Joss Whedon took a detour from mega-budget filmmaking to direct a passion project, the much smaller budget film, Much Ado About Nothing. “When you work at something really hard, then working at something else is a vacation. I remember returning to work on The Avengers (after taking a break to direct Much Ado About Nothing) with a clearer eye and being more invested not because I have my art and this is my commerce but because the joy of storytelling is back.”
Until recently we’ve only been able to speculate about story’s persuasive effects. But over the last several decades psychology has begun a serious study of how story affects the human mind. Results repeatedly show that our attitudes, fears, hopes, and values are strongly influenced by story. In fact, fiction seems to be more effective at changing beliefs than writing that is specifically designed to persuade through argument and evidence.
“We know story. However, it’s the ‘telling’ of stories that is becoming ever more complex and ever more exciting. This is because we have seen two massive shifts. One is the distribution of technology—the other is the distribution of creativity. Everyone is a storyteller, and with technology more and more people have access to tell theirs to other people all over the world.”