“Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today”
— Robert Mckee
Theoretically speaking, storytelling describes the social and cultural activity of sharing stories, sometimes with improvisation, theatrics, or embellishment. Every culture has its own stories or narratives, which are shared as a means of entertainment, education, cultural preservation or instilling moral values.
Storytelling can be in the form of paintings, oral, theater, etc. An important aspect of storytelling is visual storytelling in which a story is told primarily through the use of visual media. The story may be told using still photography, illustration, or video, and can be enhanced with graphics, music, voice and other audio. Jawahar Kala Kendra and Film and Television Institute of India, Pune are holding a basic course of visual storytelling. The weeklong course is familiarizing the participants with the history and basic nuances and technical aspects of photography and film making.
Explaining the aim of organizing such a workshop, one of the resource persons of the workshop, Dr. Tabeenah Anjum shared: “The workshop aims to reignite and remind the participants of their natural ability of storytelling. Through a series of short exercises, the storytellers will be introduced to the nuances of recognizing a thought, realizing a feeling and then narrating a story through photographs or films. They will be exposed to the articulation of thought through these mediums.”
Mr. Ritesh Taksande, the other resource person of the workshop shared: “The idea behind this course was to give to perspective to the participants on how to convert a visual into a story through photography and later how to convert the story into moving images through film making i.e. Audio Visual. This course has helped a lot of participants to think creatively and visualize the world in a different way. The participants have gained immense knowledge of the basic principles of photography and film making within these seven days.”
That the workshop is being attended by around 35 people aged between 16 years to 78 years and hailing from seven different states of the country is testament of the fact that storytelling is an art that cuts across all ages and backgrounds.
Anushka Awasthi , a student of dramatic arts from Kanpur who is participating in the workshop says: “I have a deep interest in acting and theatre. Since filmmaking and photography are related spheres, I wanted to learn more about these as I had limited prior exposure to these fields. My time in this workshop has been deeply enriching. It helped me discover new horizons of learning in terms of photography and filmmaking.”
During this seven day course module, besides structured class work, three special guest lectures were also delivered by visiting leading industry experts. These included “Tiptoeing with Time” by poet and ace photographer, Himanshu Vyas , “Screenplaying A Story ” by veteran journalist Om Thanvi and “Journey Through My Lens ” by noted photographer Sudhir Kasliwal.
While sharing his experience of participating in this workshop, an Associate Professor of Media , Dr. Sanjay Mishra said: “This workshop provided an opportunity to listen to the faculty of FTII and get a deep insight on Visual Story Telling through Text, Audio and Video. Apart from practical assignments and exercise, a series of interactive sessions with media experts was an additional attraction. The workshop has proved to be a great source of learning and skill enhancement. In the age of Digital Media and Communication, necessity of different social media platforms has become an irreversible reality. We are producing Instagram and Facebook Stories on a daily basis and it has become essential to learn how we design our content and communicate effectively.”
The culminating exercise of the workshop, which is concluding on 29 December, will be a series of short films and photo stories shot by the participants coupled with short fictional narrative or poetry to illustrate the individual story woven by the participant.