As film and technology advance, so do the techniques and ability to fully immerse our audiences in our narratives and storytelling. Unfortunately, so erodes the need for the craft of storytelling. While great storytelling and narrative still exists – spectacle can provide a crutch for films where narrative falls short. It’s important to make it clear that this hasn’t ruined the art of storytelling – at least in my opinion it just makes the great stories really stand out.
3D animation, audio, green screens and editing are advancing in leaps and bounds and further draw audiences in and make it more difficult to break the third wall. In our viewing of Birth of a Nation in class, we discussed how the fact that a story can be told with the technology in 1915, it really provides no excuse for filmmakers in 2017. On the contrary, Michael Bay is a director known for spectacle, and on a more recent note, a film such as Baby Driver feature little to no character development and narrative, but provide exciting and explosive spectacle and retain audience engagement in that way. Spectacle can also refer to advertising campaigns that immerse the audience more completely, such as The Dark Knight’s immersive advertising campaign featuring clues and scavenger hunts or (in the music industry) Bjork’s Biophilia mobile app that more completely immerses the audience in her music.
As an audio engineer working with filmmakers, it would be a great asset to begin using technologies such as 3D and immersive sound to further immerse audiences and re-enforce the third wall between filmmakers, actors, story and audience. Foley panned beyond hard left and right can immerse audiences more completely, with the ability to provide sound in front of, beside and behind (and everywhere in-between) the listener.