“The history of storytelling isn’t one of simply entertaining the masses but of also advising, instructing, challenging the status quo.” —Therese Fowler
As a trained historian I am supposed to be used to telling stories, or at least interpretations of the evidence in a logical yet pleasing narrative. I must admit however that I have been in a bit of a writing block as of late. Whatever you do though, do not tell my dissertation advisor (I already owe him a paper). And so I was quite struck when I was doing some research about DSLR cameras, and came across a young man on YouTube. Sure, he was talking about how to get the most out of your camera and all the other technical stuff, but no matter how good your equipment is it can only capture what the filmmaker gives it. I started watching a few more of his videos and a theme developed – storytelling.
Good stories are the reason we still pick up a 600 page novel when there is a 90-minute movie version. Good stories are the reason, we Americans at least, will sit through a non-English movie reading subtitles for 3 hours. (I must confess I did recently bing-watch Män som hatar kvinnor, Flickan som lekte med elden, and Luftslottet som sprängdes, which is why I used that particular metaphor.) Good stories are the reason we think outside the box and imagine what could be or ask why not or do the impossible. Unless you might be thinking that I am getting a bit big headed, which is empirically impossible for me because I only wear a US-size 7 hat, I realize I build things on YouTube. I do not think, however, that I speak for myself, but one of the main reasons why the DIY/Maker/Woodworking content creators do what we do is INSPIRATION. Now you see where the Fowler quote comes in handy, that is called previewing.
So what does all that mean … The content creators that I really enjoy watching are already doing just that. In the video below, I mention three in particular, and I do invite you to check out their content if you have not heard of them before, but there are several others who do the same thing … even in the United States (it was pointed out to me that two of the people I mentioned live in Portugal and the third is in Germany). Please, The Donald, do not take away my citizenship for leaving out Americans. But to get back on track, I am going to try and be more conscientious in telling a story in future videos and not just providing a technical manual in building a particular widget.
Woodworking TAG: (This is the short version, long version on the video)
- Oak or walnut? Walnut
- Polyurethane or lacquer? Lacquer
- Dream shop or dream home? Dream Shop
- Pencil or computer? Computer
- Blank paper or lined paper? Lined
- Dovetails or box joints? Depends
- Craftsman or Chippendale? Craftsman
- Sawstop technology – overrated or underrated? It’s Your Fingers
- Hand tool importance – overrated or underrated? Underrated
- Youtube as a teaching tool – overrated or underrated? Plead the 5th