For The Love of Stories: A Revolution Pictures Mosaic
What’s in a story, and why do we love them? Is it because we love to see triumph? Is it to escape? Better quotes have been said by smarter people on the topic of stories, so I won’t try and wax poetic about the power of storytelling. Everyone here at Revolution fell in love with storytelling at some capacity – we’ve dedicated our lives to telling stories that unify, entertain, emote, or encourage. I wanted to explore how we became infatuated with stories and which ones have influenced us; starting with my own.
It was 2003, and Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers had been released on DVD (what are those?). I came home from school, I walked through the door from the garage into the kitchen, and I heard the din of battle and ring of metal on metal. My dad lounged in his favorite recliner with a popcorn bag in his lap. I ran over, slung my backpack to the floor, and he restarted the movie so I could watch the whole thing with him. It was a moment between a father and a son; a shared experience in this fantastical world that taught me that there’s good in this world and it’s worth fighting for. The Two Towers brought an enormous story to the big screen in a monumental way, and ever since then I’ve been engrossed on where stories can transport me and what they can teach me.
My mom has also been a huge influence in my love for storytelling. She constantly asks me about movies I’ve seen, and what I think of them. She stoked in me a desire to think critically about what stories are teaching me and how they’re presented. We shared an emotional moment over Forest Gump when Forest’s mom passes away, so I maintain that the stories that truly stick with me are an effect of who I experience the story with, or how the movie helps me relate to the world in a more human way.
I interviewed the staff here at the Revolution office and posed the question:“What movie, book, or TV show made you fall in love with storytelling?”
Randy | Founder, and Executive Producer:
In 1981, I was eleven, and I saw Raiders of the Lost Ark. The main thing I could remember was being so drawn into the story and the adventure. The writing and the movie worked together flawlessly. There was suspense, drama, and romance, and there was that big cinematic location and I remember being really amazed. It was a movie that you never got bored in. You fell in love with Indy, and you were rooting for him to succeed. That’s what really got me about cinematic storytelling. I went and saw it ten or eleven times in the theater. Every time I would look for different things in the film to experience.
For me, that movie was my introduction to Spielberg. Spielberg is definitely a hero to me. I had seen Star Wars, but I wasn’t old enough at the time to think about directors. My love for Raiders… I knew it was Spielberg. Soon after that, ET came out and Goonies, so, my growing up from age eleven to fifteen, Spielberg was the filmmaker I followed and loved to watch tell stories. You went to the movies to see things over and over again, because the image and sound was so much bigger. Movies were so much bigger. Now, you can get movies on Netflix, which is great because of the access, but they felt more special back then because of the uniqueness of going to the theater.
Zach | Editor, Post Supervisor:
I grew up around music, so I didn’t watch a ton of movies as a kid. I do remember, however, seeing Fight Club. It must have been the right time for me to see that movie because, when I watched the end of that movie, I was taken completely by surprise. I never saw it coming, and that’s when I knew. I’m the kind of audience member who doesn’t like to guess the ending to a movie – I’d rather have the filmmaker take me on a journey. Fight Club showed me what was possible in movies and it made me fall in love with storytelling.
Riggs | Post and Production Assistant:
In 1995, I remember seeing all of the trailers for Braveheart, and I thought it looked like the coolest thing ever. However, I wasn’t allowed to see it because I was eight years old at the time. On a Friday night, my brother went out and rented Braveheart, and it was such a long movie that it had the two VHS tapes bundled together with a rubber band.
Both of my parents were out of town for whatever reason – business, or something – and my brother started it on Saturday night. I snuck into the living room, and I positioned myself in such a way behind the reclining chair, sat Indian style, and watched the entire movie without my brother knowing. I was blown away by the film; the romance, the action, the scope, and the satisfying and emotional ending. All of the timeless story elements, all of the character archetypes were employed in the movie, and everything made sense. I remember hearing sniffling from the couch, and I saw my brother bawling at the movie. That’s when I learned that movies can shape emotions – Mel Gibson had masterfully taken me and my brother on an emotional journey and shaped my love for storytelling.
Perry | Colorist:
I was in the 5th grade, and I saw 2001: A Space Odyssey. It completely warped my mind and my understanding of the world around me. I didn’t know at the time, but it gave me hope and influenced the way I look at film.
It wasn’t until college when that influence budded, and that movie still affects me to this day. Every element in that movie worked on a profound level, and it was happening at the same time as the Apollo program, which added so much more depth to the film. It used all of these great practical effects that you don’t see anymore, and it was cerebral, challenging my thinking.
Colton | Art Director:
Billy Elliot was the movie that made me realize what was possible with filmmaking. Up until that point, I hadn’t seen anything like it. It’s one of the first indie films that I had seen approach storytelling in that way. I couldn’t sleep. My mind was completely occupied with thoughts about Billy Elliot and how it wove the story.
It taught me that there isn’t a set way or method to tell a great story. It was a moment where I knew that good storytelling could be bold and break the rules. I don’t have to tell a linear story for it to be good, and it made me realize that I could be as creative as I wanted to be with art.
Penny | Financial Advisor:
For me, the show that made me fall in love with what storytelling could do was the show Breaking Bad. It was the first series that I had ever seen that had me completely engrossed in the story and the characters. I love TV more than I do movies because shows can give me so much more character development, and Breaking Bad had the best character development I had seen in a long time. It was original, gritty, dark, and it had flawed characters that drew me in, completely. That show opened my eyes to the possibility of how much a story can engage me.
Ellie | Manager of Workflow & Development:
It actually wasn’t one particular movie, show, or book that made me fall in love with storytelling; it was a class that I took in college called Popular Fiction. We studied popular literature, but the definition of literature was extremely broad. We examined everything from Madonna lyrics, the Godfather, to Margaret Atwood novels. Critically thinking about these stories made me realize how varied and powerful storytelling can be.
I will say, however, that two recent movies come to mind when I think about movies that have influenced my love for stories. Garden State dealt with such personal topics in my own life: dealing with family, working through obstacles, and coming into your own. Then, Inception blew my mind with how creative and groundbreaking a story can be in its imagination. Those two movies coupled together shaped my love for storytelling.
It’s fascinating to hear the diverse answers for how people come to love storytelling and for what reasons. For many, it was a discovery of magic, or a gateway into a new understanding of our humanity. Whether or not you’re a filmmaker or a film lover, stories can bridge us together, which is a consequence that I think should happen more often. When I go to see the premiere of Star Wars or The Avengers, it is a unity among people that is palpable, contagious, and awe-inspiring. Simply put, we love stories.