I wanted my Twessay to convey the message that new storytelling media have been emerging, developing and spreading ever since we’ve had stories. The beauty about storytelling is that it is so adaptable and flexible to each new medium. From looking at some major turning points in its history, we can see that evolution in storytelling isn’t anything new; moreover, the Story is enhanced by it.

When Gutenberg introduced his printing press, it caused a revolution of the written word to occur.With politics, culture and scholarly learning expanding and augmenting, storytelling found room to flourish in this haven of opportunities. According to the British Library, William Caxton,the first Englishman to learn to use a printing press, printed The Recuyell of the Historyes of Troye in 1473, which is a compilation of stories about the Trojan war. Three years later, in 1476, Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales were printed. Clearly, the Story had no trouble with being incorporated into the printing revolution.

Take another example. John Lasseter is one of the three founding members of Pixar Animation Studios personally directed Toy Story. He says:

“I remember when I first saw computer animation. It wasn’t being used for much at the time. It was really geometric, sterile and cold, but I was blown away by it. Not by what I was seeing, but the potential I saw in it.

But everybody was saying, “It looks like… It’s too sterile. No, I don’t like it.” I realized they were judging from exactly what they were seeing. People always push back saying, “It’s too cold, too sterile.”(…) It was because people didn’t understand what the technology could do. (…)

At that time when we rendered things, everything kind of looked plastic-y. So we started thinking about a subject matter that lent itself to the medium at that time.“Everything looks like plastic, so what if the characters were made of plastic? What if they were…toys?”

That’s one of the reasons why we leaned into toys becoming alive as a subject for our very first feature film, Toy Story.” (Art & Science, 2015)

Recently in class, we learned about interactive documentaries as a form of digital storytelling, such as Bear 71 (Bear 71, 2012)  This is a multi-user interactive social narrative that observes and records the activities of and relationship between the “wired world and the wild world.”

From these three distinct but strikingly similar examples, we observe how the Story is something so abstract and flexible that it can easily mould itself and adapt to each new medium of storytelling – be it oral, written, printed, recorded, filmed , animated or digital.

I decided to include Laoise’s Twessay as, like mine, it deals with the idea of storytelling being conveyed through various media. I liked the way that Laoise also included film as a storytelling medium, which I had omitted. This is effective in that it bridges the gap between books and digital in the evolution of storytelling.


Art & Science (2015), Technology and the Evolution of Storytelling. Available at: https://medium.com/art-science/technology-and-the-evolution-of-storytelling-d641d4a27116#.hstpkq62h  Accessed: 26th November 2015

Bear 71 (2012) NFB/Interactive. Available at: http://bear71.nfb.ca/#/bear71  Accessed: 26th November 2015

British Library Board (N/A), Learning English Timeline. Available at: http://www.bl.uk/learning/timeline/item126577.html


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