For as little as $1/month we can create the future of storytelling, together.

Become a Patron

 

Storytelling Past vs Storytelling Future


In the past, mediums of art and communication emerged over great lengths of time, each firmly establishing itself apart from the others. In doing so, each medium has come to possess its own established grammar, style, format or form which we have become familiar with. One story is told in the form of a novel, one as a radio drama, one as a play, another as a movie and so on.

Spoken Word

Image

Symbols

Written Word

Video

Recorded Audio

Now however, we have the ability, thanks to the invention of the web and mobile devices, to create a sort of “meta language” of storytelling. One that takes all of the established mediums, forms, and styles that have come before and blends them together into a seamless story.

This is not merely adaptation. Though, in many respects, that is our starting point.

Just as our modern movies have seamlessly integrated both recorded audio and video, we now have the opportunity to seamlessly integrate all formats, all mediums, all visual/literary/grammatical/technical styles into one–and I use this term again, because I do not know a better–“meta language” of storytelling which is native to smart, interactive devices.

For the first time in human history we are now able to ask ourselves not only how do I tell this story in prose, with images, in video, or as a video game? But also, which part of this story is best told as a video, in prose, spoken word, as a video game, etc.? AND, how should those elements interact with each other for optimal effect?

It’s going to take a lot of experimentation to get this complex method of storytelling “right”. This undertaking is going to require both funding and a wide variety of creative collaborators. We need developers, web designers, illustrators, animators, writers, actors, creative directors, cinematographers, and just about any kind of creative specialist you can think of.

We will, of course, start with what we have. Which, at the moment, is very little money, a writer/amateur WordPress developer, and an illustrator/animator. We will push ourselves in this new direction as far as we can go, trusting that those with a passion for stories and new frontiers will join us along the way.

Participate in the Future of Storytelling, Today!

Fund the Future

You can support the future of storytelling by participating in our Patreon campaign. Click the icon above and join a growing community of artists and story lovers the world over who want to empower a new kind of storytelling.

Learn More About Storytelling

Want to learn more about the art and craft of storytelling? Click the icon above to check out NathanBWeller.com where he blogs about the art of creating stories and the business of publishing them. He will also be publishing in-depth case studies of each story published here at The Astonishing Post so that other artists can quickly learn and iterate based on our failures and successes.

Join the Creative Team

By publishing serialized stories here at The Astonishing post, using Patreon to gradually grow our operational budget, we hope to create a self-sustaining stream of revenue that will empower us to live and work independently while exploring the art and craft of storytelling. Interested in joining us? Drop us a line and get involved!

Help us Create the Future of Storytelling:

For as little as $1/month we can create the future of storytelling, together.

Our First Serialized Story Release

  • Story Concept 100%
  • Story 50%
  • Concept Art 10%
  • Storyboards 0%
  • Final Web Elements 0%
  • Final Web Build 0%

Our First Story: A Stone Age Fairy Tale

When it comes to stories and the art of telling them, mythology has dominated the collective imagination of human beings since time out of mind. From our oldest oral traditions, through all of literary history, and into the present day of digital media the elements of myth, fairy, and folk tales permeate the stories we tell each other–regardless of medium.

The Epic of Gilgamesh, produced by the ancient Sumerian culture of Mesopotamia, is considered the first great work of literature--establishing patters of plot, character, and heroism we still see today. (photo by Tom Jensen)

The Epic of Gilgamesh, produced by the ancient Sumerian culture of Mesopotamia approximately 5,000 years ago, is considered the first great work of literature–establishing patters of plot, character, and heroism we still see in stories told today. (photo by Tom Jensen)

Naturally, this makes the realm of mythology the perfect place to start when attempting to construct the future of storytelling. Our goal is to use myth, with all its archetypal themes, plots, characters, and symbols as a baseline of understanding between storyteller and audience. One we hope will highlight the ways in which this new form–this meta language of storytelling–can enhance both the craft of the storyteller and the experience of the audience.

A color concept sketch of Sigrun, our story's main character, done by Bethany Craig.

A color concept sketch of Sigrun, our story’s main character, done by Bethany Craig.

For our first experiment we’ve decided to tell a fairy tale set in the stone age, or the equivalent of what we know as “the stone age”, on a planet not unlike our own. This story, which is actually a full cycle of short episodes (think Arthurian legend), tells the epic tale of Sigrun: her peculiar birth, adventurous childhood, brutal coming of age, and unlikely (but legendary) tenure as the leader of her tribal people.

Along the way we will learn not only about the extraordinary events surrounding the life and times of Sigrun, but also the history of her people and the planet they live on. Which, as it turns out, has its own origin stories, pantheons of gods and heroes, diverse people/creature groups, magic, technology, religions, politics and all the art, traditions, rituals, and conflicts that result from such a cosmic stew.

By modeling these short episodes after stories so well known that they have been rendered in every medium imaginable we can study which scenes, images, lines of poetry, prose, or spoken word etc. work best in which form and then construct our story in such a way as to find balance between potency of medium and the interplay of one medium with another. After the publication of each episode, we will also publish a detailed case-study to show our process and invite community members to help define this new language of storytelling.

Become a Patron of the Future of Storytelling:

For as little as $1/month we can create the future of storytelling, together.

Some Concept Art

Help us Create the Future of Storytelling:

For as little as $1/month we can create the future of storytelling, together.

Concept Art Continued

Meet the Team

Nathan B. Weller

Nathan B. Weller

Creator | Creative Director | Writer

In second grade Nathan read his first novel, The Hobbit. Immediately, he became addicted to the art and experience of story. As a result, he devoured grade-school Bookit challenges and has been scribbling his own stories, poems, and ideas since that time when he got his very own “journal” (And yes, he has the faded blue, wide-ruled, 50 page notebook full of incredibly bad writing to prove it). In the eight years since graduating high school in 2006, he has worked as a graphic designer, motion graphics producer, script writer/director, video producer, blog author, and new media content consultant. This wide variety of experience has resulted in the creative cross-pollination of art, technology, storytelling and business that he believes will help him empower countless artists to pursue a new and rewarding frontier of creativity.

Bethany Craig

Bethany Craig

Illustrator - Animator

Fund

Becoming a patron of The Astonishing Post is more than simply backing a project. Yes, even more than funding the future of storytelling. When you become a patron of The Astonishing Post you are helping to establish a consistent means of financial support for all of the artists collaborating on this ongoing project. That means one less artist who can’t find regular work, one less artist waiting tables, one less artist serving coffee or standing behind a cash register. Instead, they’re making art. They’re enriching culture. Your culture. And in that scenario, everyone wins.