Lecture for Week 6 of the module “Storytelling for Multiple Platforms”, School of Media, Design and Technology, University of Bradford.
It’s useful to begin with a general discussion of the importance of location in storytelling. Stories will always take place in a location. Action and events have to take place somewhere, real or imagined. It’s one of those crucial elements of a story such as character and plot. Locations can be either physical and real, or virtual. Indeed, when I begin to talk about Augmented Reality in a short while, we can see these two worlds merging together: the real and the virtual. But let’s stick to real locations for the time being.
The location of a story will play an important part in how the story turns out. This is especially the case in drama productions, film, television and in novels. Think about what stories would be like if they were not set in a particular location. It’s doubtful as to whether they would work at all if that were the case. The story would most likely be rendered meaningless.
Take a piece of drama such as To Walk Invisible. Where is it set?
Interestingly, the location and the building of the sets were negotiated by the Film Office, here at the University, by David Wilson, who as it happens, has offered to come and be a member of the Panel when it comes to assessing your Pitches later in the semester.
As you have been preparing your proposals, you should have at some point considered where your stories are set and in what location or locations does the action take place and your characters reside. If you have not considered possible locations in your proposals, then this is a serious omission. The advice in The Brief clearly states that you need to do this. Take some time now to discuss in your teams what are the places where the action takes place in your stories.