Visual Storytelling Basics for Transmedia Narratives

The Hunter Video Still

A still image of a portion of the set of The Hunter by Davy and Kristin McGuire.

Over the past few months I’ve been taking an in-depth look at visual storytelling using both still and moving images. I recently ran across an absolutely wonderful example of storytelling that uses many of the basic principles of visual storytelling. Davy and Kristin McGuire use intricate paper sets, sophisticated lighting techniques, and projected animations to create their stories. I’ve also included a video that shows some of the techniques used.

One of the bigger challenge with transmedia storytelling is keeping the story or stories unified across a number of media platforms. Visual storytelling is an essential element of almost all transmedia narratives, whether they contain video, animations, motion graphics, photographs, computer generated or hand-drawn illustration, or slideshows. Understanding the principles of visual storytelling across ALL of these and using design principles and techniques that create unity across all the elements is essential.

I’ll get into the principles of visual storytelling as they can be applied to transmedia narratives at a later date. Right now, just watch and enjoy the video. Watch the video once from start to finish just to enjoy the work as a whole. Then go back and watch again to see if you can identify how the creators of the story used visual storytelling techniques so effectively.

Below the first video is a second that shows some of the techniques used to build the sets for these stories. Also make sure you visit Davy and Kristin McGuire’s website. The have some fantastic images of their work.

The Icebook from Davy and Kristin McGuire on Vimeo.

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