After yesterday's post about story, today I am blatantly stealing this title from Eric Asp, who wrote a blog about story over here. I agree with Eric that story and the concept of storytelling is riding a strong wave right now, and I hope it overtakes us all.
I think one of the happiest things to happen to story of late is Pixar. Some critics wonder how Pixar can crank out hit after hit after hit. And not only box office hits, but actually good movies. The answer is simple: They put story first (which I know from watching hour upon hour of Pixar special features). Because their goal is not to be edgy or deep or even artistic (though those things might happen along the way); their goal is to tell a good story.
Their motto is "Story is king." So if someone has some brilliant effects idea, it has to come and bow down before story. If the idea doesn't serve the story by progressing the plot or the character's narrative arc, then it's cut. Why all movie-makers don't take such an obvious step toward creating good movies is beyond me (but I suspect it has to do with executive types who like to blow things up).
I've learned more about story from Pixar than in any university creative writing course. (Instead of paying thousands for school, we should all just stay up late at night watching the special features for Wall-E.)
So there is hope for story. But as I was pondering Eric's thoughts that story is on its way back, I also think there are also negative trends - a fake embrace fo story. I intended to write a long post about this, but then I remember that I already wrote about it several years ago. It's embarassing how I keep repeating myself and it's even more embarassing to pretentiously refer to your own writing, but I'm going with the latter.
In any case, I'd rather be at home watching Up or Toy Story 3 than in a one-ups-man game of "Did you read..." with the literati. (I really just contrived this entire post to have some semi-related reason to post this video, which I love.)