Friday, June 22, 2012

A story is a story is a story – no matter the medium

I don’t normally post my work product from Avista on my blog, but I’m really proud of this video and my company, so I’d like to share. It’s also a nice jumping off point to discuss storytelling and honing your craft with a diverse mix of mediums.

So often I hear from other authors who only write – noble as it is - but there are so many other ways to get your stories out. I’m lucky enough to have a position in the communications department at Avista Utilities and I have the ability to share stories through text, photos, videos and audio. Let’s not forget the “in person” stuff too.

My friend Dan Absalonson is in the same boat with storytelling. He works for a software company, creating 3D art, graphic design, audio & video editing. He’s also a kick ass writer, whose novel I’m currently reading on WattPad. Check out his stuff here, which includes text, art, music and podcasts. Storytellers shouldn’t be isolated to one medium. He gets it.

In this video I filmed and produced Avista, an electric and natural gas utility, surprises Journeyman Lineman Matt Anderson with a mock ATV accident in the Idaho wilderness while he was servicing a remote power line in late June 2012. Anderson had about three minutes to prepare for the scenario. After lifting the ATV off the victim, radioing for help and MedStar, performing CPR and getting a pulse, Anderson grabbed his chainsaw and on the fly made a stretcher out of nearby trees, his coat, sweatshirt and some straps from his own ATV. 

Once additional co-workers arrived on scene they carried the victim to a Trooper/Snowcat and evacuated him to a landing zone for MedStar where he was met by the helicopter crew and Deary, Idaho EMS. 

Avista creates these mock scenarios to test our employees, emergency procedures and first responders to make sure that when an accident happens -- we're all ready for action. We have to be ready to serve our customers and sometimes that means being out in very remote areas or in terrible weather conditions where anything could happen.

This was a great video to shoot. The safety and operations guys set up the scenario and made all the arrangements with the first responders. They guaranteed me access to every step of the event and never once said, “don’t film that.” The video helps showcase the story that people couldn’t see unless they too were up in the Idaho wilderness with us.

As you can tell, I’m pretty proud of this work and I hope you’ll watch the video.

So maybe this brief little post in words (see irony here), can be your inspiration to try to tell a story in another medium. It might be clunky at first, but your skills are there – just give it a shot.

If you’re a multi-tool storyteller. Post a link to your work in the comments below.