storytelling

Why all your facts are fiction with Mixed Mental Artist Hunter Maats

Why all your facts are fiction with Mixed Mental Artist Hunter Maats

It’s a fact that god created the universe, reality is in three dimensions, India is a developing country, you need to drink 6-8 glasses of water a day, that when you meet the right person it will be true love, and if you eat fat you’re going to get fat. These are indisputable facts. There’s no place for opinion, or feelings in any of this, right? If you opened your brain and added up all the time you’ve spent fact-gathering, how much time do you think that would add up to? How much of what’s in your head are anecdotes that you repeat and how much are simply true? Even if they’re not, who’s got time to figure out what the truth is, where to start, and how to see it? 

Certainly, Science is true. That’s the bedrock of our culture. It’s always been true and it always will be true. That is, until you look to the past and realize it’s a modern invention not at all shared around the world. It blows up the closer and closer we get to it. That’s not anti-science sentiment just that we do need to take a closer look at ourselves, our minds and how we perceive reality. The closer we look, the more we realize there’s some pretty big gaps. 

How modern fairy tales create social change with Academy award winner Brenda Chapman

How modern fairy tales create social change with Academy award winner Brenda Chapman

The stories we told around campfires have been replaced by animated fairy tales that frame our cultural values to kids and adults. Those stories live inside us well beyond childhood. Not too long ago, they used to represent a misogynistic, racist culture and told us that, for example, if you’re a good girl, you’ll get married and live happily ever after. Today, they approach more authentic and meatier issues like depression, loss, and warnings on what could happen if we rely too much on technology. There are people, like this week’s guest, the first academy-award winning director for an animated feature, Brenda Chapman, who fought tooth and nail to stop telling silly princess stories and finally show women who wanted something beyond true love. That movie was Brave, and it was a movie she conceived of, wrote, directed and then, at the last minute was forcibly removed from the project. Brenda has led a new generation of creators who understand the gravity of these stories and aren’t afraid to tackle tough subjects that feel relevant and meaningful instead of idyllic fantasies.

She's has worked on legendary movies like Who Framed Roger Rabbit, The Little Mermaid, The Rescuers Down Under, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Prince of Egypt, Cars, and of course her baby, Brave. She remains the only woman to have directed a feature length animated film.

Why we keep getting things wrong with author Chuck Klosterman

Why we keep getting things wrong with author Chuck Klosterman

Have you ever looked at a super old picture and laughed at how mistaken all those people were about what they thought the we’d spend our time doing today? I know I look at pictures of myself as a kid and can’t believe I spent my time outside vs on a phone. Doesn’t sound like you? Well then maybe you were positive that the world would always adore Milli Vanilli. Regardless, it’s hard to argue that we’re incredibly blinded by the road we’re on, what’s coming and what we— as a culture— will value beyond today. Why is that? I had an interesting and hilarious conversation about that very thing with this week’s guest, famed pop-culture author Chuck Klosterman, who recently released the book “But What If We’re Wrong?” You might know Chuck, he’s got a pretty huge cult-following which started when he was a journalist for Spin, GQ, the New York Times Magazine, the Washington Post, and Esquire. Or maybe you’ve read his diverse, hilarious and insightful page-turning books ranging from Rock-n-Roll to Redskins, from Cereal to Serial Killers many of which have topped the New York Times Bestseller list. 

The vanishing treasure of human diversity with legendary Anthropologist Wade Davis

The vanishing treasure of human diversity with legendary Anthropologist Wade Davis

Imagine having truly a complete picture of humanity, having spent a lifetime experiencing hundreds of world cultures first hand, face-to-face and welcomed by each one of them. The result would be an extraordinary vocabulary of the human spirit like no other. A celebration of our differences brought to life through an enormous voice, studded with the poetry of each unique cultural experience. Wouldn’t that voice be more important to listen to than anything else you can imagine? As giant Capitalistic cultures continue to assimilate and stamp out human diversity faster than all endangered species combined, and as these giants collide and become increasingly more homogenous— never has it been more  important to step back and seek to understand and respect different people. To nearsightedly continue means irreversibly harming the treasure of human diversity. 

The untapped potential of visual storytelling with Cartoonist Scott McCloud

The untapped potential of visual storytelling with Cartoonist Scott McCloud

It’s hard to imagine someone who better understands the power of visual storytelling than Cartoonist Scott McCloud. He has been called the "Aristotle of Comics” and his non-fiction work, which details the history, vocabulary, and methods of the medium of comics— is the a Bible for visual storytellers. "Understanding Comics" has been translated into 16 languages and was named a New York Times Notable Book. He recently returned to fiction with the graphic novel, “The Sculptor” and it has been met with wide critical acclaim. Scott has lectured at Pixar, Google, and the Smithsonian Institution and I learned in our conversation that he’s also an amazingly sincere, accessible and friendly guy with an enormous attention to detail and a great story to tell.