We view our work as branding and design experts as storytelling. Yes, it’s corporate or organizational storytelling – but the principals are the same. The book that has been most useful and important to my personal view of storytelling is A Director Prepares by Anne Bogart. Bogart established and runs the SITI Company in New York and has been a major force in theater, contributing a training technique called Viewpoints that is now taught in most acting programs in the US.
Bogart offers seven essays that she identifies as both potential tools and obstacles in art making – aka storytelling. The chapter that is resonating with me these days is on violence. Bogart argues that the act of making a decision is inherently violent. One choice kills all the other potential options.
One of the roles a director (or Art Director/Strategist) plays is to place the right kind of limitations on the creation process. Without those limitations, we wander – and working in the real world we have to acknowledge that there are always limitations. But these limits – budget, package structure, brand colors, etc. – can be the boundaries that force collision, confrontation and editing of ideas to create a better result – a result that might not have been found without those boundaries.
Sometimes you have to love the freedom within the boundaries.