Monday, April 27, 2009

Storytelling Forum at CBS

The Mastermedia Forum on Storytelling at CBS in New York on April 15th went extremely well.

We had a full house, and the uniform response from the people I spoke with was superlative. As one person commented, "No one wanted to leave." They all found the event informative, meaningful, and enjoyable.

The audience was very mixed. There were Christians and non-Christians with a range of political perspectives from very liberal to very conservative. One man worked with an organization trying to get the Bible into public schools as literature. Another worked with Al Gore promoting his ideas about climate change.

The panelists did an excellent job of focusing on the topic for the evening - The Art and Challenge of Storytelling in the 21st Century.

Megan Alexander, a TV news correspondent from Inside Edition, expressed her frustration at the extremely tight time limits on anything she produces, but also the joy of being able to tell the stories of people from such very different backgrounds on so many varied topics. She was especially encouraging to the students in the audience.

DT Slouffman, an Emmy winning TV producer, explained his love for telling other people's stories. His comments were very insightful - especially about how to approach difficult situations and issues honestly. He explained the importance of understanding the true nature of the stories he is working on, knowing the interests and needs of the clients he works for and the audiences he is communicating to, and how his own worldview affects the way he sees life.

Andrew Hunt, an award winning filmmaker from New Zealand, added a unique perspective to the evening by sharing from his experiences as a very thoughtful non-American. He was living in Scotland on 9/11, and explained how important it is to see stories from different points of view in order to get a full understanding of what is actually going on.

The panelists were each very alert to the audience in front of them, and skillfully addressed Issues of faith and worldview that came up naturally in the course of the discussion.

It was a wonderful evening that I believe God blessed.

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