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ClickPlay Weekly: Secrets to a Story Well Told

I live and breathe #storytelling - and not just through our film school where we get to teach (and learn from) young filmmakers. On a daily basis, it is well-told stories that inspire me to make my own films, that help me become a better friend and person. When I was growing up, reading was my oasis, and diving into other people's worlds helped me understand mine.


So I am starting weekly posts where I will share content (videos, articles, books, even recipes) that families - adults and children - can engage with together for 10-20 minutes. I feel that a film or creative education in general does not stop with learning the craft behind the activity - it is an ongoing process of discovery.


Whether your children have taken our course or not doesn't matter, what's important is that we can spread the ClickPlay storytelling values outside the virtual classroom.


Our mission at ClickPlay is to make filmmaking, and creativity, accessible to all regardless of background or experience. So through these fun resources, hopefully young people can expand, even just a little bit, their creative thinking - and enjoy the experience together.


Clues to Great Storytelling


I invite your family to watch this 18-minute video, where the screenwriter behind your favourite classics (#FindingNemo, #ToyStory, #ABugsLife, #WallE) lets us in on a few secrets. These are the ones that stood out to me:

  • Storytelling is a Promise. I love this idea because it already sets up the dialogue between the storyteller and the audience. The content you're watching owes you, the audience, your time. A story well told is responsible to make sure it does not waste it or use it superficially. So, if you're sitting down and allocating time to this piece of storytelling, a good one will let you know it's worthwhile.


  • Change is Key in Story. This is really important because we, as humans, change all the time. Our views & behaviours change based on the people or events in our lives. Therefore it's paramount that characters grow, that as an audience, we gain empathy for the journeys we watch on screen. Storytelling mirrors real life. And it's through truthfulness, and our evolving nature, that stories make us care. Deeply care.


  • A Good Story Invokes Wonder. Such a beautiful message. Sometimes, we can't explain why we love a piece of content, why that story makes us cry or laugh. It just does. It can't be artificially manufactured by using fancy film equipment. It happens organically, and there is no greater gift than sharing wonder with others. Storytelling, and putting one's real emotions on the line, no matter how veiled they are through the lens of fiction, is a generous act. Whether it's a film, or a painting, or even an amazing plate of spaghetti - if you're able to invoke wonder in your audience, you've nailed it.


Maybe you can think of a time when you were truly touched by a story, and why. Leave your answer in the comments as I'd love to hear what makes you care.


#andrewstanton #tedtalks #storytelling #creativethinking #kidsactivities #summerfun


Want your kids to improve their storytelling and filmmaking skills?


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#homefilmmaking #onlinefilmschool #youthfilmclub #storytelling #ClickPlayClub #summercamp #kidsactivities #kidscamp #onlinelearning #filmmaking

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                            - Hoxton Hall

                                        student, 13

                                        London, UK

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