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Welcome to Week 2: How is technology transforming storytelling?

This week we’ll be focussing on the core theme at the heart of everything we do in the screen industries: telling stories.
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Hello and welcome to the second week of our short online course on the screen industries and digital technologies – brought to you by the University of York and SIGN, the Screen Industries Growth Network. My name’s Ed Braman. I’m a TV producer and director and a senior lecturer in Film and Television Production at York. And I’m here to share with you the central passion that
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has driven my career in the screen industries: telling stories, the core theme that drives all the activities in this part of the course. Last week we considered different job roles within the screen industries, and discovered some of the technology used to produce the shows, films and games that we enjoy.
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This week we we’ll start with a question: Why do we watch films and TV shows or play games? Why do we make big-screen movies, or small-screen dramas? Why do we develop multi-layered video or online games, or interactive experiences? For entertainment of course, and for excitement. Will the criminal get away with it, or get their just deserts? Will the superheroes save the planet, or vanish from existence? Will Sonic the Hedgehog speed through all the obstacles, and beat all his enemies? It’s about being swept along by one
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of the key questions in all our lives: what will happen next? But I think telling stories is about more than simply being absorbed in events. It’s about sharing our experiences. It’s about learning from the past and influencing the future. It’s about giving shape and meaning to what it means to be alive, and it’s about finding some form of order and structure amid the random complexities of the world and daily life.
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IN SHORT: telling stories is about being human. This week, we’ll look at some of the ways the contemporary screen industries tell their stories. And we’ll explore some of the exciting new technologies that will influence how stories are told in the future; how you will be able to tell ever more imaginative, ever more powerful stories in the future. We’ll invite you to investigate how stories work by inviting you to make or write a short story of your own, and share it with an audience, your fellow students. We’ll encourage you to think about how you might actively influence stories – and make them your own – by exploring some of the developing technologies that
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are designed to promote interactivity: breaking the century-old model of movie-going and tv-watching, where producers and executives decided on the stories they would make, and audiences paid for their ticket and passively consumed them. And we’ll dive into some of the new tools,
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devices and techniques that create immersion: the big buzzword in screen storytelling – and the topic that’s driving so much research and excitement in universities, here in York and across our region. How do we use digital technologies, and the power of interactivity to tell stories that are richer, deeper, more captivating and more absorbing than at any other time in screen history. So …let’s start telling some stories together.

Last week we looked at some of the different job roles in the screen industries, thought about representation on, and off, screen, and investigated some of the technology that underpins digital media consumption today.

This week we’ll be focussing on the core theme at the heart of everything we do in the screen industries: telling stories.

Why do we watch films and tv shows? Why do we play games? How are these entertainment experiences put together? How does the contemporary screen industry tell stories?

Ed Braman introduces these questions, and hints at some of the answers, before we delve deeper this week into the work of storytelling.

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Lights, Camera, Computer - Action! How Digital Technology is Transforming Film, TV, and Gaming

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