering doing an adaptation of the Wizard of Oz. Crap, I mean, it’s not like we don’t have the wind for it (and couldn’t you just picture Chase as a sort of more black/slightly overgrown Toto? I know I could. Put some red shoes on me because, Lordy, Darling. Lulubelle, we ain’t in Kansas, that’s for sure.)
The project mentions my favorite TV show, and there are actually a few of those. I could blow things up, a la Burn Notice and I’m still secretly hoarding my Stig helmet from last year’s Halloween costume so there’s Top Gear as well.
And then, there’s the demented, twisted, “I love crime drama” side of me. Now, you can call me crazy, you can label me as “psycho” and all but, lately anyway, I’ve wanted to do some sort of visual work with a gun. Seriously-use a gun as a prop. I’ve got some ideas floating around in my head about that one, and, despite the unusually violent nature of it all, I think that it would make for a good story telling prop, so I’m putting that out on the table as well.
Maybe I could combine all of these into one great BIG story, you know, like dress up like a Stig, drive off a cliff while shooting everybody in a convertible and blowing up the Grand Canyon in the process. Oh, now that would make for an interesting BIG summer project, don’t you think. (Hmm. Wonder if I have enough compact flash for that.) It would almost be like Thelma and Louise with a Stig in it and a couple of bombs from Burn Notice, wouldn’t it?
Since we’re on the subject of narrative photography, I thought that I would also throw out some inspiration. Some of the great narrative photographers I might be turning to for inspiration for this project are Keith Carter (though he’s more known as a sort of “tone/visual poet” with his soft look, he’s actually quite a narrative photographer at heart) Crewdson for his movie sets frozen in time, maybe even a little Cindy Sherman, because she has the element of the narrative in her and she’s such an influence, and finally a few people like Jeff Wall and even a local favorite Carol Watson, who has quite a narrative slant on her work.
If you have any ideas, or just want to share in the “oh no, what am I going to do” aspects of the project, please feel free to drop me a line. I’ll continue to post some details here, as things finalize. For now though, it’s just barely started going around in my head.
How does that old song go, “every picture tells a story,” doesn’t it?
Until next time…
You should do it, Mythos. You could so come up with an interesting story.