“Here’s an Idea – Have a Point”

One of my favorite holiday movies is “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” with Steve Martin and John Candy. There’s a great scene in the movie where Steve Martin loses it and starts a rant directed toward Candy’s character, Del Griffith. Del, is a “nice guy” who talks incessantly. Martin’s character, Neal Page, an uptight ad man, frustrated by the day’s travel mishaps, finally explodes at his travel companion Del after one too many stories and says – “here’s an idea – when you tell a story, have a point!”

Am I the only one who has been oversaturated with multimedia and video pieces that are little more than pretty visuals to music? Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of pieces that I do like, but there are far too many where I get bored and bail mid-way through because there is no point – there is no story.

Worse yet, the audio or music track many times feels like it has no connection to the visuals. It may be a great piece of music and provide pacing for the video, but it doesn’t complement the story. And there are times that the music is the most interesting part about the piece – if you take it away, what do you have? Most likely a pagination of moving and/or still images – like pages in a magazine or prints on a gallery wall. Independent and isolated vignettes with a music track – but no story- just eye candy.

What holds my interest is a story, where all the elements of audio, music, video clips, stills, text and narrative are parts of the whole and each one is integral in telling the story. I don’t think I’m alone in being interested in the story. Humans have enjoyed “the story” since the beginning of time. It doesn’t matter if it’s told verbally in a one on one conversation, in a multimedia piece, or in a major motion picture – a good story is a key ingredient for human interest. We all love a good story.

Personally, there is so much out there to watch these days on any given site that hosts videos, if I’m going to invest time in viewing something – I want it to have a point. If it doesn’t when I get to the end – I feel somehow let down.

I’m sure some of you will disagree with me on these thoughts and many of you may get loads of satisfaction from watching pretty visuals laid down to music and that’s OK. I’ve just had my fill of pretty content splashed before me, becoming a blurred palette in my head.

So, here’s an idea – have a point.

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