Two of the latest trends in film have existed for centuries in the theater. Plays are all done in one take. And plays are 3D. But while the medium has been around since before anyone can remember, it hasn’t changed all that much. In the end, it’s actors on a stage telling you a story. Which is what makes theater an ideal training ground for film directors. Stripping something down to its essential components teaches you how it works.
In film, it is not enough to be a storyteller. You have to be a storyshow-er. A storyvisualizer. You need to tell stories cinematically — which, as you might expect, is what Jennifer Van Sijll’s book, Cinematic Storytelling, is all about. Sijll explains there has been an unhealthy divide created between the technical side of filmmaking and the story side: “In teaching filmmaking, story and film are often taught separately. Screenwriters are housed in one building, production people in another. Unintentionally, a divide is created where there should be a bond. Technical tools become separated from their end, which is story.”