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October 25, 2013

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The Future of Storytelling

Here at nofilmschool, we focus a lot of our time and efforts on writing about the many technical aspects of filmmaking. Admittedly, we love writing about new cameras, cool pieces of software, and almost all other products that serve to make the filmmaking process easier and more fun. However, narrative filmmaking, despite all of its technical processes, is inherently a medium for telling stories. Plainly and simply, filmmaking is storytelling. And ultimately, it’s storytelling, and not technical mastery, that indicates whether a film is good or not. Luckily, for those of us who aren’t storytelling inclined, iversity, a leading provider of free online courses, has introduced a brand new course called “The Future of Storytelling.” Check out the details below.

Iversity is one of several major platforms that have popped up over the past few years which put university level courses into the hands of anybody with an internet connection, and all for the incredibly reasonable price of… free. Here’s a quick video on how iversity works:

While free internet courses have been around for quite a while, courses that are relevant and helpful for filmmakers have been few and far between. With the exception of a few dry lectures about cinema history and theory, the online education revolution has not really been beneficial to filmmakers. That is, until now. Here’s the intro video for iversity’s “The Future of Storytelling” course:

Of course, this isn’t designed specifically just for filmmakers. It’s designed for the new generation of storytellers who use any and all mediums to connect with audiences. It’s a study in the multitude of ways in which stories are told now, and the ways in which stories will be told in the future. Here are just a few of the topics that will be covered in the course:


  • storytelling basics
  • serial formats (on the TV, web and beyond)
  • storytelling in role-playing games
  • interactive storytelling in video games
  • transmedia storytelling
  • alternate-reality gaming
  • augmented reality and location-based storytelling
  • the role of tools, interfaces and information architectures in current storytelling.

Having an immaculate understanding of story, character, and how to best convey these things to an audience in a multitude of mediums might be one of the most valuable things for aspiring filmmakers to know. Armed with this knowledge, we can all become better writers, directors, cinematographers, editors, etc. Beyond that, the knowledge from this course can help in just about any creative field, from marketing, to web design, and beyond.

Additionally, the future of filmmaking is an uncertain one. Hollywood might very well be on its way out, and independent films are now more abundant than ever as technology has been democratized and new online distribution platforms have sprung up everywhere. As the medium itself and the ways in which we view it change, it will be far easier for people who know the fundamentals of storytelling to adapt to whatever comes next.

So what have you got to lose? The Future of Storytelling course begins on October 25th and runs through the 20th of December. You can put in as much, or as little, effort as you want (more is better), and you might just learn some valuable lessons that will surely influence the way you make art and tell stories.

What do you guys think? Is this course something that could benefit filmmakers? What kind of courses would you like to see from sites like iversity in the future? Let us know in the comments below.

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